An Impressive Job Interview is Not Rocket Science

Or one would think so. Over the years as a recruiter, I’ve seen the whole range of interviews – from impressive job interviews to those that can only be called painful. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to put on a hat that I don’t wear often – that of the interviewee.  This will happen to all of us sooner or later in life.

I have been interviewing candidates for over 20 years as a manager and headhunter. During these years I have come to learn a few things that might be good to know as a candidate if you really want to make a good impression.

1. Be prepared

Seems like an obvious thing to do, but many fail on this point. What exactly do I mean? Go past the company website (which you should of course read), and read about the company you are meeting in the news, check out their social media channels (try looking for employee generated content to get a real feel for what the company is like), check the interviewers background on LinkedIn… The internet is a goldmine of information, so google it and see what else comes up.

2. Be on time

Also obvious… but it’s really annoying if you are late… or even too early! My experience says that 0-5 minutes before the appointed time is ok.  Although remember there is always some cultural standards that you should adapt to depending on the country you interview in. But yes, 2 minutes too late or 6 minutes too early = not ok ! And do remember to calculate the check-in procedure at reception. You should arrive within 5 minutes before your appointment TO your appointment, not to security for a badge.

3. Think about the way you dress

Wearing the right clothes is more important than you think. Adapt to the company and interviewer. Don’t overdress or underdress. An experienced interviewer will notice broken buttons and dirty shoes… and as much as we don’t like to admit it, your appearance will affect out overall impression of the interview.

4. Listen and be sensitive to what the interviewer wants

Too many of us love to go on and on about ourselves. Adapt the information you share to what is of most interest with your interviewer and remember to actively listen… when it’s time to talk, and when it’s time to listen.

5. Be interested – But not too interested

Be sure to ask questions about the job, the company and culture, etc. This shows that you are interested. Don’t be afraid to ask for a timeline regarding the next step…so you know what to expect, but don’t go overboard with praise about the company or you might come across as desperate which doesn’t usually go over well.

6. Be yourself and be honest

No one benefits from you being someone else in the long run. Not the company, and definitely not you. Honesty prevails. It might be the first interview in your life or maybe the interview for a CEO position in a multibillion company….same advice still apply.

Good luck and hope you manages to land the next job with a brilliant interview! Hopefully these easy-to-follow tips will help you get there.

Written by Anders Jönsson
September 2017 – France

CSA Partner for Sweden

Tel: +46 (0)73 981 68 70, +46 841 056 040