Interviews can be an intimidating experience at the best of times. To ensure you put in the best performance, there’s some simple steps to help, from researching the company you are meeting, and knowing what questions to ask. Scientific professionals recruitment experts have a guide for you.
There are a number of different interview types you could be offered. In most cases, you’ll only need to succeed at one of these to win that dream role. In some, particularly with large graduate employers, there may be several different interview formats.
The most common type is the face-to-face interview. You will attend the employers offices, where you will be questioned on your suitability for the role by an individual or an interview panel. A typical face-to-face interview can be anywhere between 45 minutes and two hours, and may include tests and exercises based on your strengths and competency.
Telephone interviews are common in the early stages of an application, usually to help filter down the number of applicants to a more manageable number. If successful, you would be then invited to a face-to-face interview. A telephone interview would typically last around 30 minutes. Video and Skype interviews are also becoming increasingly popular.
Assessment centres allow employers to compare the performances of many candidates at the same time. Along with other applicants, you could attend an assessment centre to take part in presentations, team exercises, and psychometric tests. Assessment centres usually take a full working day to complete.
Your interview performance can significantly depend on how well you have prepared. Never leave this until the last minute. In the days leading up to the interview focus research on the employer, to show what you know and understand about the business beyond the basics, such as competitors, the working culture, it’s challenges, and the job sector it operates in.
Make sure you read the job description fully, and re-read it again to refresh your memory, and to make sure you have the skills and qualifications that match the requirements of the role, and why the employers should hire you over the other candidates.
If you can find out who will be conducting the interview, then see if you can learn more about them. LinkedIn and the company’s ‘About Us’ section may have more information about individuals, to help discover more about their role in the business, their professional interests and experience. This will help to connect you with the interviewers and create a positive impression.
Always ask questions. Consider how you will answer common interview questions, and also prepare some questions for the interviewer.
Always carefully plan your journey to wherever the interview is being held, checking any relevant public transport timetables. Have a good breakfast in the morning, and avoid alcohol the night before.
Take with you a pen and a notebook, a copy of your CV and the invite to the interview, any requested academic documents or portfolio, breath mints or gum, a bottle of water, and money for transport and food.
If you’re unsure on the dress code, ask before attending the interview. The key point to remember is that it’s much better to be too smart than too casual. Only opt for a more casual outfit if you’re absolutely certain that’s acceptable – if there’s any doubt, always go for smart business attire. Whatever you choose, make sure that your clothes are ironed and your shoes are clean.
As your job interview comes to an end, make sure you find out when you’ll be informed of the outcome – and thank the interviewer for giving you the chance to attend.
A science graduate recruitment agency will always be able to give mock interviews, and provide any relevant information you will need to prepare also. Get in touch today, and see how we can help you.