Made it to the interview stage? Congratulations! You’re one step closer to making your next career move. Now comes the hard part – you need to take the time to prepare for the interview itself and set yourself up for success. It sounds intimidating, but with some planning, preparation and positivity, it doesn’t have to be.
To help you ace your next phone, video or face-to-face meeting, we’ve pulled together our top interview tips. Read them below and give them a go!
Phone and video interview tips
Familiarise yourself with the software
The use of digital interviewing tools has grown exponentially since the COVID-19 pandemic, with more and more companies starting to explore AI and automation for their talent acquisition needs. The problem is that every company has its preferences. So, before you attend an online interview, ask which video conferencing platform the business will be using. That way, you can download it in advance, troubleshoot any issues that may arise, and get in some practice prior to the real thing.
Find a quiet, comfortable place
We can all agree that no one wants to hear loud background noises during your phone or video interview – including you. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re in a quiet place without any distractions before you answer the call. There are plenty of tips out there for ensuring that the person on the end of a call can hear you properly – including (and bear with us here!) thinking about your lighting. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding what will make you perform at your best; if you’re attending a phone interview, don’t hesitate to stand up and walk around if it makes you feel more confident.
Check your internet connection
Testing your internet connection prior to an online interview is of utmost importance. We highly recommend doing a test call with one of our recruiters to ensure your internet connection is stable enough to hold the call and avoid dropouts. We’ll help you set everything up so that your video interview runs smoothly and avoids any unpleasant surprises.
Make sure your tech is working
It likely goes without saying that you need to check that your computer’s webcam and microphone are working properly before you attend an interview. If you don’t have a camera on your laptop, a phone or tablet will work fine – just make sure that it’s angled properly so that your face is clearly visible. Oh, and if you’re going to be using a laptop or smart device, double-check it has enough battery. You don’t want to run out of charge mid-interview!
Dress the part
First impressions are everything – even online – so treat your video interview like a face-to-face interview and dress appropriately from head to toe. Don’t know what to wear? We recommend asking about the appropriate dress code for the company you’re interviewing with ahead of time. Otherwise, you might just turn up wearing a three-piece suit to a start-up where they all wear ripped jeans and trendy T-shirts!
Face-to-face interview tips
Find out how to get there
If you’re unfamiliar with the area you need to travel to for an interview, check how to get there beforehand. This includes the location of parking if travelling by car. If you have a chance, it never hurts to drive to the office (or the site of the interview) a few days before. It can even help you build a picture of the nearby area and provide some essential small-talk topics.
Know when to travel
Don’t wait until the last minute to check bus or train times – and don’t get caught out by traffic or roadworks either! Plan ahead and leave plenty of time to get there. We advise showing up to your interview around 15 minutes before it’s due to take place so that you have plenty of time to freshen up and gather your thoughts.
Make a great first impression
Attending your first face-to-face interview in years? Don’t forget how to interact with real people! When you arrive, shake hands with everyone who’s attending the interview and greet them with a smile on your face. Once the interview is complete, remember to thank them for their time, effort, and the opportunity to interview. After all, they’re just as busy as you are!
Do your research
Part of smashing an interview is doing as much research as possible about the company you’re applying to and the interviewer you’ll be meeting with. Conduct some background research ahead of time, visit their website or social media channels, and familiarise yourself with their products, services and objectives. It’s also a good idea to read any recent news about the company – from a variety of sources – to gain a range of external perspectives.
Prepare for common interview questions
Regardless of whether you’re attending a phone, video or face-to-face interview, you need to prepare to answer a range of frequently asked questions. Fail to do this and you could miss out on a terrific job opportunity simply by appearing indecisive and slow. Some common interview questions include:
- Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
The first FAQ on our list gives you the opportunity to take control of the interview and tell the hiring manager about you as a person and what you’re interested in.
- What are your biggest strengths?
This question will give you the chance to highlight and emphasise your personal strengths, skills and qualities related to the position you’re interviewing for.
- What are your biggest weaknesses?
It’s a tough question, but it’s crucial to be honest and show your self-awareness. Don’t disguise a strength as a weakness either – being ‘too much of a perfectionist’ won’t convince anyone.
- What has been one of your key achievements to date?
This is another question that gives you the opportunity to take the limelight and outline an achievement that’s relevant to the skills required for the role.
- Can you tell us about a time when you…?
These types of competency-based questions can be hard to prepare for. Make sure to do some research on common ones asked so that you aren’t caught off guard.
Come prepared with your own questions
It’s essential to leave a lasting impression on your interviewer by asking insightful questions. Not only do these reiterate that you’re interested in the role, but they also ensure you have everything you need to make an informed decision. If you don’t know what to ask, here are some questions we recommend:
- Are there any reasons why I wouldn’t be suitable for this role?
If you only ask one killer question during your interview, make it this one. It’ll allow you to understand if there are any concerns that need to be addressed immediately.
- What is one area the team is currently struggling with?
Asking this question is a great way to learn about the specific areas the company needs assistance with so that you can position your skills as an invaluable addition.
- What will a typical day look like for me in this role?
This simple yet effective question will give you insights into what it’s like to work for the company so that you can determine whether the job is right for you.
- What do you like most about working for this company?
If you want to gain an insider’s perspective on the very best aspects of working for the particular company you’re interviewing for, this is the question to ask.
- Is there anything else I can provide to help you make a decision?
An easy way to reiterate that you’re interested in the position is to ask the interviewer if there’s anything else they need to assess your suitability for the job.
Send a thank-you note
Did you know that only 1 in 4 job applicants send a thank-you note to potential employers? While it may sound simple, sending a well-written thank-you message goes a long way to demonstrate that you’re a suitable candidate for the job and emphasise your interest in the role. It’s also a powerful technique to ensure the hiring manager remembers you after an interview.
Secure your dream role with Edge Tech
At Edge Tech, we have over a decade of combined experience in recruiting top talent for emerging technologies. That means we’re well placed to help you through every step of the interview process. If you need any help or guidance on your upcoming interview, we’d love to help you land that dream job!
Get in touch with us on 01908 382 398 or email [email protected] to see how we can support you.