I’ve always been interviewed and not the interviewer.
However, I recently sat on the other side of an interview which was a very unique experience to the past. In preparation for the interview, I sat with some of the leaders on the floor and some friends from HR to gain their perspectives on interviews and to know what to look for etc.
Today I’m sharing with you some things you should know before going into an interview:
The interview starts the moment you walk into the building
As soon as you walk into the building for your interview you need to be on your A-Game. The people working in the building will most likely all know each other and they will talk about you before you walk in and afterwards. Give a good impression to everyone from the coffee lady to the receptionist. You may even bump into your interviewer on your way to the interview.
It’s also important that you don’t act one way outside of the room and then another when you’re in it. It’s annoying and it’ll make the interviewer question your authenticity.
If you can’t back it up or can’t remember it, don’t put it on your CV
The person that is interviewing you has read and re-read your CV. The most common type of question you’ll be asked in an interview is something along the lines of ‘You mentioned you know skill x, explain or demonstrate it’. If you can’t explain or give examples of it, don’t add it in your CV or you’ll look like a liar in the interview.
For example, when I was in university I programmed in C# (it’s a programming language). That was over 4 years ago. If I added that to my CV and they asked me demonstrate it (and they could) I’d be blank because while I have an understanding of programming and I was once good at it. I haven’t done it in so long that I’ve honestly forgotten most of it, so I wouldn’t add it to my CV.
Thoroughly go over your CV before you go into the interview
This is also related to the point above. Sometimes you go into an interview over a month after handing in your CV, it’s normal to have forgotten some of the detail in your CV, but it will leave a bad impression on the interviewer. Make sure you memorize your CV because the interviewer will be asking you questions based off of what you wrote.
Remember that your CV is the only thing the interviewer has to reference. If you wrote that you were working on Project X for 15 months, you can’t go into the interview saying you were on it for two years. Knowing this information also shows that you’ve prepared for your interview.
Be yourself, it’s really easy to spot fakeness and inauthenticity
Someone told me a story of how this one lady she was interviewing was clearly not being authentic because during the interview the lady spoke with this model C accent (those who know, know) but the accent kept going away every now and then and her real one would come out. Now, understand this well, the problem wasn’t that she didn’t have the right accent. The problem was that she felt the need to fake an accent which raised flags. I don’t know if that lady ever got the job or not but the interviewer said it was the worst thing she’d ever experienced and was quite annoyed by it and didn’t recommend her.
Be yourself. Don’t try to fake it because your true self will always come out. If you think they won’t like who you are then maybe you shouldn’t be trying to get a job there.
One last takeaway..
Remember that if you’ve gotten an interview it means that they’ve already read your CV and know you’re qualified. You’re now going to be judged on a host of other qualities beyond your CV.