As part of a top notch recruiting firm, you know that often even the best candidates for open positions can use helpful interview tips. Which means, part of our job is ensuring our best candidates are formally prepared for their interview and as a result get a fair assessment when compared to other candidates applying for the same position.
We can’t really guarantee every candidate will get the job, but preparing our candidates well, certainly increase their chances, as well as their confidence. Here are 10 ways in which we prepare our candidates for successful job interviews.
Enthusiasm for the position.
A potential employer’s initial perception and first impression about the candidate are key. The candidate should show excitement, enthusiasm, and sense of urgency for the position from the moment he or she walks into the interview. After the interview, the potential employer should know the candidate is not only qualified for the position, but also enthusiastic about working at the company. A positive enthusiast attitude will always make a good impression.
Do the necessary research.
Of course, the candidate should know the company representative they are meeting, but the candidate should also be familiar with the company. Entering the interview enthusiastically, with the ability to say “I’ve looked at the ‘company’s’ website and read about your latest accomplishments (naming the accomplishments specifically) can go a long way in getting the interview started on a positive note.
Know his or her strengths and weaknesses.
We prepare our candidates for these questions – as they are always asked in one form or another. As we help them prepare for their interview, we have them write a few of their strengths and weaknesses. With strengths they should be able to name an accomplishment using each strength as well as how the strength will benefit the potential employer’s company. Being able to speak confidently about strengths and accomplishments shows them as well-qualified and capable. For weaknesses, they should be able to mention an example of a situation in which they overcame each weakness or turned it into a strength. The weakness question is sometimes used in an interview to determine how the candidate reacts under pressure. We always help our candidates work through the “weakness” answers so they can react positively under pressure.
Response time is significant in an interview.
Answers should be more than a minute but less than three minutes in most cases. Too long, and the candidate may be dismissed as long-winded or self-centered. Too short, and the candidate may be thought of as superficial or even incompetent.
Know how to answer interview questions.
The best interview question answers begin with an opening statement, expanded upon by examples, and a short closing statement. Answering in this way will help the candidate keep answers timed correctly as well.
Write out their most important accomplishments.
By writing out the details (two to three paragraphs with examples of one team accomplishment and one individual accomplishment), the candidate will have better recall in the interview of what they want and need to say.
Know which questions to ask.
The candidate’s major accomplishments should be the focus of the interview, but should the interviewer not naturally head in that direction, the candidate should know how to steer the conversation. Asking for an overview of the position, as well as key challenges, can allow the candidate to provide examples of comparable work and accomplishments.
Practice, Practice, Practice.
Even the most qualified candidates who fail to prepare, often fall short in an interview – forgetting what they intended to say, unable to convey their points, and even saying the wrong thing. Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes, it also boosts confidence and helps them remain calm in an interview.
Prepare for the unexpected
. The candidate should check their social media profiles – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram – and make sure all information is up-to-date and appropriate. In the digital age, everyone’s lives are on display, your candidate’s included. What appears on social media should be consistent with the candidate’s resume.
At the end of the interview, ask about the position.
As the interview comes to an end, the candidate should tell the potential employer that they’re interested in the position and ask about the next steps in the process. Typically, the interviewer at the end will ask “Do you have any questions for me?” And that’s when the candidate should be prepared to ask the interviewer any questions about the position or company culture.
Preparing a candidate for an interview is important, as well-prepared candidates are capable of staying focused on their accomplishments and obtaining an accurate assessment from their interviewer.