When working with a search firm in pursuit of a new employment opportunity, a search consultant will provide background information about the hiring organization and will help you to prepare for interviews. But what if you are pursuing an opportunity on your own? How do you prepare and demonstrate to prospective employers that you are a great fit for the role?
Helbling search consultants provide eight of their pro interview tips:
1. Do Your Research
Review the position description thoroughly to get a feel for the goals of the organization and department. After learning who you will be meeting with, look up these individuals on LinkedIn to learn about their work experience and their personalities based on their bios and writing style. Utilize Google News and the organization’s website to find press releases and other news. Also, try to connect with someone else who works at the organization—even in another department—to learn about the culture and get a sense of their experience working there.
2. Ask for Details
To help offset nervousness, it is recommended that candidates ask someone in human resources or talent acquisition as many questions as possible ahead of time about the format of the interview, the timing, and who will be involved. It is also important to be familiar with the area ahead of time, including traffic patterns and where to park.
3. Dress Accordingly
Candidates are sometimes surprised to learn they need to dress up for an interview. Workplace attire is more casual now, especially with the introduction of hybrid and/or remote work environments, but business dress is still the proper attire for an interview.
4. Have Confidence
You made it this far because someone at the organization already sees you as a good fit for the role. It is now important to bring your resume and cover letter to life by sharing your accomplishments. Hiring managers are looking for concrete examples of successes or experience. Answer questions with clear and concise stories and statistics.
5. Be Proactive
As your interview unfolds, think about the people you are meeting with and what their concerns may be about your ability or background. Try to alleviate those concerns. For example, find an opportunity to explain / discuss an employment gap, a current or previous title that may not align with the role you are interviewing for, or experience within an organization of a different type or size.
6. Show Interest
Always ask questions. Having no questions makes you appear very disinterested or disengaged. Initiate a conversation by asking individuals about the organization’s challenges and then discussing possible solutions.
7. Show Enthusiasm
Clients often report that they do not think candidates are enthusiastic or forthcoming about wanting the position. If you try not to seem too eager, you may not seem eager enough.
Candidates can become so concerned with giving the right answer that their personality does not come across. Consider what you say but also how you say it: your voice, your inflection, and your tone. Do you sound excited about the opportunity?
8. Show Appreciation
Make sure you end the interview by saying, “Thank you for your time. I am really excited [about the opportunity].” Candidates often ask whether thank-you notes are still expected. While it can be sent via e-mail, it is still important to thank anyone who interviews you.
If you are a potential candidate considering a new career opportunity, please view our active search listing
and connect with a Helbling search consultant for more details.