After preparing (or updating) your resume, the process of applying for jobs can be arduous to say the least. When you’re out of work, it can seem like an eternity before making any headway. And similarly, when you’re gainfully employed, but are looking elsewhere, finding a new job can be taxing as you juggle with the pressures that come with your work life.
But when you start to make progress after months of applying, the interviews can come in thick and fast. How do you ensure you’re ready for each interview? Interviews can be tough, having to deal with a multitude of questions that scrutinize every job on your CV. All this while having to overcome nerves! So how can you best prepare for an interview?
CTA editor Henry Kerali spoke to job recruiters Andriy Sokolyk and Katie Bowley, who are both Talent Acquisition Specialists at GlobalData. In this interview, Sokolyk and Bowley explain how jobseekers can best prepare for the interview process.
Clinical Trials Arena: When you move into the interview stage, what the general tips or advice would you give to candidates?
Katie Bowley: Always show enthusiasm for the company you’re interviewing for – do your research, have an idea about who they are and what they do. Whether for a screening call or the interview itself, being unprepared demonstrates disinterest in the company. Even a browse through their website shows you know about their core values and that can go a long way in aiding you get that job.
But ultimately, preparation is key. Practice interview questions – rehearse with a friend, a partner or a family member. Make sure you run through any questions you might get. Look at the job description, look at the core competencies, and ensure you can answer questions around those skill sets. On the day, we recommend you arrive to the interview ten minutes early. Take time to settle down; if you have notes, read through them and relax.
CTA: What role can a recruiter play in the interview process?
Andriy Sokolyk: If you have a recruiter, use them beforehand to find out as much information as you can about the interview. If possible, find out who will lead the interview, what the structure will be, and prepare yourself for those scenarios.
The interview is an unnatural environment so it’s normal for candidates to be nervous, and the interviewer will know this – they’ll make you feel at ease. There’s a common misconception that the interview process is rigid. Don’t be afraid to show your personality – people love that. Don’t be scared to ask questions as well. It’s important to understand that this is a candidate-led market where there’s a shortage of skill sets for highly technical roles, so chances are when interviewing you’re one of two or three candidates, so it’s an opportunity to find out more about the company.
KB: Have questions ready for them; don’t ask questions about salary and hours. Ask questions about the company’s mission, where they’re going and how you’d fit in with the team. It’s all about demonstrating how interested you are in the company.
Body language is also important – don’t sit with your arms folded, be expressive with your hands, maintain eye contact, and engage with the interviewers.
AS: Interviewing is a skill and it comes with practice. If you’re looking for a new role and you have a really defined vision of what you want to do, and there are a limited number of jobs available, still take the opportunity to speak to other businesses, even over the phone. Practice those questions, practice techniques because through doing something you really learn how to become an expert.
CTA: What’s your advice to people who are unsuccessful after an interview?
KB: If you’re applying for a role and you don't hear back, chase the interviewer or recruiter because they have a multitude of applications, it might be that your form hasn’t stood out. If you contact them directly that at least shows you’re enthusiastic about the job, and that might be how you get into the role.
AS: If you’re unsuccessful, it’s important to know why you didn’t get that job. That will help you better yourself for the next interview. For example, maybe you didn’t come across in the right way, maybe you didn’t ask enough questions; always get feedback.
There are times, employers won’t have the time to respond to candidates, but if you chase them, more often than not they’ll respond. It’s a two-way process at times. For us as recruiters, we will try to prepare candidates as much as we can, we’ll provide as much feedback as we can. Nevertheless, at the same time, we need to see as much willingness from the candidate to get that feedback, so they’re prepared for the next interview that could lead to their dream job.
KB: And don’t get disheartened if you don’t get the role because the right job is out there for you. It just may be that someone internally has taken the position, or that someone has the exact skill set as you, but they’ll likely fit in better in terms of the work culture. There’s not just one company that you’re meant to work for, there are many out there. And again, it takes practice – the more interviews you do, the better you become.
*Katie Bowley and Andriy Sokolyk are both Talent Acquisition Specialists at GlobalData PLC in London, UK
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