Set yourself up for success- Tips to ace an interview
The Saleslogic team share some of their top tips to ace an interview- and share some interview horror stories as well.
Jordan McKinlay says – Do your due diligence.
Prepare- indeed cliché but it was the number one thing all the Saleslogic recruiters said- it’s so important to be prepared. Research the company, and really understand the role you’re interviewing for. Do a google search to see if the company has been in the news lately, or check their social media. This could give you some good topics of conversation to bring up with the interviewer. Being prepared will improve how you come across during the interview and can also help you feel more confident and calm.
Don’t be afraid to take notes or bring notes in with you. If you’ve got specific questions you’d like to know or ask, note them down (neatly- print them if you can) this will show you’ve put a lot of thought into the interview and company, and shows you’re detailed and organised. It’s always a good idea to bring in a copy of your CV, and if relevant, examples of your work or results. Jordan’s horror story- ‘I had a candidate turn up to an interview with a client completely unprepared. From not knowing what the company did, to not knowing the details of the job. This was unacceptable, especially as we always spend time with the candidate before the interview to prepare them’.
Nathaniel Benissan advice- Treat the interview like a conversation, not an interrogation.
Relax- An interviewer won’t shine a bright light in your face and demand you answer questions or you lose a nail. The interview is about two people getting to know each other and seeing if there is a good fit. Nathaniel’s horror story; a candidate being a bit too honest. ‘The candidate arrived 45 minutes late to the interview, this is bad enough, but he then went on to explain that it was because he was pulled into an important meeting by management – he had been put on performance review, and it wasn’t going well!'
Nicole Delaney reminds you to listen and engage.
Listen and Engage- Make sure you're having a two-way conversation, shows genuine interest and really listen to the question. 'Often people answer the question they think they’ve heard because it’s what they are expecting to be asked.'
Rob Ferguson reminds you to be genuine and self-aware.
Be self-aware- it’s important to take a moment to be self-aware- you might not realise that you are actually shouting or waving your hands around dramatically. Be aware of how you’re coming across, you want to be genuine. Rob’s interview nightmare- ‘a candidate telling the interviewer that the company was only his 5th choice of companies he wanted to work for’. If you don’t really want it, why would they want you?
Beware of body language- Are you slouching, or perhaps your chair swivels and you’ve just noticed you’ve been swivelling around as you speak? If you tend to slouch, try sitting close to the edge of the chair. Keep your feet firmly on the ground and be aware not to appear closed off by crossing your arms etc.
Dress appropriately – this is again an obvious one, but remembers the subtle things, like wearing a watch can show you’re organised. Take it easy on cologne and perfume –be aware of how powerful scents can be- it could make them feel sick or remind them of someone they didn’t like. Wear something you know you look good in- you’ll feel more comfortable.
Emily Wilson – don’t underestimate the receptionist.
Be nice to the receptionist- They are part of the back bone of any office or company so don’t underestimate their power- It’s not uncommon for the interviewer to ask the receptionist about the interaction they had with the candidate or what the candidate did while waiting. Put away your phone and take the time to mentally prepare. Worst candidate moment- ‘I started out as a receptionist. One day a man came in on his cell phone- he didn’t introduce himself, just came in and sat straight down still on the phone. Ten minutes later, still on the phone, he rudely asked me why the interviewer was late. Turns out he was there for an interview for a senior management role.’ Remember, treat everyone you encounter with respect- they may become your colleagues.
Don’t be too early! You are always told to be early but there is early and then there is arriving half an hour early. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get there, but arriving at the office too early can create a sense of pressure on your interviewer. 5-10 minutes is enough to have a glass of water or coffee and compose yourself.
Jonny Hudspith shares his top question to ask an interviewer.
Ask about concerns- A great question to ask towards the end of the interview is if there is anything about your CV that concerns them or any questions they may have about it. This gives you a chance to address any concerns or clarify any confusion and explain more about your experience.
Damian Eyre shares a tip for during the interview- turn the tables.
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Ask about what they feel are some of the current challenges for their business or industry. This can give you an opportunity to show how you could solve them or how you have solved similar issues in the past
Don’t forget the ‘post interview’ follow up- Do not email 30 minutes after you’ve left to ask if you’ve got the job! This email or note is to thank the recruiter for their time. It’s also an opportunity to reiterate your interest in the role and perhaps touch on any things you think you didn’t answer well or forgot to mention about your experience. Send it the day after your interview, this gives the interviewer time to have digested the interview and will help keep you in their mind.
If you’re looking for a new role, check out Saleslogic’s website, and make sure you follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for more articles and advice.
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Saleslogic is a leading Sales Recruitment Agency in London. We specialise in digital sales jobs, SaaS sales jobs, software sales jobs and more. Click here to view sales jobs we are currently recruiting for.