Nailing your Interview – Part 3: Giving your best performance
Welcome to the third (and final) chapter of my series to help you nail your interview. Like with all good trilogies, it will be sad to see it come to an end. However, now you’ll well-prepared with the tools you need to help you land that job.
The first part of this series took you through how best to prepare for your interview, specifically your presentation, research and selling yourself. The second part was all about the top 10 questions you should ask to ensure you find out what you need to know about your potential employer, all while positioning yourself in the most positive way. And now here we are, finishing off with ensuring this interview is your best performance to date.
Of course, each company has their own method of interviewing and their own set of questions which they would feel gives them the best insight into their potential employee. That said, there is still a fair amount of overlap and at least one, if not more, of the questions below will be asked of you in your interview so, be prepared!
What are your weaknesses? – while we all may dread this question, it’s best to assume you’ll be asked it. To ensure honesty, but also to present yourself well, make sure you minimise your weaknesses and emphasise your strengths.
Why do you want to work here? – this is where you’ll pull out the research we talked about in Part 1 of this series. Your potential employer is looking to see that you’ve taken the time to get to know their company and not that you’re simply sending your CV as far and wide as possible.
What are your goals? – while it’s important to be specific and ambitious, it’s probably best to keep these goals in the short to medium term. You don’t want to find yourself locked into a far-distant future.
Why did you, or why are you looking to, leave your current job? – no matter how acrimonious the ending of your last employment was, this answer must be positive. It will not reflect on you well to start dishing dirt on grievances with your previous employer.
What sets you apart from our other candidates? – here’s your chance to succinctly wrap up your skills, experience and traits into a nice, neat little parcel.
What are three positive things your previous boss would say about you? – don’t hold back here, now is not the time to be coy. Refer to previous feedback and performance appraisals and bring out a collection of your greatest hits.
What salary are you seeking? – obviously it’s good if you have a response prepared and an ideal range in mind. However, it’s to your advantage if the employer tells you their expectations first.
Once you’ve made it through all the questions, it’s now your time to summarise and close your client. Obviously if you’re going for a Sales position this is crucial but, no matter what the role is, this step is important.
Summarise the information you’ve gained through your research, and in the interview to explain how and why you’ll be perfect for this position. Explain to them what excites you about the role and how you’ll be asset to their team. Ask them what next steps are and when you can expect to hear from them. You can ask them if they have any reservations with you and, if they do, take the opportunity to alleviate any of their concerns.
Finally, it’s time to close. Take out your diary and attempt to schedule in your next interview or your start date! By the end of the interview you should feel confident about where you stand and have left them confident in your passion and ability to get the job done.
If you can follow these steps, combined with the information from the previous articles, there’s no way you’ll be overlooked for your dream job! Invest the time in to preparing for your interview and you can’t go wrong. After all, 90% of all recruitment decisions are made based on performance in an interview so it’s definitely worth the effort.
Shannon Wood, Managing Director S8 Expert Recruitment Solutions. I have over 15 years recruitment experience specialising in the animal health industry across the ANZ region. Areas of expertise include sales and marketing, technical roles (Quality Assurance, Quality Control & Regulatory Affairs) and operational & financial positions. I work extensively in the veterinary, ruminant, monogastric, aquaculture and the pet specialty industries and I look forward to the next 15 years.