Becoming Job Ready During Lockdown Part 2 - Interviewing

26 August 2020 Joseph Piscioneri

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It’s your time to shine!

Congratulations, you scored an interview! Emotions are running high – excitement, joy, relief…followed by nervousness, panic, fear and sweaty palms. You realise you haven’t been to an interview in years and you can’t remember what to say or do! Never fear, I have some really simple tips to help you prepare.

Your why

Before any interview, I always ask my candidates to think about a solid reason as to why they applied for a specific job with a specific company – so what was the reason you hit the apply now button (while being broke is probably accurate, it is not an acceptable answer).

Do your research

I always recommend researching a company prior to interview – understand their culture, their mission & vision, where & how they operate, and their major projects. This will put you in great stead for when you are hit with the “what do you know about us?” question.

Scrub up good

Presentation is key; make sure you dress to impress! One of my favourite sayings is “check yourself at the door” – this isn’t just a good interview tip, it’s one to follow before any important meeting or date (post-lockdown that is). Before you walk into a room, double check your presentation – shirt tucked in, no smeared makeup and no trail of toilet paper hanging off the back of your shoe.

Most recruiters have now moved to interviews via webcam (ZOOM, MS Teams, Skype). I feel this is a practice that will continue, which is why we all need to get on board. The same principles apply to an online interview, make sure your presentation is on point, your background is pleasant and the positioning of your webcam is acceptable – we really don’t want to be talking to your nostrils or your chest (there are other apps and websites for that).

Keep it real

“Fake it until you make it baby!” – no, do not fake it. Recruitment and HR professionals are in this line of work for a reason, so we tend to smell a fake from a mile away. Be honest, be authentic and just be you. Trust me, you will make a much better and positive lasting impression.

Plan some questions

Finish off your interview with a set of questions of your own; once again it will show your eagerness and true interest in the position and company itself. You could ask questions about career progression, training opportunities, or any new ventures the company is undertaking.

Interviews can be a nerve wracking experience – I don’t think there is such a thing as the “perfect interview”. Even I still get nervous from time to time, and I’m on the other end of the table!  

Just keep in mind that there is a reason you were invited to an interview; your application was impressive enough for someone to want to meet you! The company wants to learn more about you, so do your due diligence and learn more about them too.

In next week’s blog, I’ll be talking all things tech – including online meetings, your digital footprint and updating your LinkedIn.