Most people find interviews nerve-racking. If you’ve reached the interview stage you have already stood out above perhaps hundreds of other applicants, so go in with confidence, ready to prove you are the best person for the job. David Rousell, senior business director at Hays Facilities Management, offers five essential tips
Do your research
Do your research into the job role, the company and its competitors. Candidates who haven’t even looked at the company website will quickly stand out as not being committed to the job. Research key clients and projects and ensure your answers to questions are relevant to the organisation. For example, in recent years there have been a number of acquisitions of FM service providers and being aware of this context will only help you stand out from the crowd.
Preparing your interview suit, check your route and print a copy of your CV in advance. Take proof of relevant qualifications or memberships i.e. NEBOSH, BIFM. If you have had security clearance – in the past or currently – take proof with you as it can speed the process if clearance is needed for the role. Know your CV back to front to avoid being caught out by unexpected questions about your career.
First impressions really count. Professional dress and a tidy appearance show that you’re serious about this job. An interviewer will be quickly put off if you are late and unpresentable. Even if you are very nervous make eye contact, give a firm handshake and smile and show you are excited about the opportunity. Personality and team fit can be as important as experience to employers.
Use examples to show how you contributed to a successful result on a project. Many interviewers use competency based interviews to gauge your key skills through past examples. Make sure you give tangible examples and focus on your contribution to a project. For example, if it was a move project, give examples of project value and be able to answer questions about what was involved in the move, and if it was completed on time. Tell the interviewer what obstacles you had to overcome and how you did this.
When an interviewer asks if you have any questions see this as an extra chance to shine! Don’t ask about salary or holidays – these are best discussed with your recruiter and can seem presumptuous. Show you understand the organisation and refer to your research – “I see you are working on x project/contract, how do you expect this to impact the company?” If you feel haven’t had a chance to talk about a key experience during the interview so far, use a question to begin a conversation to refer to your experience.