secret interviewer 2

July 7, 2015, by Laura Estrop

The Secret Interviewer – Part Two

By Jennifer Balloch, Employability Officer

Looking for some expert tips and advice about job interviews? You’ve come to the right place. This week our secret interviewers share their best and worst experiences of candidates’ pre-interview researching skills. From researching the industry, to the location of the interview, we hope their stories will give you an idea of how to impress and what to avoid in order to get that job!   

Know who you’re applying to

“I used to work for a big international oil and gas company as a graduate recruiter. I asked one candidate what he thought was happening in the industry and he explained it better than I ever could! He had clearly done his research into our competitors, the products we make, our suppliers, the market size, potential new markets; he even knew the name of our CEO. Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed by his knowledge and level of research; it proved to me that he wanted to work for our organisation. On the flip side of this, I have also had candidates say the wrong company name at interview!”

Location 101

“I used to work for a recruitment agency and we had multiple offices across the city. I had numerous candidates turn up at the wrong venue for their interview; unfortunately this happened fairly regularly and always created a negative first impression. The lesson of the story is that detail is important; always read your joining instructions carefully so that you know where and when to attend an interview and what to expect when you get there. Remember, fail to plan and you plan to fail!”

It’s all about values

“I was once interviewing candidates for a community project assistant role. The role was all about enabling teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain experience in the workplace, to help raise their aspirations, attainment and confidence at school and beyond. I interviewed one applicant who throughout the interview kept directing his questions back to his own personal gain. Asking questions about how much money he would be paid and how many hours he would have to work, instead of focusing on the opportunities and challenges he would face working with teens. He clearly didn’t have the right attitude or values for our organisation and as a result, he didn’t get the position. For me, the best advice I could give to any interviewee is to research the company you are applying for: research what they do, what their values are and who they work with.”

Look out for part three of The Secret Interviewer, where our interviewers share stories of presentation and preparation skills. In the meantime, we want to know, have you got any interview tips or blunders you would like to share with us? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

If you are unsure of where to begin researching employers, have a look on our website. Don’t forget that you can book an appointment with a careers adviser to talk about an upcoming interview.

Image: StartupStockImages 

Posted in Applying For JobsInterviews