What to do when you’ve secured an interview
You’ve secured a formal interview.
Fantastic. Well done. But now what?
What steps can you take to ensure you stand out from the pack?
Frankly, there’s a host of things you can do and many still don’t. In this blog, I cover off some of the basics, allowing you to give the best possible account of yourself – and blow the competition away!
1. Research the company
It never ceases to amaze me how many people go into an interview for a London Procurement role without doing the proper research.
As soon as you’ve secured an interview, start investigating. But do it in bite-sized chunks so you don’t overwhelm yourself.
Go deep on the company website.
Look at any results the company is putting out. Stay abreast of anything topical by looking at recent PR or news stories.
You can even go on Companies House and print out their financial results.
And, of course, use LinkedIn to look up anyone you’re likely to meet on the day. There’s an incredible amount of information at your disposal online. Use it.
2. Do a dummy run
First impressions last and one of the best ways to make a bad first impression is by turning up late.
The last thing you want is to underestimate the journey and stress yourself out of the day.
You’ll also want to ensure it’s a practical commute moving forwards.
Don’t rely on Google Maps – get out there and do a dummy run.
3. Internal ambassadors
Who do you know who currently works there or has worked there previously?
These individuals are a goldmine for gaining not only potential advocates within the organisation but also invaluable intel others won’t be able to find online.
4. Establish the culture
Most people won’t do this, but if you can take half an hour one day, perhaps over lunch, to scope out the business, it will make you feel more confident on the day as you won’t be going in blind.
Take the time to find a nearby café, grab a coffee and observe, like a fly on the wall.
How do the people entering and leaving the business come across?
How are they dressed?
Can you get a sense of the culture?
Culture fit is so important these days and by taking the time to get a feel for it before your interview, you’ll feel more relaxed, and be able to emulate it more accordingly on the big day.
5. Practise answering questions
Last but by no means least: practice!
It may seem obvious, but this is the one I most often see people slip up on.
Since the dawn of job interviews, the same questions have always come up. So let’s focus on one of the most common: the CV run through.
Make sure you’re ready for it.
This is less about going into the minutiae and more about progression and achievements to date.
You don’t want to bore the interviewer in the detail, so be clear and concise, but focus on storytelling – and, above all, make it relevant!
By asking the question, they’re looking for you to bring your CV to life and evaluating synergies between what you’ve done and what you’ll be doing if you get the job.
Furthermore, they’re assessing your soft skills, so give the interviewer a reason to care by making it interesting.
Deliver your answers with passion, enthusiasm and energy.
James Dobbin is Procurement Heads’ London Procurement Recruitment Manager.