You’ve registered with your recruiter, your CV has been sent to the hiring manager and you’ve secured an interview. Congrats! The next step involves preparing for an interview. We all know this can take time to do properly, especially if you haven’t met your interviewer before and are unsure of what to expect from the conversation and what they’re likely to want to see in their prospective candidates.
While there’s a definitive “what not to bring up” list of topics to consider, there are also certain points you should. The below list should help you twofold: firstly, you’ll gain more information about the position and secondly, you’ll give a fantastic first impression to your interviewer.
1. How you would approach the role
You could raise this at any point during the interview, depending on when feels most natural to do so. But bear in mind the need to broach the subject delicately. This means that you should avoid terrifying your employer by telling them all the ways in which you’ll revolutionise the job and department. Consider, instead, talking through some of the challenges you imagine you’ll face in the role, and the steps you might take to overcome them. Your views will demonstrate a consideration that many other candidates wouldn’t think about.
2. Your past experiences
It comes as no surprise that much of the conversation is likely to be taken up with your previous experience, but it’s how you tailor this to the job requirements that will set you apart. Hopefully you will have had a chance to read the job description ahead of the meeting. We’d recommend going through this with a highlighter and pulling out key areas that might be relevant to your experience. In the interview, weave these key areas into the conversation wherever you can – it will reinforce your suitability to the role at hand.
Culture is critical to your long-term success and happiness within a business, but it can be tricky to ascertain how well you’ll fit in at interview stage. Don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer about the team environment, what your new boss’ personality is like and the kind of attitude they believe is most likely to succeed in the role.
4. Considered questions
Always ask questions in an interview. It might be that you think of some questions on the fly, but in our opinion, it is usually best to prepare these in advance. These will probably come about quite naturally as you read the job description and research the business. It’s also possible that the answers to your carefully-prepared questions are revealed in the interview itself. If this happens, it’s probably a sign that you’ve had a strong conversational (as opposed to one-sided) interview – which is a good thing!
5. The company
Talking about the company as a whole, rather than your position within it shows that you’ve given consideration to the wider business’s vision. It displays enthusiasm, intelligence and demonstrates that you’re looking at the position from a long-term perspective.