So you see the perfect job offer. You have checked and double checked that your CV ticks all the boxes for the role. You have gone through your portfolio of work and have all of it ready to present. You have looked in the mirror and given yourself the important pep talk and told yourself over and over again why you are the best candidate for the position. The night before the big interview you are like a true Navy Seal. Your best shoes are polished, collars starched and outfit carefully chosen and laid out. So what could possibly go wrong? Right? We asked our MD Nicholas Polley to give us his take on what he has experienced during interviews over the last 14 years and what tips he might have from the other side of the table. After all he is the one that gets to grill potential new employees.
First and foremost, my number one tip would be to never, ever, take a phone call in the middle of an interview. It actually happened to me once and needless to say that was the end of the interview. For the best part I would say that I have had very good experiences when it comes to interviewing people. Like any interviewee or company, I will weed out the poor applicants from the initial emails but some still fall through the cracks. However there are certain things that even top candidates can fall down on.
Bearing this in mind, it never ceases to amaze me the one most basic item that gets overlooked time and time again by candidates. Despite all the prep work that we see candidates have put into their interviews, it still astonishes me how unprepared interviewees can be when it comes to the most basic of questions that can tell a lot about a person and one that they are always going to be asked – Tell me what you know about us?”
Now if I had a cent for every time our website got recited back to me after asking this question, or better still, someone not having much of an idea of the different areas of our 3D Design Bureau, I would be a little bit better off than I am right now.
I will never understand how anyone going to an interview cannot have done their due diligence on the company before turning up to the interview. Think about it. You are asking for a company to employ you yet you have not taken the time to research them properly. Relying on the job spec alone to answer this question, or worse still the home page of the company’s website, is simply not good enough.
So here are a few tips from being on the other side of the table that may help answer this seemingly non important question along with some general advice for the next time you are sitting opposite your potentially new employer.
Interview Tip #1 Research recent projects the company has worked on and try to connect yourself and your skillset to them or certain parts of them. Company’s love to know their work has been noticed and hearing about what you can bring to the company.
Interview Tip #2 Know all about the company, even if sections or departments of the company are not related to the role you are applying for. It shows that you have an interest in all areas of the company and understand their overall structure.
Interview Tip #3 Make sure to research their online presence. In the world of digital media and digital marketing, it is important that you know the type of tweets, posts and status updates the company push out. More importantly this will give you a valuable insight to the mindset and attitude of the company which you can reflect during your interview. This will go along way to showing the interviewer that you are the perfect fit for the company in terms of your personality.
Interview Tip #4 Show your true personality. This is important for you and the company. You want to know you can be yourself if chosen for the position so that in two weeks after starting you are going insane with the new role. Now I am not saying go OTT on either end of the scale but make sure that the interviewer knows the type of person you are. You would be surprised how important this can be to a company.
Interview Tip #5 Make sure to show that you possess all the usual adjectives that the role demands. Be able to relate different personal or work related scenarios to these adjectives. It could be anything from problem solving to enthusiastic. Be clever and drop them in subtly without it feeling like you are crowbarring them in for the sake of it. Don’t force it.
Interview Tip #6 Have your laptop switched on from before you enter the interview. This way it will boot up far quicker and leave less ‘dead airspace’ between you and the interviewer.
Interview Tip #7 Never, ever, recite verbatim text from the company website. It shows only one thing – laziness. And no company wants lazy team members.