It shouldn’t come as a shock to learn that 24 Seven interviews a lot of people day in and day out. In fact, it’s one of our greatest strengths. With nearly 20 years of experience under our belts, we’ve had our fair share of good interviews, bad interviews, awkward interviews and everything in between. So, we’ve gathered the very best of the best advice from our recruiters about what to do and what not to do when preparing for an interview.
#1 Do your research
This is a seemingly obvious interview tip, however the number of unprepared candidates that enter an interview expecting to land the job is astonishing. You should gather as much information about the company and the position you’re interviewing for so you can leave a lasting impression.
You want to be informed but you don’t want to “stalk” the company/person interviewing you. You want to have well-prepared questions specific to the company/role whose answers can’t be found online. But there is a fine line between doing your research and digging too deep. You definitely do not want to overdo it.
#2 Shop the brand
If you’re interviewing for a company who provides a product/service you want to become familiar with that product or service. What it looks like, what purpose it serves, how much it costs, strengths, weaknesses, etc. If the company has a blog, read it! Get a sense of the brand voice. The more interest you show in the company, the more interest the company will show in you.
#3 Be prepared to demonstrate your value
Every company wants to hire the cream of the crop talent and it’s your job to show them why they need you and how you’ll be a valuable asset. You should be ready to share past achievements in and out of your current place of work.
Do you volunteer on the weekends? Do you run a business on the side? Did you substantially increase the sales at your previous job? These are the types of things to bring up during an interview. An interview is your time to shine.
#4 Develop key messages
Typically you won’t be the only candidate interviewing for the position so hiring managers will likely be pressed for time. While you don’t want to rush your interview you also don’t want to drag it out either. Ideally, you want to hit major key points that will enable you to stand out in a timely manner, (your time can range anywhere from 10-30 minutes long).
When you can clearly communicate your qualifications, experience, and why you’d be a good fit for the position, the more smoothly your interview will go and the hiring manager will love you for your efficiency.
#5 Dress for success
While interview attire is becoming more modern and less traditional (think black or blue suit), you still want to look your best no matter what the circumstances. Even if you’re interviewing at a casual startup, you want to look professional because an interview is still an interview. You want to be taken seriously and give a good impression. The only time your interview attire will count against you is if it’s overly casual.
#6 Practice makes perfect
The more you interview, the more of a natural you will become. Interviewing is tough stuff and you may feel pressure for it to go perfectly, especially if you’re interviewing for your dream job. But the reality is, your first interview probably won’t be your last.
However, you can still get the practice you need without actually going on interviews. You can role-play with your recruiter, friend, or family member or practice in front of a mirror by yourself. You can even record a video of yourself on your phone to see and hear how confident you come across.
#7 Get there on time
Another obvious yet overlooked interview tip… get to your destination on time! You should plan to arrive 15 minutes beforehand in case any last minute things come up (you take a wrong turn, spill your coffee, need to get gas, etc.). It’s always better to be early than late regardless. Being punctual shows you’re responsible and you care about the position you’re interviewing for. All of which are great qualities hiring managers can recognize.
#8 Use common sense
No matter if this is your first interview or it’s been some time since you’ve been on an interview, you do not want to use poor judgment. You want to guide the interview in a conversational manner without over sharing. Getting personal during an interview and/or bashing your previous workplace is not good etiquette. There is nothing more unattractive to a hiring manager than a candidate who gossips. You want to be a positive, enthusiastic ball of energy that the company needs!
What is your best interview tip? Tell us in the comments!
Written by: Brittany Johnston