How To Nail A Job Interview, According To A Recruitment Expert

Switching up careers for 2020? Discover what will set you apart from the rest with our insider tips.

It’s been said that job interviews are like first dates.

Initial impressions count, awkwardness can occur, and outcomes are unpredictable. 

While there is no one way to woo a hiring manager, a little due diligence before, during, and after the interview will ensure you present the best version of your professional self.

Preparation is key, according to Ed O'Riordan of the recruitment event series UpStarter.

"You will no doubt be reviewing the role requirements and how you match the role anyway, so
why not make it into a presentation? Many interviews will require a presentation but there are some benefits to creating one even when not asked.

"In it, you could discuss your suitability for the role and the role's requirements based on your previous experience coupled with some ideas for your first 90 days in the job."

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Manly Man

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Secondly, the STAR interview technique is something most successful people swear by.

"STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result," according to Ed.

"It is particularly useful when structuring your answer for competency-based questions on
how you dealt with previous events. Typical questions you might be asked could include ‘tell
me about a time when you..’ etc.

"It is broken down into Situation; setting the scene of the example, Task; your responsibilities in the situation, Action: steps you took to address it, ensure you talk about the actions you and not your team undertook. Finally, R is for the result which is the outcomes your actions achieved."

Knowing your own CV inside out also proves your seriousness when it comes to the job.

"Make sure you know your CV inside out, as you will be scrutinised on it as the interviewer delves into your past experience and achievements. While It may sound obvious not everyone adheres to this rule!"

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Fourthly, knowing your surroundings is key.

"There’s nothing worse than arriving flustered to the interview because you can’t find the location. You could, if you have time, take a trip out to the location the night before to ensure you know how you’ll be able to get there in adequate time."

Showing a keen and learned interest in the company you are potentially about to join is an easy win, too. 

"You will invariably always be asked for your questions on the company interviewing you. Prepare for this question and maybe even come with a question for the recruiter," says Ed.

"Don’t make the cardinal error of simply just asking about salary and benefits. Research developments in the company, new product launches and new opportunities in the market. You could position the question as perhaps asking how these changes may impact you or the opportunities there might be for you to become involved in these developments and help support them."

Finally, practice with a friend. It’s important to do some desk research and prepare written notes for the day itself, but nothing beats practising out loud your answers. Recruit a friend and practice with them. You may realise you are taking too long with a certain answer, have missed one of the STAR steps or you may simply realise you don’t remember your written notes as well as you thought!"

UpStarter Women in Tech

The UpStarter ‘Women in Tech’ event takes place this Thursday, January 30 in Dublin.

It is an exclusive recruitment event to help promote 50/50 gender balance in technology companies. The 200 candidate attendees, from a variety of specialist backgrounds including software engineering, analytics, project management, technology consulting and multilingual sales, have been passed through a screening process to determine their suitability for the event based on the hiring criteria of each attendee company.

Companies attending the event include Aylien, Cainthus, Datalex, Vodafone, Hostelworld, Rent the Runway, Ericsson, Autodesk, BrownThomas, Arnotts, Fivetran, Client Solutions, Software Placements and ESB. Find out more on the website here

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