Think getting the job interview is the hard part? Think again. While adapting your CV and perfecting the art of the cover letter are important, performing well at an interview goes a lot deeper than polishing your shoes and watching your Ps and Qs. Especially when you consider that you’re now competing against thousands of other applicants – literally thousands as one in five UK workers are planning to move jobs before the end of the year. So what marks you out as a perfect candidate? The perfect candidate is interested, informed and interactive and knows the best way to showcase all three at the end of the interview when you’re asked if you have any questions.
Think about it – if the average short list consists of 8-10 candidates, chances are they’ll have similar experience to you. Likewise, all candidates called to interview will have a similar skill set, sure you might have a slightly higher education level or an ace of a project up your sleeve, but by and large all candidates, and especially at the last round, are of a similar professional ability. What marks you out, and what hiring managers are looking for is an attitude and aptitude to fit in with company culture and become a valuable part of the team. Showcasing the Three Is at the Q&A portion of an interview is how to secure an offer.
An interested candidate is going to make an invested employee, which is what every hiring manager wants. It pays to have some prepared and standard questions ready – such as what does the team structure look like and how is the company adapting to hybrid working – but preparing some role specific questions will mark you out as an interested candidate. Ask what success looks like in the role, especially within the first 100 days. Ask what roadblocks the hiring manager can see the new hire facing within the first 60 days. And don’t be afraid to ask why the role has become available. These questions show that you not only want the role, but are prepared to hit the ground running.
Prepare some company specific questions ahead of your interview. Did the company recently win a tender that’s the talk of the industry? Did it acquire a smaller business or win an award? Asking questions that show you’ve done your research shows that you have the ability to adopt a 360 view of situations and problems which is of huge benefit to an employer. Being informed about the role and the industry is a given, going the extra mile and becoming informed about the company and its competitors is a winning strategy.
Are you interviewing for a senior role? Then showcasing your communication style and skills is important, and asking questions at the end of the interview is an excellent way to do this. Circle back to a point the interviewer made earlier in the meeting and base a question around that. Ask the interviewer to elaborate on a point made during the interview. And always ask if the hiring manager sees any gaps on your CV or work experience that they’re concerned about and would like you to elaborate on. You want to show that you can communicate clearly, concisely and collaboratively and deal with feedback in a constructive manner.
Are you ready to road test the Three Is? If you’re ready to put your new interview skills into practice, there are dozens of companies currently hiring for roles across all sectors on The London Economic job board. We’ve selected three of the best below but explore all your options on the job board today.
HR Administrator, LDN London
The Role: The HR administrator for London Disability Network is the perfect role for a HR professional looking to move to the next stage of their career within a busy, collaborative business.
The Responsibilities: You will be responsible for supporting the HR team and staff, managing the full employee life cycle, updating the HR system, overseeing compliance checks and processing confidential HR documentation.
The Requirements: You will have at least three years experience working in a HR department including recruitment and compliance, you will also be able to work under pressure to meet set deadlines.
Solar PV Projects Engineer Surveyor, Hollis Global
The Role: The Solar PV Projects Engineer Surveyor role is an opportunity for a multi-skilled solar PV project surveyor to assist with overseeing the development of solar PV projects for clients throughout the UK
The Responsibilities: You will be responsible for the project management of solar PV projects working with internal teams, appointed specialist contractors, regulatory bodies and clients to support project work which can typically range from £100k to £1 million. You will also assist with the co-ordination of portfolio instructions.
The Requirements: You will have a minimum of 3 years experience developing commercial solar PV systems while experience with battery storage and electric vehicle charging is desired but not essential.
Product Owner – Payments SME, Lloyds Banking Group
The Role: This role will see the Product Owner work with the Lloyds team to enable customers to make and receive payments knowing they are protected from fraud and financial crime.
The Responsibilities: You will work with the team to ensure customers continue to transact cross-border payments in a safe and efficient manner. You will also lead the build of and migration to a new international payments platform whilst ensuring LBG maintains Regulatory and Scheme Compliance.
The Requirements: You will have experience working with international and high value payment schemes such as T2, SWIFT and CHAPS in an agile environment. Whilst experience in a product owner role is an advantage, this role may also be of interest if you are currently a business analyst or Payments SMEs looking to take on a new challenge and develop your career.