DRS: Daelemans - Rens - Steenackers

Executive Search Consultants

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Interview tips

Advice for Candidates

Interviews can be stressful, but with a positive mindset and careful preparation, you've already come a long way. To help candidates prepare for meetings with clients, we gathered some tips, which we hope you'll find useful.
Remember the core purpose of the interview is to enable the company and you to find out whether you will be able to build a mutually beneficial relationship. The company needs to know the answers to questions like:

  • Will I be able to work with this person?
  • Is this the best person for the job?
  • Will he/she work well with the rest of the team?

Equally, you need the answers to questions such as:

  • Will this job provide me with what I am looking for?
  • Will I be able to work productively for this boss?
  • Will I get on with other members of the team?

One of the most critical issues is to come well prepared. Find out as much as possible about the company as you can. In addition to the information you get from the search consultant, check the net, annual reports and investor presentations. If you know someone that works for the company, or in the industry, get in touch with him or her. Remember, the more you know, the easier it becomes to probe with relevant questions. You should not hesitate to ask questions to make sure you fully understand the company and your expected role.

Above all, think in terms of what you can do for the company, don't just probe on what the company can do for you! If you limit your discussion to what you want from the relationship, it will not help.

Listen carefully to every question and be sure you understand it before answering. Rephrase and ask for clarification if needed. When you ask a question, listen to the answer. There is a danger that you start thinking about the next question, or how you should have answered one just asked, instead of really listening.

Your body language can convey a great deal about you. So, assume a posture that is neither too laid-back or too aggressive. Your posture should reflect enthusiasm, warmth, sincerity and respect. Don't fidget, distract the interviewer by playing with pens, glasses and so on. Try to maintain eye contact with the person you are talking to most of the time, but remember not to ignore other people in the meeting.

Get ready for questions like these:

"What are the things you enjoy doing and what do you dislike?" (Don't just respond with a list, but give specific examples. "I like working in teams because.......")

"How would your boss describe you? And your colleagues and direct reports? Why?"

"What was your favorite / least favorite position? Why?"

"What do you see yourself doing three years from now?"

"What makes you stand out among your peers?"

"What have you done to improve business results?"

"Overall, what has been your main achievement?"

"On reflection, if you could change things, what would you do differently?"

"Why do you want to join this organization?"

"What will you do for us and when should we expect to see tangible results?"

For more ideas on preparing for the interview, look at the scenario from the interviewer's perspective.