Our Top Consultants Talk Interview Success
Let’s talk interviews. We ask our top performing, most experienced consultants how to excel in the interview process and leave your interviewer wanting more!
Everyone is different so there can be no ‘formula’ for the interview success, however, there is probably a degree of general consensus among HR pros, Hiring Managers and Recruitment Consultants regarding some of the basic Dos and Don’ts of the interview process. For example, DO prepare and DON’T turn up late.
We have gathered all of the snippets of wisdom we can from our top, most experienced consultants and asked them to provide each of their top tips for candidates when it comes to showcasing your skills, introducing yourself confidently and dealing with any interview stress.
So let’s meet the consultants and see what top tips they have to offer…
Roxy is one of ISL’s highest billers and has several years of experience in .NET/C# Development recruitment. Roxy knows how to make a good impression when it comes to interviews and has some top tips to help you sail through first and second stage interviews:
- Do your research on the role, company, and sector by looking at LinkedIn profiles, reading up about the company in the news and their website updates.
- Have a look at what their competitors are doing – providing a bit of this knowledge in an interview will impress your interviewer as they will be able to see your dedication to the company and your efforts to research their market.
- At the end of the interview, ask if they have any reservations about taking you onboard. It’s a good way of gauging how they’re feeling there and then, rather than when you receive feedback at a later point.
- Ask as many questions as possible, try to gauge the culture of the company and who you’d be working with. Ask to meet the team too as this will both demonstrate that you’re interested but also ensure that you will enjoy the job when you get there!
- If there is a tech test, do not rush it. Most employers will prefer to see your best work on a half-finished test, as opposed to a rushed mistake-riddled attempt
- Be smiley, happy and confident! They want to know they’re going to enjoy working with you too!
Gareth is ISL’s Technology Recruitment Team Leader and has amassed a great deal of experience recruiting in both Engineering and IT sectors for SMEs through to widely known Blue Chip companies. Here are his top tips to succeed in an interview:
- Research the hiring managers on LinkedIn and looking into their experience
- Turn up to interview 10 minutes before it starts
- Never be late
- Dress smartly. There’s not really such a thing as overdressing for an interview, but you can definitely underdress by turning up looking too casual or scruffy.
Jon is ISL’s Desk Lead for IT recruitment in London and has had a great deal of exposure to the Java market interview process which has taught him the keys to interview success in the IT world. Jon advises that you:
- Introduce yourself with a firm handshake, this shows you have energy and are raring to go!
- Be polite to everybody because you never know who you’re talking to.
- Try to show your personality by asking questions about the interviewers, make cheerful small talk and show an interest in what they’re up to in their projects/role.
- Demonstrate the research you have done into the company, don’t let it go to waste! Drop it into the conversation, for example, by asking a question on one of their projects that you have researched.
Danielle is one of our Principal Consultants and currently recruits for Embedded and Electronics Engineers. Danielle has seen hundreds of engineers through their interviews and has some top tips to help you make a good impression:
- Always overdress, do not underdress. You cannot go wrong with a suit!
- Always be open about salary and the skills you have.
- Like Roxy, Danielle also advises that you always ask the reservation question “Do you have any reservations about me as a candidate?”
- Always be 10 minutes early.
Matt is ISL’s Performance and Training Coach and has recruited for education, financial services, and public sector roles. As a Training Coach, Matt has a range of tips to help consultants see their candidates through their interviews smoothly. Here’s what he recommends:
- Avoid starting on a negative. For example, if you got lost on your way to the interview, don’t make this the first thing you say. Starting with “Uh, traffic was a nightmare” only indicators to your potential employer that you may be a rather negative person or that you often run late.
- Last impressions are as important as first impressions. Either if you think you have done really well or really poorly in the interview, don’t get too relaxed at the end. Repeat all of the niceties expected of an interview with as much gusto at the end as you would at the start.
- Interviewing is a two-way process. It’s no longer simply clients offering candidates an opportunity, candidates now have choices and often need to interview their potential employer to ensure the culture of the company, the benefits package, and the role is right for them as well.
Emma is ISL’s most experienced Principal Consultant with over 10 years of experience recruiting for public sector roles across Local Government and the NHS. Emma advises that you:
- Revise your CV! It may sound obvious but so many people cannot talk fluently through the experience and achievements they have quoted on their resume.
- If you have been given a job spec then make sure you have tangible examples from your work history that match the key requirements. This will ensure that you demonstrate to a potential employer that your experience is relevant.
- Do not chew gum! I had a candidate that did this and it was the only reason she didn’t get the job.
Reuben is our IT Team Leader and an experienced Software Engineering Recruitment Consultant. Reuben knows the interview process inside and out and has helped Senior Executives through to Junior Engineers sail through their interviews with this advice:
- Be aware of what skills you do not already possess and research them beforehand. Employers don’t expect you to know everything and will be impressed if a) you are honest about what you do not know and b) have researched and thought about how quickly you can pick it up and what transferable skills you can bring to make the transition easier.
- Have the STAR model to hand (Situation, Task, Action, Result) – if you structure answers to most questions about your abilities, experience, knowledge in this way in competency based interviews, you’ll score high! These keep your answers concise and ensure that you cover all possible bases!
- Have fun! Interviews are a conversation with your future Manager, and Managers hire people they like and connect with – they do not hire robots (yet). Relax and view your interviewer a person, establish a rapport early on and ask questions about their personal experiences with the company, and you’re destined for interview success!
So there you have it! Some great tips on everything from making a good first impression through to clever ways of structuring your answers and how to leave your interview.
My advice? Always have a smile on your face! People want to work around other happy, positive people, so even if you have had a rough start to the morning stuck in traffic, keep a smile on your face and don’t bring this into the interview!
If you have an upcoming interview and would like some further advice on how to excel, simply pick up the phone to one of our experienced consultants who are always happy to help guide you to interview success!Call us on 0117 4280600 or alternatively, take a read of some more of our blogs on which questions you should never answer in an interview and how to survive a group interview.