Massive Movement In The Global Workforce
The global workforce has rarely seen such movement of workers across careers, companies and industries as we are currently experiencing. In August 2021, a record 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in the US, a figure that expands to 20 million if we look at figures as far back as April.
In Germany, a recent survey found that a third of all German companies were reporting a shortage of skilled workers and they would need to import 400,000 skilled workers per year to make up for the shortfall.
In Australia, there is also research that shows up to three in five Australians could be looking to change jobs, according to behavioural scientist Aaron McEwan from global research and advisory firm Gartner.
Not to mention Microsoft’s recent research that indicates that 40% of the global workplace is considering leaving their employers this year.
In all of that movement, chaos and competition for new roles, you have managed to land the interview you wanted.
So again, congratulations. Now it’s time to get over the finish line and deliver the perfect interview.
The key to putting your best foot forward for your interview is preparation.
The right preparation will help you to approach the interview with confidence, present your best self on the day and help maximise your chances of securing the role.
First, in the new hybrid working world, the number of interview formats that are widely accepted has never been greater. So let’s look at the types of interviews you might be facing.
Types of interview
1. Phone Interviews
Phone interviews are often used by employers to help whittle down a large number of candidates to those most likely suited for the role. They are generally used as a prerequisite to face-to-face or online interviews and can be your first shot at making a good impression.
Phone interviews usually last 20 minutes to half an hour and they are not always scheduled so keep that in mind if you see calls from numbers you don’t recognise.
2. Video Interviews
In today’s working environment, online video interviews are increasingly popular across all industries. Video interviews are generally held live and tend to last around half an hour to 45 minutes.
Some larger companies will hold recorded interviews, with the candidate expected to answer a series of questions in a session that is then reviewed prior to the candidate being invited to a face-to-face interview.
3. Face-To-Face Interviews
Still the most common type of interview employed is face-to-face. You generally get to visit the offices or headquarters of the company to meet an interview panel who will ask questions that may be strength or competency-based.
Face-to-face interviews usually last anywhere between 45 minutes and two hours and this is largely dependent on whether they are preceded or followed by aptitude tests and exercises.
4. Assessment Centres
Assessment centres are generally used to allow companies to assess the performance of a large number of candidates in a more in-depth way, all at the same time, and generally last a full working day.
As part of this interview process, candidates tend to take part in team exercises, aptitude tests and presentations. While they are usually held on-site at the employers premises, moving these types of interviews online has become more and more popular since the start of the global pandemic.
So, now that you have some idea on the interview format you may be looking at, it’s time to get to work on setting yourself up for delivering on the day.
Aside from aptitude tests and performance exercises, one way to distinguish yourself from the crowd is by making sure you have your research done beforehand.
Don’t leave this until the last minute because the right research will allow you to approach the interview more confidently, and tailor your answers to speak to the employer’s needs, goals and ethos.
So what should you research?
1. Research The Role
You should be familiar with the role already. After all, you did apply for it! But before the interview, make sure you have gone through the job description again a few times to keep it fresh in your memory. Map out the skills required to do the role well against your skills and think of examples from your experience that demonstrate your aptitude for these skills.
Employers will value a candidate who knows the role, who knows that they are the right fit for it and most importantly, who wants the role. Not only will they want to know that you will be able for the role, but they will also want to know why you want it and why you are more suitable than other candidates.
2. The Employer
An interview works both ways. The employer is not just interviewing you, this is also your chance to interview the employer. So make sure you research the company beforehand. Yes, the interviewers will want you to know the company well but if you don’t do the research, how will you know if they are the right fit for you as well?
Research the company’s ethos and it’s internal structure. What is the culture like and what values does it adhere to? Research its clients and some of the recent work it has done. Find out who its competitors are, and get a grasp on the sector it operates in. What challenges does it face?
This research will demonstrate a genuine interest in the role but will also give you the information you need to make an informed decision. If the company fits your goals, it will give you the hunger you will need to grab this opportunity with both hands.
3. The Interview Panel & Other Employees
Many companies will let you know beforehand who will be interviewing you. Take this opportunity to get to know them before you meet them. Find out what areas they specialise in and what projects they might have taken part in. Check out their LinkedIn presence to see where their interests lie.
