When you turn up to the interview, the client will make a decision in the first 2 minutes of whether you get the job or not. So it’s all about that first impression of your personality coming through. Before you even touch on skillset or experience, clients have already decided whether you are what they’re looking for.
Outside of your skill-set and experience, there is so much you can do in order to put your best foot forward in an interview.
Know the business. Do some research and understand it. Anybody can do that, whether you come from the background field or not, Google gives you everything you need. Knowing and understanding what a business is up to is normally one of the first questions you get asked, so having confidence and understanding is really going to impress a client.
As a general rule, always overdress. Even if the environment seems casual you should go in corporate attire because it’s all about putting your best foot forward. Obviously, do your research beforehand and use common sense – if it’s a really casual client you should try and match your attire to reflect what they do.
Have a bit of an icebreaker or a light-hearted joke when you first enter. Don’t be afraid to say that you’re nervous or haven’t interviewed in a while because honesty and transparency come through well in an interview. You’re much better off doing that than putting on a confident facade but your voice is breaking and you’ve got the shakes the whole way through. If you just say that you’re nervous those nerves go away and the client knows that you can have a laugh and get on with it.
Stop thinking of an interview as an interview and acknowledge it for what it is – a conversation. Look at it as if you’re also interviewing the client just as much as they are interviewing you. At the end of the day, it’s not just about what they’re looking for, you as a candidate also get to pick.
When you have an interview lined up, just go in there and sell yourself! Ask questions, have a conversation and make it a little bit of fun.
The memorable candidates for me are the ones who are confident and bring a little bit of life and fun to an interview.
When you are doing 15 interviews a week like some of our clients are, you can figure people out very quickly and I can guarantee that you always come back to the people who’ve made a positive impression.
If you’re looking for your next role in Accounting or simply would like some advice on how you can put your best foot forward in any interview situation, get in touch.