Ok so you have applied for your dream job, you have made it through those vital steps in the application and assessment process and now the big moment has come….you have been invited to an interview for the role! The process of searching for a job can be a lengthy one and getting an interview is one of the biggest steps in advancing in your next career move. Suzanna Dunstan and Daniela Cardim, talent acquisition leaders at Schneider Electric share their top tips for an interview and how you can prepare!
1. Research, research, and more research
It is really important to do your research on the company in terms of business operations, strategy, the industry, and the role itself. Visit the company website, search the company on Google to find relevant news and updates, look for content on core values & culture. Visiting websites like Glassdoor and Indeed can also give you deeper insights into company information, reviews, sample interview questions, Q&A’s, and more!
In addition to researching the company in-depth, it’s also highly recommended to research the interviewers – LinkedIn is a great way to research the profiles and experience of your interviewers and it is perfectly reasonable and even expected that you will know who you are talking to. Doing research will help you be more confident in the company and who you are speaking to!
2. Prepare yourself
Not all interview formats are created equal. Some companies like to use competency and behavioral-based interviews, some prefer formal style, some take a more casual approach. It’s ok to ask what the format of the interview will be beforehand so you can get a sense of how the conversation will unfold. Whatever the format, go in prepared with research complete, an open mind, and then relax and let the conversation unfold naturally.
3. Storytelling & Authenticity
During the interview, you’re going to talk about something you’ve been close to for your entire life– yourself. Even though you’re talking about yourself, it can be a struggle to answer clearly, quickly, and assertively.
When you are asked a question in the interview, rather than listing off your achievements or facts and figures, think about taking a mini storytelling approach. This means a beginning, middle, and end! Stay succinct – it can be easy to ramble and sometimes nerves may take over so keep your answers to a minimum. It’s good to structure yourself and go into the interview with 4-5 experiences, strengths & weaknesses, and achievements that you have made in your career in the back of your mind so your answers are prepared beforehand.
However, whatever the interview style and questions you are asked, be yourself and always be authentic. And if you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t make it up! Just say you don’t know, it’s better to be honest.
4. Values and culture matters just as much as your skills & experience
Your skills and experience are what got you here…now it’s time to talk about Values and Culture. The interviewers know how smart you are, they can see your credentials and experience from your resume. While they will be interested to know more, usually by the interview stage, they are more interested in your values, your work style, how you will fit into the culture of the organization, and what you bring to the table that might be different to others. So be prepared to share your experiences but also expect that they will be assessing you for your behavioral and cultural fit for the organization – in other words how your values line up with the company values.
5. Ask questions!
This is your chance to learn more about areas you couldn’t find in your research! What is the company culture? Why is this position open? What are the main targets expected? Are there opportunities for career development?
It always surprising when candidates have an opportunity to ask questions and they don’t have any because this can indicate a lack of interest. On the flip side, you can really impress the interviewers with your questions, as they don’t expect you to know everything about the role but asking intelligent insightful questions is a real indication of your potential.
So, be ready to ask your questions at the end! It’s really important to have some key questions ready about the organization, strategy, role, people, and culture. And don’t be afraid to ask your interviewers about their experiences in the company. Asking questions will show your interest and help you evaluate if the company is the right fit for you and if they align with your values.
What will be, will be- make the best of it
Of course, we all want to be successful in getting that dream role. Give it everything you have got, do your best, and then let the chips fall where they may. We often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to perform perfectly in interviews. But the reality is that sometimes we will not be successful in the role or we may even be the ‘silver medalist’ because it can be highly competitive. Believe it or not, this happens to almost every candidate at some time during their career.
Throughout the interview process, you may also learn that the company is not a good fit for you. You may find that you’re not passionate about the role after you’ve learned more, or you realize that the company doesn’t align with your values– and that’s okay! The interview is not a one-way street, so ensure that you’re getting just as much out of it as the interviewers are getting out of you.
Be gracious and think about what you have learned from the whole experience and process. Take this with you to the next interview, and be ready for your next opportunities!
If the role is a great fit for you and the company, and you have secured your dream job, congratulations! Time to celebrate the next step in your career!
Schneider Electric could be the next step in your career! Search for open opportunities here: www.se.com/careers and use these tips for your interview!
About the Authors
Daniela is Talent Acquisition Leader and Diversity and Inclusion Leader at Schneider Electric for South America. With a diversified career, she has 10 years of experience in Human Resources. Graduated in Business Administration with MBA in Digital Business and post-graduation in Marketing.
Suzanna is the Talent Acquisition Leader and HR Business Partner for Schneider Electric in Pacific Zone. She has a passion for learning and digital solutions, loves to connect with people, and in particular supporting and coaching professionals in their career growth. Suzanna has 20+ years in Human Resources, a Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management, and a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Politics but her greatest achievement is raising 4 little humans 😊 Suzanna loves to laugh every day.
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