PEOPLE tend to adopt similar strategies in their approach to interview preparation but what will make you stand out from other job seekers? Adam Whitehouse, Associate Director — Financial Services Recruitment provides a few tips on how to succeed at the interview stage.
DO QUALITY RESEARCH
If what you know about the organisation interviewing you is available on its website, you can be sure other potential candidates will have already accessed the same information. Instead, be proactive and use other channels to do your research. Talk to people in the industry and ask questions that will provide insight into the company’s culture, success factors, clients and competitors, as well as its growth and market share. Also refer to journals, articles and media coverage of the company to get a sense of their activities and marketing strategies. Industry knowledge and your personal observations will strongly differentiate you from other applicants.
Testimonials are powerful tools that can strongly differentiate one candidate from another. Tap into your network of contacts and business partners from various industries and find out if they can write a few words on how they feel about you and your work. Collate them into a folder and use it as a self-marketing tool. Hirers tend to be more impressed with what others say about you than what you say about yourself.
It is essential that you are well prepared to ask questions that will position you as someone who can contribute to the organisation. The following are some questions that are popular with hirers:
- What are the organisation’s growth plans for the next five years?
- What are my career progression opportunities in this organisation?
- What is the company’s culture like?
- Are there learning and development opportunities?
- Are there opportunities to work for the organisation’s overseas offices?
- How would you see someone like myself making a change in your company?
- What is the company’s desired goal/objective for the person taking this role?
Studying the job description carefully and thinking carefully about what each part of it will also allow you to pose specific insightful and thoughtful questions that will show a genuine interest in the role. As well as providing employers with an opportunity to establish whether you are suitable for the job, the interview is also your chance to find out if it is right for you.
Most importantly, you need to be positive, poised and confident. Focus on your strengths but acknowledge your weaknesses and explain what action you are taking to improve these areas. Employers appreciate honesty and, if you demonstrate what you can bring to the role well, will often be prepared to invest in training to help you to develop and generally broaden your skill sets.
If you are interested in a new contract role within financial services or commerce and industry, contact Adam on +44 (0)20 7509 8481 or firstname.lastname@example.org