Congratulations – you’ve successfully caught the attention of a headhunter, and landed yourself an interview! That’s a great first step, but there’s still plenty of work ahead of you. Now, you’ve got some time before the big day. The right preparation can seal your fate. Are you ready to showcase and sell yourself as the best candidate for the job? It’s not enough to send in a pretty CV and cross your fingers… You need to be on top of your game throughout all stages of the hiring process. Most people focus solely on the interview itself, but we’ve got some helpful hints on ways to amaze your interviewer – read on and learn how to impress a headhunter before the interview!
So you’re looking for a change of pace. You’ve put the word out to your friends that you’re considering a new career, your Experteer profile is up-to-date, and you’ve successfully lined up an interview with a headhunter. It may seem like you’ve already covered your bases – after all, you were good enough to merit an appointment, right? But there’s plenty of preliminary prep to be done.
ONE WEEK BEFORE:
Have you done a self-search? Try typing your name into Google and checking the results. How do your social networking profiles look? Any embarrassing pictures that need to be deleted, any questionable statuses or Tweets? To avoid going into panic mode before a big interview, try to do this monthly. It’s important to maintain a “clean” online presence, especially when looking for jobs. Remember, people can access this data at any time, so it’s imperative that you stay vigilant!
Next, glance over your CV. Have you highlighted all of your most recent accomplishments? Is the contact information totally up to date? Are there any new additions or changes that you’d like to make? Is it reflecting the position that you’re interviewing for? Have you learned any new skills or completed any training since the last time you edited your resume? Even if a headhunter has already seen a copy of your CV on your Experteer profile, or via email, you should bring along two printed copies of your most current and relevant resume to the interview. It’s not too late to make changes that may positively frame you as the ideal candidate. And don’t forget to know your CV inside and out! It’s standard practice for your headhunter to ask questions about former positions. “How did working at XYZ Limited challenge you? What were your daily tasks at Smith and Co.?” Make sure you can answer any random question that a headhunter may think to ask!
Are you meeting in person? If so, are you already familiar with the meeting place? Consider doing a test run to see how long it takes you to get there on time, and check the address. We’ve already heard horror stories of candidates taking the wrong train, misreading the street number, or even worse – driving two hours to the wrong city! Avoid these mistakes that could seriously stress you out, and do a little research ahead of time. If you’re meeting at a restaurant for lunch, think about looking up the menu to figure out what to order ahead of time – choose something neat and affordable, like a pasta with white sauce. No surf’n’turf!
What questions do you have for the headhunter? Think about this in advance. Forget questions like “How did you find me?” This isn’t important, and if it is, the headhunter will make a point to tell you. Focus instead on questions like “What traits is your company looking for? Is this a new position, or did the former employee leave? How many employees will I be managing?” Asking them detailed questions about the position and your potential responsibilities will show that you put lots of thought into the interview.
What questions will the headhunter have for you? Of course, some interview questions are standard. “Name a challenge at your last job. What makes you interested in this position? What are your strengths and weaknesses?” But even the simplest questions can throw you for a loop if you’re not sufficiently prepared. Think about all of these topics and prepare a solid answer. Also, consider tougher questions: “Why are you looking to leave your current job? Where do you see yourself in five years? What makes you the best candidate for the job?”
ONE DAY BEFORE:
What are you wearing? Have you already picked out your outfit? Rather than panicking at the last minute before you run out the door for your interview, take some time the night before to lay out your selection. Choose something sophisticated and simple. This is not the time to try spring’s most daring trends – no visible straps for women, and no unbuttoned shirts for men! Pick comfortable shoes, nothing that will pinch or make you uncomfortable.
Have you packed your bag? Briefcase or handbag, make sure you’ve got all the important elements ready to go – two crisp copies of your latest CV, breath mints, tissues, your wallet, cellphone, and perhaps a printed out copy of the address, just in case.
TEN MINUTES BEFORE:
It’s showtime! You’ve arrived at the meeting spot, you’re waiting outside the door, and you’re ready to show off your best stuff! Take a deep breath and focus – it’s your time to shine. For more helpful tips on how to dazzle during the interview, read more at Experteer Magazine!