You obtained an interview; time to maximise your chances of success!
The interview is neither a fight nor a trial of strength, but an exchange of information and an occasion to promote your talents. A successful interview resides not only in the obtaining of a position but also in reasoning why this position corresponds to you as much as possible.
Before the Interview
- Have your journey well in mind. Be prepared to answer any question relating to your professional experience or yourself. Beware not to confuse dates or enunciated numbers, and not to contradict yourself.
- Be prepared to give examples demonstrating your talents, qualities, values.
- Inquire about the company: its activity, its income, its revenue, the markets it is present in, its products, its location, its position on the french, european, and international markets, its reputation, its competitors, its development potential, the title of the person interviewing you, etc.
- Prepare a few relevant questions.
- Bring with you a copy of your resume, diplomas, work certificates, list of references, publications, etc.
- Have something to write on and be ready to take notes.
During the interview
- Let the recruitment agent speak first and pay attention to his questions.
- Be clear and explicit regarding what you have done up to now in your life.
- Be yourself and present yourself sincerely, avoid fantasizing or outright lying about yourself, a wary recruiter will detect it instantly.
- Never interrupt your interlocutor.
- Ask questions. Identify problems in the company or the stakes of the department or position you are applying for. Strive to identify the company’s culture: what are the values it encourages and that the management staff share, privileged relays towards other categories of employees.
- Avoid insisting too heavily on vacations, schedules or other advantages offered by the company, etc.
- Never criticize previous employers.
- Never employ vulgar or excessively commonplace language.
After the interview
Do not shatter the good impression you produced by an excessive readiness to leave as early as possible. Before you leave your interlocutor, inquire about the next steps of the recruitment process:
- Are there still applicants to be auditioned?
- When can I expect an answer?
- Is there a planned follow-up, with other planned interviews? Etc.
Thank them for their attention and time that they have dedicated to you. If you feel interest in the job, send the person who interviewed you an e-mail or a note the following day, confirming your motivation to join the company and thanking them again for the time they have given you. Be clean and concise: 5 or 6 lines are enough.
- I can explain my academic and professional journey.
- I know my strengths and weaknesses.
- I am aware of my motivations for this position.
- I am convinced of the adequacy of my profile with this position.
- I know which impression I want to give during this interview.
- I have brought with me all necessary documents (résumés, degrees, recommendation letters).
- I have chosen an adequate and classic outfit.
- I know the name of the person(s) I am about to meet.
- I am aware of the company’s current situation.
- I am aware of my availabilities (date of entry in the position/percentage).
- I consider myself as a provider of services and not as a job seeker
- I have taken my precautions to reach the location of the interview a few minutes ahead of time.
- I am relaxed and confident regarding the good flow of the interview.
The working world is not that of student life. It knows its own rules and codes which you will have to accept to successfully integrate. A proper dress code is part of these.
Before your first interview prepare your outfit with care, keeping in mind the image that you wish to give of yourself. Your profile is a whole. It cannot be reduced exclusively to a degree and a list of skills. Your outfit allows you to put forward your personal values and showcase your self-esteem.
Being wary of your outfit is also a sign of respect towards your interviewer. He will also have chosen a proper attire, in line with the company’s style. Each company possesses a dress code: do not hesitate to inquire about it beforehand. If you have not been able to obtain precise information, favor a formal style : it is better to be overdressed than underdressed!
Your mom’s old robes / excessive cleavage or mini skirts / bright-colored shirts / laddered stockings / overly high heels / excessive makeup or bright nail polish.
Your dad’s old suit / a shirt with bright colors / a tie with funny or ridiculous patterns / white socks / a three-day beard (it is advised to present yourself without any beard).
Flip-Flops or running shoes / strong perfume or cologne / dirty, greasy, or uncombed hair/ ostentatious jewelry / piercings / dirty or unfiled nails.
In a nutshell
Do not attract too much attention to your clothing with an original attire or accessories. Favor a classic and sober outfit, without aggressive colors. Do not hesitate to inform yourself on the company’s dress code.
Do not forget: you only have one occasion to make a good first impression. Think about it as soon as the Forum starts!