A job interview can be challenging and slightly nerve-wracking. However, ensuring that you arrive fully prepared gives you the best chance of progressing to the next stage and ultimately securing a job offer. The interview process is typically comprised of three stages, starting with an introductory teams call, followed by a more technical round and ending with in an in-office or in-person meeting.
Recognising that each stage holds equal significance, it is crucial to maximize your chances of success. To achieve this, here are some key preparation areas to cover beforehand.
Before the first stage call it will be essential to conduct thorough research on the company and team members who will be interviewing you. Consider covering the following areas:
- Gain a solid understanding of the companies offering’s including its general product/service. Familiarise yourself with its history, milestones, and any recent news or events.
- Use LinkedIn to delve into the interviewers background, explore how their career has progressed, the kinds of companies they have worked for, and identify any similarities or common ground you may share.
- Research into the industry including, their competitors, and challenges within the space.
- Depending on the position you are applying for, delve into their financial health, and position. This knowledge may give you the competitive edge.
CV and job description revision:
Two common interview mistakes occur when candidates are not able to confidently talk through the job description (JD) as well as their cv itself. With that being said, revising both the JD and your own cv is a quintessential area of interview preparation.
- Examine the job description meticulously, identifying points aligning with your prior experiences and acknowledging areas where you lack direct experience (emphasising honesty)
- Be prepared to provide examples demonstrating your application of responsibilities outlined in the job description. Develop potential case studies showcasing your competence
- Identify cross overs and similarities between the job description and your cv, thus allowing you to showcase your relevant experience during the interview
- Make sure you can give adequate, honest reason for any gaps or short job stints within your cv
Motivation and questions:
The company in question will seek a clear understanding of your why you are looking to apply for this position, so your clear motivations and effective questions will be essential. Not only does it showcase your genuine interest in the company, but also illustrates your approach in ensuring a strong fit between your goals and the company’s vision.
Have between three and five, relevant and engaging questions prepared to ask at the end of the call. There are many effective routes you can go down, depending on the role, but here are some areas to focus on:
- Team dynamic and collaboration
- Role expectations (how is success measured)
- Company growth
- Company culture
- Technologies and tools
- Training and on-boarding
During the interview:
Navigating through a job interview requires more than just showcasing your qualifications and experience; it demands confidence, and strategic communication. Here is a guide on how to conduct yourself during an actual interview itself, whether it be through teams, a phone call, or an in person meet.
First impressions matter:
- Dress professionally, opting for a collar or blazer. (This will depend on the type of role you are interviewing for. However, it is always better to be overdressed than under)
- Be punctual and approach the reception or virtual meeting in a confident and friendly manor; as this will lay the tone for the rest of the interview
For virtual meetings, select a quiet, disturbance-free environment to convey full attention and professionalism
- Clearly articulate your thoughts and experiences. With concise responses to common questions, avoid highly technical language assuming the interviewer does not know anything about your area of expertise and work, to ensure you are giving enough detail
- Pay attention to non-verbal cues, maintaining good eye contact, as well as positive body language (avoiding crossing arms and slouching)
- Refrain from reading off notes or your laptop, as it may convey a lack of preparation
Show enthusiasm and willingness to learn:
- Express genuine enthusiasm for the role and the company
- Demonstrate an eagerness to learn by being open to embracing new challenges. You are unlikely to be able to tick every box within the JD, so by showcasing the passion to learn and grow you will be a far more desired candidate
- If the role involves further education, such as ACCA, ACT, CIMA, express your willingness to pursue such qualifications
Once you have completed you interview it can feel like somewhat of a waiting game, however, there are a few do’s and don’ts that if followed, will give you that slight advantage.
- Send a thank-you email within 24 hours, expressing appreciation for the interview and reiterating your interest in the position. Use this opportunity to briefly reinforce your key qualifications and how they align with the company’s needs
- Follow up on any additional information or documents requested during the interview
- Familiarise yourself with the potential next steps in the hiring process
- Report back to your recruiter (if going through a recruitment agency)
- Refrain from over-contacting and immediate feedback or decisions
- Don’t contact the interviewer excessively or too soon after the interview
- Don’t put your job search on hold or stop other potential interview stages
If you would like any further support in preparing for an interview, or to discuss the current treasury market or hiring needs, reach out to Ben Kellett.