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Interview preparation guide - neuco advent calendar day 6

06 Dec 15:00 by Tim Meredith

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You've been contacted you about a role by a recruiter that could be a great career move and your keen to be submitted. You get news that the company likes the look of your profile and want to interview you!

But now is where the real work begins. Here are our top tips for making sure your interview goes off without a hitch.

Research the company
It may sound basic but it is the bedrock of a successful interview.

  • Look at social media - Companies love it when a candidate references a blog post or press release they recently put out.
  • Check the news - If the company has just made an acquisition, closed on a big deal, or released a new product you should be talking about it in an interview
  • Look at your mutual connections – You may already know someone working there who can give you some insight into the company no other candidate will have.

Research your interviewers
An interview flows best when it is a two way conversation, so having a good understanding of who your interviewers are gives you both some great talking points and questions to talk about.

  • Look at their LinkedIn Profile - What it there position? Where did they used to work? Are they posting anything useful to your research on their news feed?
  • Check your connections  - Do you know anyone in common and could they tell you more about your interviewer?

Read the job specification….no really read it.
Job specifications are far from a perfect reflection on the day to day realities of a role, but from it you will be able to see what is important to a company in a candidate and focus your preparation.

  • Look for specific repeated phrases - If they mention a skill or requirement more than once, it’s probably for a reason
  • Look for context clues - If it says you will report into the ‘Global Operations Manager’ a quick search can tell you exactly who you would be working with and help your research.
  • Take it with a pinch of salt - If there are a few requirements that don’t fit your profile do not despair, if you can prove an interest and an ability to learn that can often be enough.

Talk to your recruiter
This is probably not the first time your recruiter is working with this company and they can offer great hints and tips about what to expect. It is in our interest that you are as well prepared as possible so don’t be afraid to use this resource as much as possible.

Plan your route
No one wants you to turn up to your interview as a stressed out sweaty mess.

  • Get on Google Maps - Make sure you know the route, that you can find the building, and that you can get to the interview with a little time to spare to collect yourself.
  • Make a call - Ring the reception desk and ask them about the best places to park, how to find them if they are tucked away or in shared office space etc.
  • Also, you may be commuting to this place every day for quite some time, so now would be a great time to make sure you are happy with it!

Know what you want out of the interview
You should consider what information you want to have when you leave the interview room.

  • Deal breakers - is there a real progression pathway, specific training, remote working? You need to know if these things are available sooner rather than later in a process.
  • Prepare some questions - Write them down if you need to, and ask them at the appropriate time.

Dress smart.

It sounds basic, but ask any recruiter and they will have plenty of stories of a candidates arriving at corporate HQ in wildly innapropriate outfits, sometimes too casual, sometimes too smart! There are no second chances at making a first impression so how you look when you turn up to an interview will often speak volumes to a potential employer. Ask your recruiter for their advice, and if in doubt, smarter rather than less smart is a good rule of thumb.

Prepare well and you give yourself the best opportunity to get the job...we wish you the best of luck!