Nailing your next interview in four simple steps
Well, hello there Talent!
I'm Ian from HelloTalent and in today's TalentTips, we are going to discuss a couple of different ways you can stand out from the crowd in your interview.
Small disclaimer, I don't have any formal qualifications in Human Resources, but I do have a heap of real-life experience from the School of Life and from my time as a General Manager, recruiting and building large and complex teams of people.
I have been recruiting Talent for over 20-years and have experienced some interesting interviews, the good, the bad and the ugly. So, to that end, there are a few things that always impress both myself and colleagues I’ve spoken to.
I'm hoping that some of the things I've learnt, seen, tried, experienced and heard of, can help you.
So, let's get your Talent discovered!
Here are four easy steps and a couple of winning tips to help you stand out from the competition and get the job you are after.
1. Do your research
You already spend so much time on your phone, we all do. So, taking 10 minutes to scroll through their website and social media pages isn’t a big ask.
What are you looking for? Interesting and relevant information that you can add to your responses to provide a WOW factor.
For example, you may have come across an activity they did with children recently, and while answering a question you have been asked, you find the opportunity to refer back to what they have done.
This has a few strong benefits a) it demonstrates you are like-minded and a good philosophical fit for the company you want to work for b) you have shown interest in what they are doing c) you have shown yourself to be the kind of person who puts in the required work effort and is proactive in your approach.
2. Ensure you are prepared
Attending an interview can be very nerve-racking, but when you come prepared, you will find it so much easier, and you will always perform better. Being prepared is vital in winning over your interviewer/s and demonstrating all the Talent you have.
Here’s how you can prepare:
a) Spend time rehearsing some questions you are likely to be asked. We will provide you with some links to typical industry questions in the show notes / below.
b) Prepare some questions you may have for the interviewer. Trust me, you should always write them down because you will most likely forget in a live interview situation. This shows you took the time to prepare for the interview.
Questions you might ask could be relating to their policies, philosophy or pedagogy. Focus the questions on aspects you are confident in and passionate about for an added opportunity to shine. Be prepared that they may flip the question back on you (i.e. ‘What do you think about that? Or ‘Is this something you are familiar with?’) so have a response ready.
c) Confirm with your interviewer that you will be attending and also if they require you to bring anything along (qualifications, a planned activity etc.). This shows you are an organised individual who is ready to jump in.
3. Look the part
Try to dress for success and present yourself professionally. Ensure you are wearing something formal and presentable. So, nothing too short, sleeveless, torn, dirty or un-ironed. A blouse or shirt and some nice fitting slacks, knee-length skirt or pants are your best bet.
If you don’t own anything like that, borrow something from a friend or family member or try an op shop as they often have well priced items perfect for an interview.
If you are coming straight from another job, when you are confirming the interview, advise the interviewer of this so they know what to expect dress-wise.
Also, I know piercings and tattoos are the norm these days but when you do your research, you may want to take notice of whether staff featured in social posts have any visible piercings or tattoos. This is usually a good indicator of how the company feels about these being visible to families.
If you have piercings or tattoos, perhaps consider covering yours up for the first interview. We know not to judge a book by its cover but some people from different generations just can’t help themselves.
We suggest covering up / removing for the first interview. In a subsequent interview or at the time of job offer be transparent about anything that might show if you were to get the job and wear the allocated uniform. They will appreciate your honesty.
4. Arrive on time
Don't rock up too early but DO NOT turn up late. 15-minutes beforehand is perfect timing. Open your Google maps, put the address in and confirm the anticipated travel time. Add an extra 10-15 minutes to that to allow for unforeseen traffic, parking issues or Public Transport delays.
In the event something is going to make you late, ring them and apologise as soon as you can so they are not waiting around. Things happen and most will understand. It is polite to notify if you think you won’t make it in time.
Getting there a little early provides the perfect time to observe your surroundings, go over your responses and prep in your head. If available, read any materials they might have in the waiting area about their business and remember to look friendly and excited to be there. You never know who is walking past and who you just might smile at.
Some other notable tips are:
Try making a nice comment: it doesn't have to be over the top, just something nice and straightforward: "I like the way you have your rooms set up" or "I was very impressed with the reception area and how you have your information displayed". Make sure you mean what you say, and you will show that you're interested in their Service.
Acknowledge children and staff: if you get a chance to meet the other Educators, be polite and smile. Also, if you have the opportunity to interact with any children, just a simple "Hello, what's your name?", or “What have you been doing today?” will count as an excellent first impression.
At the end of the interview: Once you have completed your interview, make sure you thank the Employer for taking the time to meet you, and that you look forward to hearing from them soon. If they didn't cover it, ask when they are likely to have made their decision.
I hope some if not all these points are helpful and when you have your next interview, you feel prepared and you nail it.
Good luck in getting your Talent discovered and if you need any further advice, we are always here to help.
Bye for now.