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How to Win @ Interviews!

In this 13 minute animated video we try to share best practice and common sense insights to help people present themselves better at interview so they get the job offers they really want! 

 

 

Interviews

Do your homework

Find out as much as you can about the company before the interview. Look at their website, research your interviewer, obtain brochures on products if applicable etc. Ask your PCR Consultant what they know about the company, why the vacancy exists, who will interview you, what is their interview style, what is the format of the interview? You cannot be too well prepared!

Be well groomed
Even if your research has found out that the company has a casual dress code, take care with personal grooming making sure clothes are clean and pressed and shoes shined. If in doubt always wear smart business clothes.

Check your journey
Check your route to the company and always leave plenty of time for the unexpected including traffic jams and delays or cancellations on public transport.

Be prepared
Have your consultant's telephone number with you and call them if you have any problem getting to the interview or are going to be late. It's also a good idea to have extra CVs with you and a notepad and pen. Ask if it is alright for you to take notes.

How to present yourself
Start off by greeting your interviewer with a firm handshake, a smile and good eye contact. If it is a panel interview be sure to make eye contact with each person regularly throughout the interview.

How to answer questions
Concentrate on the questions being asked rather than thinking about your answers. Ask for clarification if you are not sure what you are being asked. Think before you speak and answer questions clearly, succinctly and honestly, giving examples of behaviours or results when appropriate. Read our list of sample questions and prepare your own answers to them.

Questions to ask the interviewer
Do not ask questions you could and should have found the answer to before the interview. Ask questions that are relevant and which refer to the role for which you are being interviewed or the future strategy of the company. Do not ask about day rates, core hours, overtime or any other benefits unless the interviewer brings them up. These you should have already clarified with your agency prior to the interview.

Give feedback before you leave
If you are really keen on the role let the company know. At the end of the interview thank the interviewer/s for their time and tell them that you would be very excited by the opportunity of working in the company and particularly in the role on offer.

Relax
If you are well prepared you can relax and let your real personality shine through. Although your technical skills and experience will be a key factor in the decision, people recruit people they like and a nice personality coupled with good attitude will take you a long way. If you are still nervous about the interview talk to your PCR Consultant who will be able to give you more tips and advice.

Good luck!
You will make your own good luck by not leaving anything to chance and taking the time to prepare thoroughly.

It's almost common place now for companies to request an initial telephone interview with candidates before meeting them face to face. Having an interview of any sort can be a nerve-wracking experience so it's important to be as prepared as you normally would. Below are a few pointers for each stage of your telephone interview. Good luck! 

Agree and disagree with any of these tips? Let us know on Twitter or Linkedin


Telephone Interviews
Preparation

  • Prepare as if it’s a face to face interview. A lot of people take too relaxed an approach to telephone interviews but don’t be lazy just because they can’t see you. Even wearing smart clothes and sitting up straight will help you feel more prepared and in a “real” interview situation
  • Only have vital information in front of you. The job spec., client website and your CV are the main three you will need – but make sure you’ve done your research on the job and client in advance! 
  • Create bullet points of achievements, selling points and key things you want to tell the interviewer so you can refer to them if your mind goes blank
  • Prepare a list of questions that you want answered. Cross these off throughout the interview as they get covered so that you avoid asking the interviewer to repeat themselves (which will make it seem that you aren't paying attention).
  • Have a blank piece of paper available to jot down any new questions/areas for discussion that arise so that you have a couple of really good things to ask at the end "do you have any questions?"

Your Phone

  • If you are planning to take the call on your mobile, ensure you have good signal and your phone is fully charged.
  • Using a landline is always preferable if possible – landlines don’t get text messages or other calls coming through to distract you.
  • No matter which type of device you use, you should find somewhere quiet to take the call - if at home, make sure there will be no interruptions which will interfere with either your ability to hear or be heard.

The Call

  • If you are nervous it’s a good idea to stand up - your voice will be stronger and you will feel and sound more confident.
  • Smile when appropriate - it will be heard in your voice and you'll be more relaxed and sound more confident and assertive.
  • Be animated (without going amdram!) in your answers and questions - the interviewer can't see your body language so you need to make sure you get your enthusiasm across.
  • Avoid one word answers as much as possible - try to help the conversation flow without going into waffle mode.

 After the Call

  • Give your recruitment consultant a call and let them know how you think the interview went so they can then pass on any feedback to the manager.


Some questions that might be asked
Tell me what you know about this company?

Meaning have you done your homework? Précis your information into key points rather than reciting chapter and verse on all you know.
 

Why do you want this job?
Tell them honestly what it is about the role and the company that interests and excites you.
 

Why should we select you for this role?
This gives you the opportunity to reiterate your skills and achievements and you should also stress your enthusiasm and desire for the position.
 

What are your strengths?
Two or three examples of your personal strengths will be enough especially if you link their benefits to workplace scenarios.
 

What are your weaknesses?
Do not claim not to have any weaknesses. You may have a trait that could be improved by further training or which in moderation is good, but in excess could become a problem. Example, attention to detail could mean you lose sight of the bigger picture. However, you would need to stress that you are aware of your weaknesses and take steps to ensure they do not impact performance.
 

Tell me about some of your achievements?
Be prepared with two or three examples of your achievements in recent roles which are relevant to the role on offer and which demonstrate a positive benefit to an employer, such as money saving or problem solution.
 

What is important to you in the company you work for?
Talk positively about the opportunities that might be created and how you would welcome the chance of being involved in the company's future success.
 

How would you describe your management style?
This again needs forethought and you should also be ready to give examples of behaviour which supports this.
 

Why should we give you this job?
Another opportunity for you to highlight your strengths and explain the positive impact you could have in the role.
 

Give us a brief overview of your career to date?
The operative word here is brief. Take five minutes at most starting with your first job and working through to your most recent giving reasons for your moves.
 

How would your most recent colleagues describe you?
Another opportunity for positive comment, and maybe a touch of humour, but do be modest too.
 

How do you respond to criticism?
Again have an example of when you have taken criticism and reacted positively to it and the outcome this had.

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Jim Binks

Tim has always been a true professional offering a personal service to both clients and contractors. He is passionate about helping people develop their careers through his keen understanding of broadcast technology.
I recommend Tim highly as an excellent one-stop shop for anyone working in the broadcast engineering business.

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