The start of the New Year is undoubtedly one of the busiest times for recruiting new employees. A new year brings lots of changes; many companies are hiring to achieve exciting goals for the year ahead, it’s also a time when employees most often decide to move on. According to Glassdoor research, employees are most likely to think about changing jobs in January, with almost one in five citing this as the most popular month to make a move.
Why is now such a popular time to move on? For many professionals, this is the ideal time to look for a new job – they’re fresh with enthusiasm from making New Year’s resolutions in their personal life and ready to make changes to improve their career too.
If you’ve been focusing on where you’d like to head career wise, and you intend to be attending interviews soon, there are a few key steps you can take to prepare yourself to confidently interview for your new role.
Interviewing confidence is something that really can vary from person to person. While some candidates may feel relaxed and at ease speaking about their past experiences – others may be nervous at the thought of discussing their achievements with a panel of their peers.
Being too nervous can hinder a candidate’s ability to communicate and on the other hand, being too relaxed can demonstrate a lack of interest! The following tips from our technology recruitment consultants are here to help you strike a balance between the two!
1 . Research the Company
This is more than what the company says they do on the job advertisement. Who are they? What do they do? Who works there? Go beyond the careers section of the company’s website if possible to learn about what they do, why they’re good at it, their values, their goals and their vision for the future. In some cases, you might also be able to find employee bios, which will give you a good idea of who your future colleagues might be.
Most companies use Facebook and Twitter to post information that might not be immediately available on their website. Look out for information on what it would be like for you to work there – particularly any company special events or team outings.
It is very likely that you’ll be told about who’ll be interviewing you before you meet the company representatives. Take advantage of the LinkedIn search functions to view your interviewers’ profiles to see if you have anything in common. The information you find might give you a few conversation starters that will enable you to be on the same wavelength as your interviewer.
2. Research Yourself!
Very often, candidates can be unsure of the dates/exact responsibilities of their past roles off-hand. You rarely have to recall your career as one timeline/story in life, and this is particularly true for experienced senior candidates, who may have held several different interesting roles over a long period of time.
Walk back over your career – you may have forgotten some of the great experiences you have had and the achievements that are worth mentioning. It’s particularly useful to recall which of your experiences bear most relevance to the role or company in question – especially if you have experience in their industry/ vertical/ domain.
It is important to be able to speak about your career to date and to communicate your experiences well without struggling to recall specific details. This is particularly important for non-technical interviews where you may be asked to speak about yourself and your career in general terms. When this information is fresh in your mind, you will be able to answer your non-skills based questions with more ease.
3. Don’t Skimp on the Skills Section!
Now that you have refreshed your memory about your career path to date – it’s time to be more specific! For technical roles, the job description should give you a deeper insight into the technologies used at the prospective company and how you may best apply your knowledge and skills to the problems they face. If it’s in the job description, it’s important to be able to talk about it and how you may solve the problems the prospective company are looking to fix.
Make sure you really understand the technical requirements outlined for the role. What are the requirements for the role you are applying for? How would you fit it? Go through each requirement on the job advertisement ahead of your interview to give yourself the opportunity to recall an example of a time when you used that technology/skill.
What if you aren’t sure about a skills-related question you have been asked? Ask for more detail – it gives you the opportunity to ensure you are answering the question as intended. ‘Blagging’ and rushing through an answer can waste an opportunity to demonstrate credibility.
4. Ask Purposeful Questions
The importance of asking questions is something that is very often overlooked when preparing for an interview– but very rarely goes unnoticed by hiring managers.
Why is asking questions so important? When a candidate doesn’t want to know more about the company – it sometimes displays a lack of interest in the opportunity to their prospective team.
There is value in preparing questions ahead of time if you don’t like being put on the spot. It isn’t easy to ask questions about a company at a moment’s notice during an interview – particularly if you are caught off guard with the Q & A opportunity. The best thing to do is come prepared – consider some questions you would like to have answered ahead of the interview.
Don’t forget – an interview is a two way process. You are also interviewing the company. Ask them specific questions that pertain to the department you are getting hired in, or the individual position itself if you are curious to find out more.
The more specific the question, the better – it demonstrates genuine interest in the company and the role. Ask what they need and show what you can do to help.
5. Express Interest Before You Leave!
Many interviews end a bit suddenly – particularly if there were no questions from the interviewee. This is because candidates can sometimes forget to close the interview. Rather than emphasizing their interest, or asking what the next step in the process will be, it can happen that the interview just ‘fades out’.
To avoid ‘fading out’ – if you enjoyed your interview and you’re genuinely interested in what the company has to say about the role, use the time to express your enthusiasm for the role and to let the interviewer know why you like it.
If you had any relevant points you wanted to share from your ‘self research’ which you felt made you the right fit – this would be the time to express them to the hiring manager.
6. Smile & Be Yourself!
Sometimes candidates are so intent on producing the right answer on the day, they forget to smile! Be yourself. Your personality will always be you, so don’t forget to smile and be enthusiastic if you’re interested! 🙂
Verify Recruitment is a specialist consultancy which recruits for technology organizations throughout Ireland, the UK and Europe. Founded in 2009, Verify Recruitment is the preferred consultancy of innovative technology clients, ranging from indigenous Irish start-ups to globally recognised brands.