Did you know? 33% of 2000 surveyed bosses indicated they know within the first 90 seconds of the interview if they will hire that candidate? We break down the pre, during and post interview process to help you nail your next one! Happy reading 🙂
Before the interview:
- Prepare and practise standard fit & job-specific questions
- A good methodology to structure your fit answers is the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method. Typical questions include: strengths and weaknesses, a time when you lead a team or disagreed with a colleague, how you dealt with a difficult situation, etc. (Tip: List up to 3 examples for each situation so you are prepared if the interviewer says “Great, give me another example”)
- The key to job-specific questions is research on what the format is and practise to familiarise yourself with it. Consulting firms will make you do a Case Study interview, while financial firms may ask you to build an excel model.
- Do your due-diligence on the company, the role and your own CV!
- Do factual research on the company (e.g. web searches on revenue, core values, and recent news items). Read through the detailed job description being advertised and look up the Linkedin profiles of those in similar roles. Make sure you can speak to each experience stated on your resume in a confident, honest and succinct manner. (Tip: set a Google alert on the company so you can get latest news without proactively searching for it!)
- If possible, arrange an informational interview
- If you are able to, there is immense value in speaking with someone who works at your firm of interest to inquire about the firm culture, career path and show proactivity. Treat this opportunity the same way you would an interview: be prepared, interested and alert!
- Don’t underestimate the importance of sound sleep and a good meal
- Stick to your trusted schedule and don’t change your usual bed-time and morning routine (unless it consists of Diet Coke for breakfast, in which case that’s a whole different story my friend – jokes). Opt for a balanced and fibre rich breakfast with healthy protein and carbs to provide you sustained energy through the morning!
During the interview
- If you’re stuck, have tricks up your sleeve to buy some time
- For example, you can tell the interviewer that you would like to take a minute to pull your thoughts together, or repeat the question to buy more time instead of jumping straight to an unstructured answer.
- Be yourself (but not your Netflix and chill self)
- Be genuine and honest during your interview and let your personality shine through. Ensure you maintain eye contact, and keep your body language alert. Remember this is the first impression you’re making!
- Interview them too!
- As you get more senior, you’ll realise how important this is. You will be spending hours at this place, grow old (er) and hopefully wiser with the people there, so you want to get a feel of the place to see if you’ll like it there. Try to research and get an idea of their values, their culture, diversity, training and employee growth programmes and ask intelligent questions.
- Avoid asking questions you can Google the answers to
- A candidate that asks the interviewer to list the markets they have presence in in Asia, or what % the stock moved last week will likely annoy rather than impress the interviewer. Ask open-ended questions that value the interviewer’s insight, e.g. “What is the best part about working at the firm” instead of “Do you like working here?” A reliable one is “What are the next steps?”
After the interview
- Follow up, even if you don’t get the job
- Send a thank you note to the interviewers / HR / the people you were liaising with after your interview if you have their emails. I think it’s a great idea to do this the same day; it puts you front of their mind. Do use your judgement when drafting these emails, maybe you need to drop one of the two interviewees a line? If you didn’t get the job, following up can lead to invaluable feedback that can help improve your next interview
- Follow up not just with the people you interviewed with but also with the people (if any) who helped you
- I can’t stress this one enough. If your mentor emails resulted in an interview, drop the mentor a note to inform him / her of the progress. This makes the relationship less transactional and more genuine. It also makes the mentor more likely to keep you in mind if some other opportunity comes up in the future!
I also want to highlight an important point: the interview is only one part of your application. There could be several other factors apart from the interview that contribute to not landing that job: your interview went well but someone else’s went better, your entire application didn’t stack up when analysed together, the interviewer didn’t think you would be a good fit; the team was later looking to fill a certain type of criteria (e.g. languages spoken) etc.
Good luck and if you are interested in any specific topic in detail regarding interviews please drop us a line at email@example.com!