I had a fair-sized team with a high turnover rate, so rather than do any actual marketing (as per my job title), I spent most of my time interviewing.
Here’s some thoughts, from the other side of the table:
- Show up five minutes early. More makes you incapable of managing your time, and is intrusive on my day. Late is not acceptable. Arriving exactly on-time is considered late. Remember to allow time for the lift, the wee, the calming breaths…
- It’s better to show up in a suit in a room full of jeans, than in jeans in a room full of suits. Air on the side of caution.
- If you are collected from the reception area and walked to the room by your interviewer, make small talk, do NOT walk in silence. The office location, the weather, anything…
- Be nice to the doorman, the receptionist, everyone, you never know who they are and who they might speak to.
- If you’re nervous, it’s OK to say that. It actually has a remarkable effect of calming you down. I interviewed a young guy who was so nervous, he was shaking and had a clammy hand (more on that later). So I acknowledged that he was nervous and that I wasn’t a monster, and I made us both a cuppa. I got him to chat about his journey in and we naturally flowed into the interview. He ended up being one of the best in my team.
- Handshake, god, please get it right. Dry, firm, brief. Don’t be clammy, don’t wipe it on your trouser leg, don’t do a Stone Cold Steve Austin bone crusher, don’t do it for longer than one second, because then we’re just holding hands and I’m not best pleased.
- Background and experience are important, I’m not about to hire a doctor to be a plumber, but if you are friendly and likeable and well, normal, I’m going to hire you over the slightly-creepy-vibe-giving or dull-as-dish-water guy every time, even if his CV is that bit more relevant than yours.
- Ask about the culture, the team, the socials, what your day-to-day would be (job descriptions are generally bollocks). You might just need a job, but try and get one you actually like.
Good luck x