Each of us will sooner or later participate in the recruitment process. Assuming you're at the beginning of your career, you'll have a lot of recruitment interviews ahead of you. So why not make it much easier for yourself to get a job?
As a recruiter, I've spent hours interviewing candidates for various positions, bringing me to one important conclusion - preparation matters! In this article, you can find helpful and not-so-obvious tips that will let you shine bright among other candidates and succeed in an interview for the jobs you dream about!
Tip 1: Don't be afraid to ask questions!
Oh yeah, not only can recruiters ask questions, but you, as a candidate, can also do it! In fact, it's highly recommended you do it too. Why is that? The more you know about the company you plan to join, the more informed your decision will be, and the more confident you'll make the best choice. Believe me, you don't want to spend a couple of long hours diving deep into recruitment tasks if you are not even sure how the company deals with basic things that are crucial for you (whatever that is for you). What questions are good to ask while being interviewed? Every question that is important to you! No matter if you care about a training budget, paternity leave, or the possibility of working remotely...remember, better to ask the way than to go astray!
Tip 2: Things that are obvious to you aren't necessarily obvious to others
The fact that in your current company, you are recognized as a pioneer of new solutions or a gold mine of ideas is not obvious to the recruiters and managers from the new company that you apply to. Therefore, before you start the interview, think about your tasks and write a list of things that make you stand out in the current workplace. Ask yourself what is that added value that you provide in your current company and that you can potentially recreate in the new place. You don't need to read the list during a job interview, but writing itself can help you feel prepared and make it easier to present it during the interview. Maybe you took over some tasks from your supervisor for 3 months when they were away? Maybe thanks to you, the company optimized its workload and saved money? Maybe there is something else that you didn't write in your CV because it seemed too trivial? Even such little things are worth showing off with! As a general rule, try to include as many of your successes in your resume, but hello... if you are top talent, you simply can't manage to put it all on paper, right? :)
Tip 3: It will be a cliché, but it's always true - be yourself!
There is no perfect candidate pattern you have to fit into, so you don't need to act or pretend you are someone else during the interview. Honesty and transparency are great values, and in the long term, they really pay off. Actually, the same can be said about a company you applied to (read more about the cultural fit – why do recruiters check it and why is it important for you). You would like them to be transparent during the interview and not promise you something that isn't real, right? So, following this logic, you should act like that too.
Tip 4: Prepare for the interview, even if it's "just an online interview"
And I don't mean here to prepare your answers (you can never fully prepare ;). My advice is to organize your space to minimize the stress that the whole interview experience generally carries. Be practical – when an online interview is coming up, take care of the obvious things so as not to get distracted during the meeting. Position the camera so that it shows you from your best side, pour yourself a glass of water, and make sure your computer's battery is full. Familiarise yourself with the online communicator you will be using (Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams… they all serve the same purpose, yet are a bit different, aren't they? :) Believe me, microphone or camera problems happen on a daily basis, and some people can get really distracted by them which really can affect their performance at the interview. Oh, and one more thing, if your cat likes to jump on your head occasionally, maybe it would be better to leave him in the other room as well.
Tip 5: Keep track of the recruitment processes you participate in
You can laugh at people who made an Excel sheet to track all recruitment processes and all the job roles that they ever applied for, but well... in the end, they know exactly what is going on in their processes and which company offers what, whereas you may not :) If you are serious about searching for a new job and you participate in more than three recruitment processes, it's really difficult to memorize exactly what has been said where. Creating an Excel sheet (or in any other tool that you prefer) and keeping all information in one place may not be such a bad idea after all. You can then easily compare several jobs you applied for in terms of benefits, challenges, and financial opportunities. Also, you will never be caught off guard once a recruiter named Peter calls you to follow up on what you were discussing recently. And trust me, there is nothing that makes a worse impression than a candidate in an advanced recruitment stage who doesn't even know who they are talking to…
Feeling like you are more prepared now? Then head up and smash that interview, I'm sure you can do it.