Interviews can be stressful but if you feel like you know the people asking you questions it can help to put you at ease and give you a better understanding of how to make a lasting impression.
It’s important that you have some idea about the types of questions you might be asked in the interview. It’s also important that you have some questions to ask yourself. Nothing indicates a candidate wants the role better than when they have some interesting questions of their own about the role or the company.
When it comes to interview questions, some companies will ask that you provide your answers adhering to particular methods such as the STAR method i.e. Situation, Task, Action, and Result, a behavioural interview technique.
With the STAR method you describe the Situation you were in, the Task or goal you needed to accomplish, the Actions you took to address the situation and the positive Results of your actions.
Some common interview questions to prepare with are:
- Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills.
- Or more generally, describe a time when you were faced with a ________ situation that demonstrated your ________ skills.
- Provide an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to achieve it.
- Give an example of a time when you tried to accomplish a goal and failed.
- Give me an example of a time when you had to go above and beyond what was expected of you in order to get a task done.
- Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your tasks.
- Tell me about a difficult decision you’ve made in the last year.
- What has been your greatest achievement?
- What would you say are your greatest weaknesses, and can you demonstrate how you have managed to overcome them?
Some good questions to ask in your interview:
- How could I impress you in the first three months?
- Are there opportunities for training and continuous learning within the company?
- What is the procedure for progression within the company?
So, now that you know the type of interview you are looking at, you know the role and the company inside and out, and you are feeling confident about the questions they might ask, let’s prepare for the day of the interview.
Tips For The Day of The Interview
It’s going to be a day of nervous excitement, anticipation and maybe some anxiety to boot. But you will be focused and you will be quietly confident – you have prepared well, now it’s time to shine.
1. What to wear to an interview
Even with a growing number of employers encouraging casual wear at work, most still expect candidates to dress smartly. This can make it tricky to pick the right outfit to wear for your interview.
It’s always a good idea to ask about the recommended dress code before your interview but a good rule of thumb is that it’s better to be too smart than too casual. If you are considering a casual outfit and you are in any doubt, go for smart business wear instead.
And remember, the clothes you wear can give you confidence, but they can also strip that confidence away so make sure you feel good in what you are wearing and make sure your outfit is clean and ironed so you present well.
2. Be authentic
In all of your preparation, it can be easy to get swept up in the idea of the person who you think would be ideal for the role. But, it’s important to be yourself as well. All of this work is designed to help you present your best self on the day so make sure you don’t lose yourself as a result.
Be confident that you are just the person they are looking for. If you don’t know an answer, it is OK to say so, and ask them to elaborate. If you need to think for a minute before responding, don’t be afraid of the silence, take the time you need to give a considered response, you’re in no rush.
3. Be early
Arriving late will not allow you to make the great impression you deserve. It will also increase your stress level and put you on the back foot from minute one. Make sure to arrive ready and in good time whether the interview is online or face-to-face.
4. Positivity and Confidence
Interviews can be stressful. For many, they are as bad as public speaking. But remember, the worst thing that can happen is that you don’t get the job, it’s not the end of the world. Your interviewers simply want to get to know you so remember to breathe, stay positive and enthusiastic, and avoid letting your stress bring negativity to your answers or your demeanour.
5. Body Language
Humans are funny creatures and body language speaks to our subconscious far more than most of us are aware.
So, if you are meeting face-to-face, make sure to give each interviewer a firm handshake and whether online or face-to-face, make sure to sit naturally without slouching. Don’t be afraid to smile. And maintain eye contact with your interviewers, speaking to each of them rather than just to the person asking the question.
Life After Your Interview
Now that your interview is done, it’s largely out of your hands. As we’ve said already, the worst thing that can happen is that you don’t get the job! It’s now time to wait.
You should be informed in your interview of when you’ll be informed of their decision but it’s always a good touch to reach out to your interviewer(s) and thank them for taking time to interview you.
Another good idea is to jot down some notes on the questions you answered and how you answered them while it’s fresh in your memory. This will help you decompress after what can be a stressful day and it will help you to prepare for future interviews too.
We hope you get the good news you are waiting for and if you are ever looking for opportunities in the area of localisation and translation, get in touch with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +353 1 524 1466.