Whether you’re brand new to the world of work or you’re an experienced professional, any job interview process can be nerve-racking. In today’s competitive recruitment market, it’s commonplace for applicants to go through multiple rounds of interviews, meeting different members of staff at the company and complete written or presentation tasks to measure their ability.
That’s why we sat down with Managing Director – Executive Search Teresa Peacock and Director David Tubb for the blog, to pick their brains on how to make the best possible impression during a job interview. With more than 20 years of maritime recruitment experience at Spinnaker between them, Teresa and David have facilitated countless interviews and helped prep candidates on what they can expect. Here are some of their top tips on how to ensure you stand out during the interview process:
Do your research
Firstly, once your meeting is confirmed, it’s important to find out who you will be meeting and what they do in the company. Researching this, as well as the company where you are interviewing will help you feel confident going into the interview, shows your interest in the role and enables you to ask relevant and tailored questions that will give you insight into if you would want to work there.
Know your stuff
This may seem obvious, but once you’ve spent the time crafting your CV and sending it to a recruiter, it’s a common trap to not look at this document again once you begin securing interviews! However, it’s critical to really get to know what is on your CV, especially if you have data points/KPIs and results – as any good CV should have if you’ve followed our earlier advice on this
Treat it like a conversation
Interviews are often seen more like a Q&A session, with candidates under the spotlight. However, the most successful interviews are those that end up being more of a conversation. It’s important to build rapport with small talk and find things in common, so try to relax and allow your personality to join you in the interview! Potential employers are not only looking to assess if a candidate is capable of filling the job responsibilities, but also to see if they are a good fit for the company culture.
Teresa recommends the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, and Result) method when answering questions, as the straightforward format helps to tell a story and keep your answers succinct and focussed. She also suggests that prior to the interview have a few of your successes in mind using this method e.g. a project you lead, or a task you managed and so on.
It may seem like a cliché, but whilst listening to the interviewer’s questions, thinking about and sharing your response is crucial, so is having your own questions prepared. What will make the interviewer think twice and give you the best steer on what it will be like working for that company – remember, you’re interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.
Location, location, location
Although in the past, job interviews would usually take place in person at the company’s offices, the rise of video meetings and the faster pace of recruitment mean that now, interviews can happen anywhere!
Speaking from experience, David shared that candidates who sit in their car, a busy café or at home with family members in the background can be off putting for interviewers and may make it seem you’re not taking things seriously enough. Make use of background filter options on Teams, for example, and ensure that you have a professional, calm and quiet background as standard, whether you’re in the office, at home or even on the move.
If you’re looking for a new role this year, or just want to have an informal chat, please call a member of the team or check out the current vacancies on our website.
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