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Career advice

6 Actionable to Master Your Job Interview

6 Actionable to Master Your Job Interview

by 

Adrian Stewart

January 18, 2018

Career advice

Everyone knows the core fundamentals of starting a good job interview.

But what’s the difference between good and great? Because let’s face it, it could be the difference between a job offer and a job decline.

Over recent years, the hunt for new recruits has swiftly expanded beyond technical ability. Experience and ability still count, but it’s not everything. As a matter of fact, hard skills often don’t even come into the picture until one or two interviews down.

So if hard technical skills aren’t everything, where can you shine?

Our panel of experts who hire the creme de la creme of new hires for their company share the things they are looking for beyond your standard answers.

1. Show Your Passion and Energy

“The go-to people in our company are always tinkering with technology. They contribute loads to open source projects, are active in the Meetup community and will always be responsive to topics they’re passionate about internally on Slack.”

-Riley Smith, Technical Recruiter at Versent

Tip: When asked to give examples or knowledge of a specific skill, draw on experiences outside of your day role. Talk about hackathons you’ve attended, meetups at local tech companies and refer to online communities you engage with and admire. Finally, talk with enthusiasm – the interviewer wants to see you passionate about the area you work.

2. Demonstrate Your Impact

“We look for candidates who have a wider lens in understanding the impact of their own function, and most of all able to operate in a high growth environment with a desire to grow.”

Monica Watt, General Manager, Elmo Talent Learning

Tip: Use tangible results. When discussing your current role and activities, draw on examples that had an impact across something wider than ‘hitting your KPIs’ – how did it move the team forward, what effect did it have on company growth.

3. Interview Back

“The vast majority of candidates ask the standard “What is the culture like at…”, Which is fine, but it’s not very targeted or revealing, as I suspect most companies will have variations of the same points, as justified and strong as these points may be. Candidates should think about what’s important to them when it comes to their relationship with their employer and the people they work with and ask questions that are personally relevant.”

– Andrew Connolly, Head of Talent, Receipt Bank

Tip: Before the interview, jot down all the things that are important to you in a workplace and a company (beyond pay). Turn them into a few questions you can ask back during an interview, for example, if working sprints and agile helps you deliver your best results, ask the interviewer how the morning scrums work, what methodology the team uses.

4. Be yourself

“It’s all about being authentic, and this holds true in the interview. We like to meet the real person behind the CV. Therefore, we focus our questioning on a conversation not a rigid set of questions. Also, we are a casual bunch. Since t-shirts are a daily occurrence on our end, we encourage our candidates to be comfortable in the interview as well.”

– Megan Greef, Talent Engagement Specialist, Versent

Tip: The best advice here really is as simple as to be yourself. You spend so much of your life in the workplace; there’s no point in pretending to be someone else in the interview for it all to fall apart in your first two weeks – that’s no fun for anyone. Show your personality, refer to your hobbies, share your sense of humour.

5. Take your prep game to the next level

“I look for people that ask great questions about the business and the market in interview illustrating strong commercial acumen. Does the person ask good questions about the business? Do they frame their thinking? Have they got a natural instinct to dig for information? Have they got data to back up their thinking? Have they spoken to our customers?”

Roby Sharon Zipser, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, hipages

Tip: Can you ever really do too much prep? Look beyond ‘what the company does’, read up on recent interviews with the leaders, get to grips with their growth story.

With the role you’re interviewing for, imagine you are already in the job – explore the site, open a google doc and make some notes you can take in with you with observations, any broken pages, opportunities, what your understanding of the potential could be.

This will also help you know if it’s the right place for you.

6. Show them you’ve got some grit

We look for both intellectual and emotional intelligence, combined with curiosity and willingness to learn. Our culture values are; transparency, customer obsession, a one team mentality, scrappiness, and all-in attitudes.”

– Matt Stride, Lead Recruiter of APJ

Tip: Before the interview, think about some of the hardest things you’ve had to overcome in your current role, how you tackled the problems and how it made you feel. With your examples during the interview-  don’t just focus on the positives, show how you turned situations around, rode out the hard times and kept a positive focus throughout. You’re only human, and we all face tough days at work, your interviewer just wants to see how you handle it.

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