Winning interviews

An interview isn’t won with a CV or cover note!

I read a great article very recently on interview techniques from the point-of-view of helping interviewers, so I thought I’d reverse analyse it and rewrite it from the point-of-view of interviewees.

The article started of by talking about companies looking at situations from a different angle, by actually digging deep into something and coming up with an answer by experience; a company that makes toilet cleaning products studied people with OCD to see what they did when it came to cleaning their toilets. As a result they were inspired to design a product that has a disposable cleaning head to make the whole experience more hygienic. The idea? Don’t just look at something on the surface, but get under its skin.

Companies are always coming up with new and innovative ways of conducting their interviews with the aim of getting to know the interviewees on a much deeper level, and often times it works, but it can be very daunting for the interviewee. However, if you, as the interviewee in this example, take the above into account and turn it around then you can see how there is huge scope for you doing the exact same thing to the company: research them, find out who they are, what their history is and what makes them tick; what kind of a person are they looking to hire and what is their team really like?

You’ve probably heard many people talk about successful interviews and how a successful candidate was able to demonstrate that they too could ask the questions, but what does that really mean? Companies are looking to hire individuals to make up a team, something that is part of a much bigger picture, so it is essential to demonstrate who you really are, and one way to do this is to ask your own questions; find out more about the company than you can from the website.

The recruitment industry is growing stronger each and every year, mostly thanks to the increase in hiring channels (think social media!) and ways in which candidates can be screened before and after the interview. Therefore, especially with any management level jobs (or higher) you should expect your name to be ‘Googled’ and everything (publicly listed) about you to be found out. Companies are spending much more time on the planning stage of interviews for jobs nowadays, so you must ensure that you have done the same. An interview isn’t won with a killer CV and cover letter alone, but also a good online profile.

I won’t dive too deeply into the subject of the online screening process and your online profile now, but will leave that for a follow-up article in the next couple of weeks!

In the mean time, have a think about the above and how you can change the way that you look at the interview process – companies are spending a lot of time on getting the best candidates to the interview stage, so you should be helping yourself by doing your own research, investing time in ensuring everything about you looks as good as possible and that you don’t turn up and answer questions like a robot, because with most positions that need filling they’re looking to hire a particular individual.

Related articles:

  1. 2 reasons why you need a new CV
  2. Top ten tips to write the perfect CV
  3. The 5 skills your CV must demonstrate

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