Tonic's Top Interview Tips
How can you improve your chances of securing your dream job? Well as always it comes down to preparation.
At Tonic, once one of our candidates reaches interview stage we will have a comprehensive pre-interview discussion usually two to three days before your meeting. Too many candidates walk into an interview blind with no real information about the opportunity, organisation or hiring manager.
We will help you have a clear understanding of the role, company and what type of questions to anticipate before your interview to ensure you make a good first impression. If you haven't secured an interview through Tonic yet you will be yet to experience the above however in the meantime, please look at our top tips to get the most out of your interviews.
1. Be punctual
You should arrive for an interview on time, preferably ten minutes early but no sooner. There is no real excuse to not arrive on time, however, if unforeseen circumstances happen causing you to run late, contact the practice or the recruitment consultant that you are working with asap to allow them to forewarn the hiring manager.
2. Dress approporiately
The simple idea of wearing your best clothes to an interview seems to have somewhat diminished, however, we at Tonic still feel you should dress in professional attire. If you are unsure, it doesn’t hurt to pick up the phone and ask for the practice office manager or HR department to see what they would recommend you wear. If you are being represented by a recruitment consultancy like Tonic your consultant will be able to assist you. If in doubt we would advise that being overdressed is better than being under, however we stress that you should feel relaxed and comfortable in what you wear.
3. Research into the company
We live in a world where information is at our fingertips, so utilise this to your maximum. Most people will browse a company’s website, but you should be delving deeper, use LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Google searches, YouTube and journal articles to build up a comprehensive picture of what the company do. To help with this task, ask yourself questions such as what is the main type of client and what background have previously hired employees come from? Once you have a good picture of the company, ensure you are doing the same to understand the background of the person or persons you are due to meet. It can only help to know how long they have been with the office or the types of projects they have recently been involved in.
4. Make your portfolio memorable
In the creative industries, it is your portfolio that gets everyone talking in an interview so make sure you get It right. The portfolio you take to your interview is often the best way to prove and display your ability.
Keep it clear and simple
Quality over quantity – don’t take all your work, rather include only the strongest examples and projects that are relevant to this opportunity
In order to demonstrate to the interviewer(s) your different skills, ensure that your portfolio offers a diverse variety of your work and skillset.
Own your portfolio. What we mean by that is to know it inside out. A good idea is to order it chronologically.
Be prepared to answer questions on your work & projects.
5. Be ready to sell your skills
The company has invited you in because they already think you could be a good fit for them, but this is your chance to show you off your experience and skills. Again, the detail will be in the preparation: review the job specification, ask your recruiter for as much information about the role as possible, check through your portfolio - have you missed anything that could be relevant to the opportunity? Are their masses amount of work that just are not relevant?
At Tonic, we ensure that each hiring manager has a copy of your CV but don’t always presume this will be the case always take a printed copy with you.
Some people thrive in an interview situation and we always insist that an interview should be fun but if you are the type of person who gets a little nervous then rehearsing some typical interview questions with a friend or your recruiter may be a good idea.
6. Prepare your questions
This is one of the most crucial parts of an interview. Any potential hiring manager is hoping that you will have some questions for them, if you don’t they may consider that you’re underprepared, uninterested in the company, just looking for ‘a job’ or don’t have other options. An Interview should be a two way process, yes the practice has invited you to meet as they feel you could be the right fit for them, however, equally you must be able to leave the interview with a clear understanding that if offered the position you armed with the information you need to make an informed decision. Having some of your own questions prepared should help you with this.
7. Feedback works both ways
Just as you would like to hear positive feedback on your performance following an interview, hiring managers are usually impressed when a candidate shows how passionate they are about the role and company. We therefore advise that you let them know this by articulating during the interview how much and why you want this opportunity. We always recommend that you follow up via your recruiter with your thoughts on the interview straight afterwards, which Tonic will then relay to the hiring manager to cement your interest and keep you in their minds. If you’re interviewing directly, you could follow up with an email thanking the hiring manager for the time and reiterating your interest and suitability for the role.
As mentioned an Interview should be an enjoyable experience. It is your chance to explore and show off your skills and demonstrate your suitability for the role, but you don’t get the much time during each meeting, so you must ensure you maximise the opportunity by thoroughly preparing. It is also important to try to relax and be yourself after all the interviewer is just another human like you or me.
We hope that anyone reading this finds the information helpful. If you would like help with your up and coming interview or job search, please get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at the appropriate office.
London +44(0)203 865 6180
Manchester +44(0)161 791 0753