interview, recruitment, job, impression
Let’s not pretend that everything is perfect. Things go wrong during interviews. However, preparation is where you triumph.
When talking to clients and receiving feedback, lets share with you what a candidate needs to be aware of, so when the interview day comes, nothing is left to chance. What we’ll share with you is what recruiters have said to us. Here is what candidates may not know, so they are better prepared.
In our ongoing series of interviews with the Rock Recruitment team, let’s share what goes wrong in interviews with: Angela Piromalli; Maddy Parram; Michelle Windsor and Fleur Cook.
That First Impression
Maddy picked up on a very common area of feedback, the first impression. “During a conversation with a client, they shared a story where a candidate arrived in a tweed, all-in-one outfit for their interview. Rather than this being about what not to wear for an interview (you can read this everywhere online), this does put across a worthwhile message to remember. Just because you (the candidate) believes that your style fits you perfectly, does not mean that it will fit the culture of another business.”
Angela explained further, “You cannot make a first impression twice. You have to show you care and have that degree of respect for the space that you will be within for the next hour.”
When it comes to that first impression, Angela shared, “People sometimes think a bit too much about their own image, rather than a company image.”
The Roll Call of Reasons & The Solution
We can all recall stories of how feedback made uncomfortable listening: from a candidate eating their lunch during an interview, to being late, to just having a real lack of enthusiasm. As a tip, when asked, ‘any questions,’ never under any circumstances reply with, ‘so tell me what the company does?’ Trust us, that question has been asked on more than one occasion and drives clients up the wall.
However, rather than this article becoming a way to reminisce about when things go wrong, let’s look at the solution, rather than finger-point. In its simplest way, it all comes down to doing the groundwork and getting ready.
Angela shared the reason why her career path took her into recruitment. “Many years ago I was offered a job at an estate agency. Prior to the interview, I popped in on a Saturday afternoon pretending I was looking for a home. What it did was prepare me for what was just around the corner. I got a feel for the company from the interaction with staff to the way that the office was set-up.”
“I got the job, but I was also offered a job by the recruitment agency. The rest, they say, is history. The point I am getting across is that we all need to be responsible and take preparation on board.”
When it comes to preparation, let’s just add that this is more than looking at a company ‘about us’ page and reading the last two blog articles. It is more than looking at the social media presence and going in with generic questions that could be applicable to any company.
Creating Value, Not Just Waxing Lyrically
Many job positions in today’s commercial world, a lot is centred on values and personality fit, rather than just skills.
Angela commented on the importance of alignment, “An interview is steady when you (the candidate) understand the culture and values of someone else. This is not about one-upmanship and being seen to be an aggressive business person. I have interviewed people who have said they could scrape databases and bring them into a new role, but that is not what Rock Recruitment is about. If someone matches your values, for instance involvement with wider community initiatives, then this puts you in a totally different place, rather than telling everyone why they should be recruiting you.”
Related to alignment, Fleur suggested taking the position of creating added value. “Rather than the interview being just a way to sell yourself, there is another element that can encourage the discussion. For instance, look at the role, identify and particular issue and share how you can contribute to making this element stronger.”
Address with Preparation
Michelle highlighted, “When talking to candidates, I always ask this simple question, ‘What are you going to do when you get up?’ What you do is create a narrative around the whole day that leads up to the interview. It helps you to be mentally prepared. This lets you visualise aspects of the day, that doesn’t mean rushing into a reception area within only a few minutes to spare.”
“Let’s not forget that the interview itself starts the day before. The best interviews are the ones where I see people are relaxed and fully prepared.
The whole belief of being ready is something that we totally stand by at Rock Recruitment. Maddy added, “We do prep work with candidates, so on the day of the interview, we send an email with a checklist of things to remember. We are the footprints in the sand, whilst we may not be present we are here as the guide. Let’s not forget that as a recruitment agency, we want the right match too.”
Maddy concluded, “We make it easier for candidates going into an interview as we have ‘warmed up’ the client, so they are ready and everything has the potential to be an enjoyable experience. We are responsible for what happens.”
The whole build up process should not lead to an interview that falls to pieces. When a recruitment agency takes on the role of the coach, when it comes to the day of interview, it is important to know that there are others rooting for you.
The stories of bad interviews are a fact of life, they happen and will continue to happen. With the opportunities that are presented in the shape of spending time with a company who recognises your potential fit, preparation is where success lies.