Interview Tips & Advice
As the economic climate remains tough, businesses are forced to be very selective about whom they employ. With this in mind, clients are only employing candidates they feel can add real value to their businesses, which means that candidates need to bring their ‘A’ game to each & every interview! This section is designed to help you be the best you can be, prepare you for your interview and get the job YOU want…
PREPARATION – research the company and people interviewing you, so that you have background information to draw from in the interview.
PORTFOLIO – take this to ALL interviews… a portfolio is a visual aid using examples of your work that demonstrates your experience to date.
APPEARANCE – First impressions count and making an obvious effort shows you care – smart attire is always the safest bet.
MANNERS – below are some key things to remember.
- Shake hands with everyone you meet and look them in the eyes when you do this. Your hand shake should be firm but not crushing!
- Keep eye contact with the people you talk to, it shows you are genuine, honest and confident in what you are saying.
- Don’t talk over someone or interrupt them.
- Put your phone on silent or turn it off & ‘never, ever’ answer it whilst you are in an interview.
- Sit up straight in the interview and don’t slouch.
- Don’t cross your arms as this is a body language no, no!
- Remember to smile – people believe it not forget to do this, no one wants to work with a miserable person.
- At the end of the interview, ask them if there is anything more they would like to know about you or your experience that will help you progress to the next stage! Make sure you thank them for their time, re-iterate your interest in their company and role and tell them you hope you see them again soon.
PERSONALITY – It is vital to make sure that you let your personality shine in an interview. You could have all the right experience and skills but if the employer doesn’t like you, you won’t get the role. In addition, the interviewer needs to assess if you are the right personality fit for the role, existing team and company. Try to project yourself in a genuine, open, friendly, enthusiastic and confident manner.
POSITIVE & PROFESSIONAL – Project yourself in a positive way and with the right attitude. Do not talk in a negative or derogatory way about anyone or anything e.g. current or ex employers, campaigns, clients, colleagues… even if the interviewer does, DON’T get drawn into gossip or anything that could make you look unprofessional or negative.
ADDING VALUE – In this economic climate, companies expect staff to hit the ground running, have a ‘can do’ attitude and add value from day one…think about what commercial and operational value you can add to their business e.g. client retention, team management, new business etc…for ‘in-house’ roles, you may want to talk about how PR can increase the commercial success of a business.
PRACTICE INTERVIEW SCENERIO – Even the most experienced candidates lose their train of thought, particularly if it is the first interview for some time. Do not fall into this trap. A half hour practice run with a partner or friend will make a huge difference.