We have all read interview tips before an interview, and they usually include be on time, dress appropriately, research the company, prepare answers and questions for the end. However, they are the standard expected things that everyone will be doing. Here are some unconventional interview tips that I’ve picked up along the way:
Unless the interview is for something in the public sector, the interview panel is 100% going to look you up online beforehand, especially if it is a smaller company. So unless you are a top secret government agent, you must have some proof of your achievements online. Actually, on a side note, this is a requirement of many working visas.
If you’re not technically minded, at least have an up-to-date and comprehensive LinkedIn page, but the general rule for this is, the more you can put out there the better. Though, best to avoid calling yourself guru and tweeting other people’s links, which is tacky and off-putting. Just make sure what you publish is of quality and shows the best of what you can bring!
Ideally, you should have your own website, with work samples and recommendations on it. Endorsements are very valuable so do try to get as many as you can. What all of this online content will convey is that you are a leader in your field, a strong candidate and a good hire!
It’s also a good idea to have one hobby that is linked to your work, even if it reading books or listening to podcasts on the industry. For example, I was asked what I liked to do in my spare time, and I then told them about my blog, and the interviewer said “yes, I saw that, alright, it looks good!”. If you don’t get asked about a hobby, you still can use it as a second example, so strategically choose one that is linked to your profession.
It should be mentioned here that you should not to care what other people think of you when promoting yourself and your work online…eyes on the prize!
Even though all the interview tips tell you to research the company, this is a slippery slope to getting completely bogged down in policy documents. Just check their website, their mission statement and any web pages connected to the area of the company that the role is for. That’s it!
Also, don’t waste time on tasks. Tasks are becoming a more prominent as part of the recruitment process and, it is very easy to get completely carried away. Just do the minimum required of the task, but show an inkling of imagination, add your personality and your strength into the minimum. I’ve spent hours and hours on tasks, strategies, campaigns and presentations and then not to be selected. Time is precious, you could be applying for 20 more jobs in that time!
Which brings me to what you should really be spending your time on, researching your potential boss. Check their career path on LinkedIn and take a mental note of things that you can connect with such as where they are from, colleges they went to, and jobs they have worked in. For example, I looked up a hiring manager’s career path and saw that they had freelanced too, so when it came to discussing freelancing I was able to make a personal connection: “as you know yourself, you manage a large variety of projects when you are freelancing”.
Having one job interview after not having one for ages is daunting and nerve-wrecking, which affects our interview performance. Therefore, it’s important to apply for as many jobs as you can in order to do as many interviews as you can. Why? Well, it isn’t for the reason that you think it is, which is, you will get better at them. Actually, you will get better at them, but not in the way that you expect.
When you do lots of interviews, firstly, you don’t get nervous anymore, but secondly, you are saying the exact same thing over and over again, to the point of boredom. We eventually say this same thing in such a relaxed way, that we inject our personalities and passion into what we are saying, therefore, the familiarity of what you are saying comes across as confident – THIS is what will get you that job!
While you are applying for jobs and interviewing you should also be reaching out to industry leaders, meeting them for coffee and attending events. This is the long hustle that will ultimately lead you to never needing to do an interview again, because you will be getting approached about jobs, instead of the other way round.
To help you with this check out my article on making the most of coffee meetings here: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/making-the-most-of-coffee-meetings/
Best of luck! ☕ 🍀