Getting an Interview is a very important step in your job search journey and a great opportunity for you to impress the HR team and direct employers. Companies have unique interview formats, for some you meet the HR team first, then the direct hiring department before a senior management interview, all tackling different stages of the process, from technical to culture fit. 

You have to be prepared at every stage of the Interview to answer questions that test different things. Preparation is very essential and with so many great candidates currently available as a result of job losses from the pandemic. 

Some of these tips are evergreen but in 2020 with the rise in the number of virtual interviews, there are some new tips focused on things we believe at TalentScout that will help you excel and stand out during interviews,

Tip 1: Whether virtual or face to face, your appearance matters a lot: Dress smartly in a business attire. A jacket for men, a tie where possible. A nice dress, shirt or even a jacket for women. There is no reason for your hair not to be properly brushed because its a virtual interview

Tip 2: Do your homework on the company that is interviewing you and the people you will be meeting: I interviewed a candidate for business development recently that did not understand what products the company they wanted to join sold or how they would fit into the company. As a sales or business development person, you have to come up with 3-5 strategies for growing business that you will pitch during your interview. Imagine that you are already in the company and position yourself that way.   There is no excuse for a candidate possessing little or no information about the company with whom they are interviewing.

Tip 3: Take Advantage of Digital Tools During A Virtual Interview: I have conducted so many Zoom interviews in the last few months and very few candidates have taken advantage of the power of digital tools during interviews. One candidate that wowed us during the interview created a presentation that had snippets of his his bio, success and strategies he had come up with for the company. Not only was he hired but he got the salary he was looking for. There are so many roles available right now but few candidates are willing to take the time to tailor their pitch to solve the need of companies hiring. A lot of people are just playing the sentimental game without doing the actual work. 

Tip 4: Be prepared to ask questions and to answer questions: Before your interview, come up with 20 possible questions the interviewer may ask you and create customised answers for each question that way you are prepared. 

Questions are usually divided into role specific competency questions testing job fit; strengths, weaknesses and past achievements assessment; culture fit questions, etc. Also come up with some questions you plan to ask the interviewer related to the technical sides of the role, the company culture and future development of the company. Aim to leave the interviewer with a good impression. Avoid getting relaxed too early during the interview and becoming unprofessional because you notice you are from the same nationality or tribe with the interviewer. 

Tip 5: Be smarter about negotiating your salary: It’s important to know your worth, understand the company’s capabilities as well as pay attention to the effects of the pandemic. A lot of companies have approached me to find candidates for them on lesser salaries but at the same time, lots of companies are still hiring candidates at pre-covid 19 salary levels or higher. The most important thing you need to do is do your research, show your value and give a great impression during the interview. 

There are so many tips but this 5 are a good first start. TalentScout is always hiring so if you know any Optometrists; Dental Nurses; Sales Engineers with experience with Instrumentation or AMC sales, please send to service@talentscout.global. If you need to get your resume or Linkedin optimised as well, reach out to my team. Its a paid service but we have a fantastic offer running. 

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