Clients often engage us to present multiple candidates to interview for certain roles. If you’re one of these candidates, to secure an offer, you must ace the interview and stand out from the crowd. But how?
After arranging nearly 1000 interviews in the last five years, I’ve learnt a thing or two on how to leave a lasting impression on your interviewer. Here are some top tips on how to ace your next interview.
1. Preparation is key.
Sure, you may be an experienced Digital Marketing Manager or CRM Specialist, however, so are the four other people interviewing. Prepare yourself for the interview. Practice questions, refresh yourself with your CV, previous roles, reasons for leaving and what key achievements you have achieved. Treat each interview like your pitching to a new client or taking a brief on a project - know your stuff!!
2. Read the Job Description.
Every role has small nuances for each company. A role could be focused towards a specific discipline, i.e. acquisition or retention, or they could be broad and cover a range of disciplines. Read the job description and understand the role. Don’t assume it’s the same as your current one. Any good recruiter who has been properly briefed will have a copy. If you’re directly approaching a business - ask for one! Take special note of the key requirements or KPI’s of the role. Use these to prepare answers and examples of your achievements in your current or previous roles.
3. Research the company and who you're meeting.
Do your homework! Read about the business and know what they do and how they do it. Google them under articles and see if they have made any news recently. Also follow them on LinkedIn or other social platforms. If you find some interesting information or information that edifies the company - share it as an icebreaker!
4. Give REAL examples. Don’t talk generals.
When answering situational or behaviour-based questions; your interviewer will normally start with ‘Tell me about a time...” or “Share a situation...”. Follow this formula to nail these questions -
Situation: Outline the situation and what was asked of you.
Action: Detail the steps and actions that YOU took (not your team) to achieve this.
Outcome: Outline the results of this situation and how that benchmarked against the targets and/or any lessons learnt.
If you can clearly articulate what you have ACTUALLY done and achieved, you’ll very quickly stand out from the crowd. Be sure to get straight to the point.
5. Prepare to ask questions.
Write down 3 - 5 killer questions that you can ask the interviewer. If you have multiple questions, even if some are answered throughout the interview, you’ll still have some up your sleeve to ask at the end. Write them down, don’t try and remember them and at the end. If they don’t ask, say “I have some questions if you don’t mind?”. Then, confidently ask the questions you’ve written in the folder you have brought (hint, hint) and ask the questions, writing down the answers.
If you don’t know what to ask, I’ve made it easy for you. I have recently written an article on killer questions to ask in an interview. This will display a sincere interest in the role and company and will also ensure that you have all the information to decide if this role is right for you. Remember, you’re interviewing them just as much as they’re interviewing you!
6. Close the deal!
To close the deal, you need to read the play in the interview. If you feel the interview has gone well and you’re engaged with the opportunity, you need to establish what the next steps will be. Ask the interviewer; “What are the next steps?” or if you’re bold, “Is there any reason why I won’t be invited back for a second interview?” This will show confidence and interest towards the role, and give you an understanding on how the interview went. There’s nothing worse than leaving an interview unsure on how it went.
In summary, interviewing is a learnt skill that requires time and practice. This is why we also recommend keeping your interview practice up and when looking for a new role, be sure to have more than one interview. Lastly, if all else fails, my biggest tip is to just be yourself.