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Why you should re-work your interview plans

By Jonathan Hall

Interview tips

In the competitive world of job searching even the best talent can come unstuck when considering techniques for making an impression in an interview.

Recruitment consultants expect you to be precise and detailed oriented; it goes with the territory. So re-work the obvious approach and make more impact by highlighting your “soft skills” - communication, creativity and team spirit - and making them relevant. Here’s how.

Research

First, do plenty of research about your prospective new company ahead of time. Bring your big-picture vision to this task by considering the current issues they may be facing, the problems they are trying to solve and the impacts for their end users. This will help you bring the relevant context to your experience and job-fit in relation to the role.

Good research will also go a long way to helping the interviewer connect with your achievements and suitability for the role. Recruiters want to see that you are interested enough in the position to learn about the company, its values, mission and goals.

Relevance

Being ‘relevant’ in your interview starts with knowing your resume thoroughly. It never sounds convincing hearing someone struggle for answers to questions about their experiences, projects or achievements, or worse contradictions with your resume.

Whether you’re explaining implementation of the most complex project details, demonstrating an example of how you foresaw an industry trend or describing the learning outcomes of an advanced degree you completed, know your CV and practice the delivery beforehand.

The business and technology landscape is changing rapidly, and, within that many skill sets. Recruiters want to see that you are willing, able and have the current aptitude to work in highly innovative environments.

Share your ability to work in teams in an innovative and creative way. Highlight your support of teamwork and agile work ethic.

Relationships

Beyond strong experience , logical thinking and creativity, there are other qualities and attributes you will be expected to demonstrate in an interview environment.

Team collaboration is an essential part of successful teams and prospective employers want to know that their shortlisted candidates have demonstrated examples of when and how they have collaborated with others and department stakeholders in their work.

Many roles require “soft skills” including strong communication and an inclusive solutions-based approach. You may not have thought about this impact, but yes, cohesive people oriented leadership is essential in all disciplines to effectively deliver productivity growth.

Limit the jargon

Many disciplines come with a plethora of jargon. Sometimes, all specialist knowledge may stifle a clear, succinct and confident interview delivery.

The point is, in this situation, you are not solving a complex problem; but you should definitely be able to discuss the ways you have, and would approach doing so. Your answers don’t need to come with high tech bells or whistles, but do consider and practice how you can effectively describe, to a broad range of interviewers, the great work you have done.

Of course, in interview situations, it's easy to feel stressed and nervous.

So focus on taking the interviewer through examples of your achievements or project deliveries - these might include cost savings and customer satisfaction, increased sales, essentially tangible achievements that bring examples to life.

Use these questions to come up with a great starting point:

  1. What personal characteristics does it take to be a successful?
  2. Thinking about your existing job, how could you describe successfully solving an problem using the principles of logic?
  3. What are the things that you spend most time on in your current role and why is it important?
  4. Can you describe a time you were faced with a problem that put your know-how to the absolute test?
  5. Is there an example you can share that demonstrates your method of effectively communicating project priorities and deadlines with other teams?
  6. If you joined the company you're interviewing for, what initiatives would you hope to start during the first six months on the job?

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