8 Interview Tips From A Recruiter

31st May 2017

interview tips allanahlouise

I have worked in recruitment for nearly two years now and in that time I have done countless interviews. We are talking an average of 3 a day, every day, for 19/20 months. Most of them have been for people that want to be call centre agents, so they are just ordinary people like you and me going for jobs that you, your neighbour or your best friend might go for.

Most of them have been for people that want to be call centre agents, so they are just ordinary people like you and me going for jobs that you, your neighbour or your best friend might go for.

Whether I have wanted to or not, I have seen quite a few interview fails, and I know some of the behaviours and habits that will instantly put an interviewer off you, and what might just make you their favourite interview of the day.

Arrive on time.

By on time, I mean 15 minutes before your interview is due to start. Arriving an hour early is pointless and makes your interviewer feel obliged to upset their schedule to see you sooner, and arriving an hour late is just setting yourself up for a loss, that’s pretty self-explanatory.

If in doubt, always over dress.

It doesn’t matter how modest or grotesque a salary you’re going for you should always make an effort to appear professional at your interview. If you’re not sure of the dress code, assume it’s smarter than it probably is. No one is ever going to put a mark against your name because you put in ‘too much effort’ for an interview. At the same time though there is a common sense approach to it, if you’re going to work for a niche digital marketing agency where everyone wears jeans everyday and the sight of a suit makes them drop their soya latte then don’t wear one.

If you smoke, we know.

That cheeky little nerve-calming fag you had just outside that you were sure no one would know about? Everyone most definitely knows about it. Also, odds are if you smoke in your home, that passport you just handed your interviewer to photocopy also stinks of smoke. I’m not saying you have to give up the nicotine before going to an interviewer, but do make a bit of an effort to make it or avoid having a cigarette that morning as best as you can. I know it seems pedantic, and an interviewer shouldn’t care that you smoke if you can do a job, but when you are sitting in a small interview room with someone and all you can smell is stale cigarettes, it does impact your impression of somebody.

We want you to be at least a little bit nervous.

The one thing that puts me off somebody when interviewing is total arrogance. It is very obvious when a person thinks they know better than everyone and thinks they have nothing to learn. It is very obvious that these people will not be a team player and frankly it just makes you look like a bit of a dick and no one wants to hire a dick. Showing a little bit of nerves shows that you genuinely care about the interview and the outcome.

Just answer the question.

I asked you about a time that you went the extra mile for an employer, and you have spent the past 7 minutes bitching about how much of an arse your last manager was and how you don’t even know how he got the job and he was so unfair to you… BUT DID I ASK. NO

If your interviewer asks you a specific question, particularly one that looks for you to give an example, it is for a reason. We want to know if you can do the thing that we need you to be able to do for the job. Going off on a tangent and missing the point of the question will score you no brownie points.

I know this can be a nerves issue for a lot of people, I know I talk far too much when I get nervous but it is so important to try and focus on what your interviewer is really asking.

Every interview answer should have a beginning, a middle and an end.

This is for behavioural interview questions where your interviewer asks you to tell them about a time you have done a particular thing. You need to think of it like you are telling them a little story – the beginning is the situation you were faced with, the middle is what you personally done to, and the end is the outcome of your actions.

Research the company you are interviewing for.

The first thing you will get asked in most interviews is what you already know about the company you are applying for. It dumbfounds me the number of people that do not know what the company does, or what their logo even looks like. Maybe it’s from being part of the internet/psycho girl generation but the first thing I would do if a company reached out to me for an interview would be to GOOGLE THE SHIT OUT OF THEM.

I’m not saying you need to know the entire hierarchy of the company from CEO right down to Margaret the receptionist but have a look into their background. When were they founded? What values do they have? Even just mentioning a few things you have seen on the website, or saying ‘I liked the look of the website!’ is 100x better than going ‘eh I think they are a call centre?’.

Have questions prepared for your interviewer.

I mean don’t give them the Spanish inquisition, but nothing makes a candidate look more serious about a role than when they ask questions about it. Have 1 or 2 questions ready to ask will make it look like you have genuinely put thought in your application and also that you can actually see yourself working there. If you’re stuck for something to ask, ask about the team you could potentially be working with. Don’t go asking about holidays and pay quite yet.

I hope some of these helped you out a bit, and if you do have any interviews coming up the my fingers are crossed for you! 

 

 Allanah xxx

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  • Siobhan

    This is such great advice, particularly from someone who knows exactly what an interviewer looks for. I always arrive early, partly to show I’m punctual and partly because of nerves hahaha. I really like the idea of structuring answers the way you’ve described – makes it so much easier to get across everything you want to show off about yourself. I sometimes go off on a bit of a tangent so I’ll definitely be using that in my next interview! Can’t wait to read more from you xxx

    • Allanah Methven

      Really glad you liked this Siobhan and thank you for taking the time to comment it means a lot! Arriving early definitely makes the whole thing a bit less stress-free doesn’t it!

      xxx

  • This is such useful advice! It’s great to hear from somebody on the ‘other side’ of the fence – I’m sure this post will help a lot of people. Interviews majorly freeeaak me out so I’ll take all the advice I can get lol

    • Allanah Methven

      Haha I think they freak us all about, practice makes perfect!

  • I have always wanted the perspective of interviews from the recruiter. These are really helpful tips and make me feel less worried about going into a interview. I like that you mention that it is good to be a little bit nervous. Great read!

    hayley // hayleyxmartin.com

    • Allanah Methven

      Really glad you found it helpful Hayley! Thank you for taking the time to comment xx

  • This was such a great and helpful post Allanah! I feel like I always struggle with interviews, and although I don’t have any coming up right now I’ll definitely keep your tips in mind for my next interview – whenever that’s going to be! 🙂 xx

    • Allanah Methven

      I hope it helps you girlie! Interviews are always so daunting and any advise is good to have! I hope whenever you are next in the interview seat it goes great xxx

  • The Sunday Mode

    Loved reading posts like this from the other side of the bench, I’m not looking for a job right now but I like keeping up with all of this kind of stuff to keep my sharp!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

    • Allanah Methven

      Hope it helps girl! Can never be too polished! x

  • Laura 🐰

    These are some really great tips for sure! I’m always so-so-so nervous before my interviews, so that post really comes in handy! x
    Lauraconteur ♥

    • Allanah Methven

      Really hope they help you lovely! Interviews are always so scary! x

  • This is really useful advice! I’ve only had part time jobs while I’m at uni but this is all really helpful!
    Sarah x
    http://www.saraheliza.co.uk/

  • This was an incredibly useful post! I always get so worried about what to do and what not to do at interviews so laying it all out like this is invaluable! I’ve bookmarked this and saved it for future use! Thank you!

    Abbey 🌸 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

  • Great tips! I work in HR as well and I think a lot of people generally struggle with the questions to ask the interviewers. To this day, the worst question I received was “I’m currently collecting benefits… do you guys pay under the table?”

  • Han

    This is such useful advice, it is really interesting to hear what someone who is recruiting has to say about it! x

    Han | lifewithhan.blog

  • Kaiesha Stewart

    I was offered a job the other day and the interviewer said a massive positive of mine was that I just answered the question rather than blabbing ha so it must be very common.

    http://www.kaieshastewart.com

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