Once candidates are lined up to meet our Clients, we make it our business to ensure as far as is possible that they are well prepared for that all-important discussion. The onus must be on the candidate to prepare comprehensively in terms of researching the Client company background, financials, commercial activities and so on. Also crucial is a full understanding of the key objectives and deliverables of the role in question.
However, even the most well-prepared candidate – and perhaps the ideal candidate – can fail at the first hurdle, not through lack of preparation, but often by failing to see themselves through the Client’s eyes. In short, imagine you are sitting on the other side of the interview table.
For instance, one common problem occurs when the following questions (or similar) are asked:
“Why are you looking for another role / in the market?”
“Why did you apply for this role?”
In the heat of the moment the inclination is there to look backwards and spend too much valuable interview time discussing previous jobs, reasons for leaving, justify redundancy, talk package and so on. Whereas all of this has relevance, surely at this early stage the Client wants to know, above all, that you are strongly attracted to their business, that it is one that you feel offers you the long – term career opportunity that you are looking for and, crucially, how well you fit with their requirements.
Too much interview time spent looking back and not enough time emphasizing the attractiveness of the new role and company can often be translated as “I’m in the market because I need another job”
Post interview feedback from Clients will often highlight this as being a reason why they don’t carry people forward to the next stage.
So, use your research and pre – interview preparation to good advantage when these seemingly basic questions come up. You have a limited amount of time to ensure that the Client views you as not only a skilled and experienced applicant, but also one that is attracted to their business and role for all the right reasons.
Final thought! When I cover this point with candidates ahead of interview, there is 100% agreement that this is common sense and the right approach. Sadly, the evidence is that it is often forgotten at the interview.
Over to you…”tie a knot” in something!!