Articles From the Team
Take the stress out of your first interview… and your first date?
In a previous blog, I drew parallels between using a recruiter and online dating. Dating is always a fun and often interesting conversation amongst my friends. We’re now at an age where most are either married or getting married and having children or having more children, while some of us are still either on the hunt for that special someone or simply just keeping calm and carrying on with single-dom. This then brought up the topic of recent dates and it got me thinking; a first date is incredibly similar to a first interview.
A date will have a more intimate and romantic atmosphere than an interview but while both can be rather nerve-racking experiences, both should be enjoyable. While I’m in no way qualified to discuss the annals of love and relationships, I feel very well versed in advising lawyers on how to approach interviews. So, bringing the two together, here are some key points for interviews, which might also be applicable to Saturday night’s date!
But first, relax
Nerves are perfectly normal and to be expected. How you react to your nerves will determine how the meeting goes. Take a deep breath and steady yourself. Once you’ve done this, your nerves become a touch of adrenaline, which will help you stay focused and alert (but try not to get carried away). Always remember to keep calm, take your time and let your personality shine through naturally.
Once you’ve relaxed a little, it’s time to display your confidence; now’s your opportunity to showcase yourself in the best way possible. There’s a fine line between arrogance and, what’s in fact, confidence. In an interview, you must be prepared and be able to talk through your CV to explain your experience and suitability for the role. You must be able to answer technical questions and display your qualities for the job. Lastly, you want to convey your work ethic and personality to make them want to give you the job.
If the interviewer asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, it’s perfectly acceptable to take a moment and think about it or say you don’t know; but, follow up with how you’d go about finding out the answer, the process you’d follow and the people/colleagues you might turn to for advice on the matter.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that a person (almost regardless of their profession) shouldn’t need telling what to wear at an interview. But you’d be surprised at the number of people who forget this. Don’t wear jeans and a hoodie for an interview! This is a mere taste of some of the horror stories! At the very least, make sure your clothes are ironed, your shoes are clean and your suit doesn’t have stains on it.
Know your audience
As your recruiter, I’ll help you prepare for interviews. I’ll help you research the firm, the role, the clients, the work you’d be undertaking, the people you’re meeting etc. and I’ll make sure you’re not going in blind so you can handle whatever’s thrown at you.
Whether you’re meeting a potential employer or a date, punctuality is a positive statement. If you are going to be late for whatever reason then give as much notice as possible, it’s nothing if not polite.
Whether you’re interviewing or dating it’s important to always remember, the other person wants the exact same outcome as you do. They want to feel like they’ve enjoyed meeting you, that they’d like to see you again and that the two of you could work together.