Now that you have got through the shortlisting stage, your mind should be focused on giving the best impression at the interview.
Interviews can be unsettling which is why preparation is key. Here are our top tips on how to make a great impression.
- The first 20 seconds are crucial. It’s all about first impressions. You want to look prepared and confident so arriving early is crucial. Consider taking a pen and paper, this shows you are eager and willing to listen. Make eye contact with the person conducting the interview.
- Preparation is key. Here at CADagency, we send out an email with all the employers details including a link to their website. Visit the company website to get to grips with what services they offer and research the competition, this will come across at the interview. It shows you can plan and are keen on the role.
- Put yourself in the employer’s shoes. Focus on the role and assess what it is they are looking for in candidates. Some roles require quick progression; others require long-term stability. For example, a small company looking for a CAD technician might not want to hear about how you want to progress to lead engineer within a couple of years. If you leave the role they will need to start recruiting for the role all over again.
- Ask the employer questions about the role. No one likes a one-way conversation and it can come across as a lack of enthusiasm. It will also help you settle into a comfort zone. You want the interview to be as natural as possible as this will show your true colours.
- Stay focused on the questions. Side tracking can get a little annoying, especially when you are trying to assess someone in such a short time frame. Listen to the questions being asked, think about your answer then answer. An employer will not be put off if you don’t answer immediately, gather your thoughts and construct an answer. You should always elaborate on your answers but, keep it related to the original questions. Do not try to engage in unconnected points to try and avoid answering, if you’re not sure, just say so.
- Prepare for difficult questions. If you know an employer will ask you a question such as, “why have you been unemployed for the last 6 months?” make sure to prepare an answer so it comes across well-structured and with confidence.
- Why are you leaving your current job? If you are currently employed, you will be asked why you are considering leaving. This is a difficult question to answer as there are usually many reasons. Think carefully how you are going to answer, here are some acceptable answers;
- I am looking for growth and this wasn’t possible at my old job
- I am looking for something closer to home
- I am looking for more responsibility
- I was laid off in my last position due to cutbacks
- Bring a portfolio with. In most interviews, employers will ask you to sit a CAD test, but taking with a portfolio of your work is very important as it will show a much broader range of your work.
- Its not all about salary. Don’t start off the interview with “so how much will I be paid?” you want to leave the salary to the end. Let the employer realise how much of an asset you are first and talk about salary second. You might also want to mention other rewards you will be getting from a role, such as added responsibility and a wider variety of roles.
- Let them speak. Listen first, speak second. The employer will have prepared a set amount of questions to get through, so let them speak. You will also be able to get the upper hand with negotiations if you let them speak first. If you start on salary, you could seriously undershoot your starting salary. Let them make an offer and you respond.