If you’re reading this, you’re already successful.
From a pool of hundreds, potentially thousands of applicants, your CV and cover letter have been selected for the job you wanted. The company want to progress your application and an interview is arranged.
Naturally, you’re feeling a little bit nervous – but that’s to be expected. This is an opportunity to take a step up in your career, but it’s also your final chance to shine before a hiring decision is made. Your potential Employer doesn’t know that you’re right for the role unless you assert your expertise and prove your passion for the company, the industry and the part you could play in it.
However, that isn’t to say the Employer is holding all the cards. While you may be eager to impress, the company is equally as eager to reach the end of the recruitment process. They want you to be the successful candidate just as much as you do – it means less costs, less time and less disruption to workflow. Having already made it to the interview, you are in a position to ask your potential Employer why you should choose them. You aren’t about to join any company just for a salary.
Remember your worth
It’s only natural to feel tense before a job interview – however, you shouldn’t allow nerves to turn into intimidation. At the end of the day, the hiring manager saw potential in your application and believes you have enough talent to request a formal interview with you – don’t fall back into the role of a child being called to the headmaster’s office for a telling off.
You know you’ve got what it takes, but self-belief can often slip when stress rears its ugly head before an interview begins. If this sounds familiar, it might help to take some time prior to the interview to jot down reasons why you are the right for the role. Not only will this energise you ahead of the meeting, it will ensure no Employer takes advantage if you aren’t feeling the most confident.
Ask for feedback on your performance
While you may not want to end your interview by asking your potential Employer whether or not you got the job, you’re within every right to request feedback on your performance. How you phrase the question depends on just how bold you want to be: you may ask whether they felt there was anything that stood out as a reason not to hire you, for example, or whether there are any gaps in your skills or qualifications that would hurt your chances of getting the job.
Alternatively, you might choose to cut to the chase and be more direct, asking your potential Employer whether there is anything more you can do to convince them you’re right for the role. Sometimes it takes more than stories of past experiences to prove a point: this could even be an opportunity for you to take the initiative and suggest a project or task to complete at home that allows you to showcase your capabilities.
Put the Employer in the spotlight
When an Employer asks a candidate whether they have any questions, they expect the following: what’s the dress code? What will I be doing in my first week? How long is lunch? Seldom do candidates ask why they should choose the company and so, more often than not, Employers don’t expect the big questions. However, if you’ve impressed them so far, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t put them in the spotlight for a moment.
Questions about culture, salary and company values are all important in making a decision as to whether to take the job – and, if you’re lucky enough to be attending more than one interview, it will be these answers that will influence your decision should you be successful.
About the author
Kate Allen is the MD of Allen Associates, one of Oxfordshire’s leading independent recruitment agencies, that specialises in Marketing, Finance, PA/Admin and HR roles. In June 2018, Allen Associates launched their first London office, specialising in Marketing, HR and PA/Admin roles.