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over 3 years ago by James Bokhorst

It’s often difficult to present a profile to a hiring manager, secure an interview for a candidate, to only then watch them trip up at the finishing line due to something minor. The following list is comprised of advice gathered from the years of expertise from colleagues here at Rize Worldwide, as how to best impress whilst either on a phone or face to face interview.

1. First Impressions

It’s cliché to hear, but the first 2 minutes of meeting someone new, will always be one of the most crucial moments when forming an opinion of someone, whether this is over the phone or meeting in person. On the basis of contractual work, interviews are usually more likely to happen over the phone, so make that you’re conveying confidence in your tone. The best way to do this is to believe in what you’re saying. A good start is the best way to grab and maintain someone’s attention.

2. Over prepare

It may sound simple, and though its something you’ve been told to do throughout your entire life, we sometimes forget to do the simple things to give us the best shot. Whether you’re brushing up your language skills for an international interview, going over your CV, re-reading the job description for the 10th time of the day or doing your research on the technical side of things, it’s always best to over prepare before an interview. It’s always best to focus your research on the company you’re interviewing with, and the interviewer.

3. Give yourself time

Sometimes this is a difficult one if the person performing your interview has a busy schedule and can only meet you at short notice, but always check if it is a possibility to give yourself at least a day to prepare.  Otherwise you’ll be kicking yourself further down the line when the manager greets you by your name, and you follow this up with radio silence whilst your brain attempts to remember theirs.

4. Remember that it’s a two way process

Sometimes we can get caught up in the Q & A format of typical job interview, but don’t forget that it’s a conversation. Sometimes managers prefer you wait till the end of the interview to ask questions, but feel it out. If there are some pauses, ask the interviewer some questions from time to time, show an interest in what they have to say as well. It will help you stand out and also show your human element during what can be a very mechanical and monotonous process.

5. Harness the power of references and names

Now this one doesn’t even need to wait until the interview. If you know some people who have previously worked, or currently work at the company you’re interviewing for, it can hold a lot of weight in the success of your application. Make sure you make it known to either the recruiter or hiring manager you’re speaking with that you know people; particularly those of whom you’re sure won’t drag your name through the mud.

6. Ask plenty of questions

Something I’m sure you would have read a thousand times, and even so the importance of which will never be stressed enough. Without those key questions at the end, or throughout an interview it simply shows a lack of interest on your side. It also gives you the chance to play a little inception on your part, with questions such as ‘when would I start’, ‘how many people will be on my team’, it makes it seem as if the job is already yours. Please do however stay away from questions regarding money, at least at the beginning anyway, some managers like to work this way, but there have been too many instances of negotiations turning sour during the initial interview.

Having worked at Rize Worldwide as a recruiter for close to a year now, I can tell you with complete confidence, and I’m sure that my colleagues would agree that the results from those who prepared for their interviews contrasted very favourable against those who didn’t. On occasion, RIZE will host the conference between the manager and the candidate, where the recruiter will be present during the process of the interview. Suffice to say, there is a much higher success rate of positive interviews, coming from candidates doing all of the above. Never take for granted the little things, as they contribute a lot more to the larger picture of employment than you might believe. 

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