New technological innovations have helped to improve both the reliability of recruitment selection processes for employers and their speed in reaching an appointment decision. Applications are increasingly automated and your application form or resume are likely to be read in more detail by a piece of software or bot than an actual human hiring manager.
That being said, there is one recruitment tool that has stood the test of time and in most cases takes place much in the same way as it did 5 or even 10 years ago: the job interview.
There are countless resources on how to prepare and impart successful interview answers, and tips and advice on how to present yourself to ensure you don’t get ruled out of the running before you’ve opened your mouth that I encourage you to read. But do dress smartly and don’t turn up late – it would shock you to learn how many candidates I’ve met that have failed to address either of these basic requirements!
Having acted as a hiring manager in many interviews throughout my career, there is one major tip I would give to anyone that’s facing one in the near future: know who the employer is you’re meeting with.
I know. This sounds so obvious you are probably thinking this isn’t a helpful tip at all. But you will be amazed at how many candidates that have sat opposite me over the years and really did not have the faintest idea about what our organisation did, nor what the job was about.
Do your research
When I say ‘know the employer’ I don’t mean give the company’s web homepage a cursory glance as you’re waiting outside the interview room. I mean – learn exactly what they do well in advance. If they’re a global company – where are their headquarters or major branches based? What industries do they work in or with? Who are their partners? What products or services do they offer? What is their mission or wider company values? What major media releases have you seen about them recently? How does any of this relate to the job you’re applying for?
Having once wanted to gauge the success of a recent marketing campaign and website revamp my opening ice-breaker question switched from “tell me about yourself” to “tell me what you know or have learned about us”. The results were so startling I now ask it every time!
I was amazed how many candidates both then and since didn’t have a clue. A good proportion of interviewees will look back at me blankly, others might give vague statements about what they think or assume we do, and some will just make stuff up on the spot!
Did you know, for example, that Curtin University was the ‘world’s biggest university’? Newsflash – it isn’t.
The more you can wax lyrical about the employer and how you might fit into its organisational culture, the more it demonstrates your actual desire to work there.
Getting it right sets the tone for the entire conversation and will put you at the forefront of any recruiter’s thinking.
If you’d like some more tips, tricks and advice on improving your interview technique, we’ve got faculty specific interview workshops on this week. If you’re not on campus, there’s always our online interview module and interview workbook.