Following a few simple rules can make a huge difference. Coming across as a real person is essential. Here are some key ideas which you might not hear spelt out elsewhere:
Sitting in an interview and spitting out statistics from an annual report does show you’ve researched them, but it’s over the top. Be able to respond to questions, but don’t shove your knowledge down their throat. It makes it look like you’ve memorised their website … and anyone could do that.
No one wants to date a stalker, however good they might look. If you go into an interview and talk about “what an utter privilege it would be to work for them” or “it’s been a life dream to even get an interview here”, you are going to look obsessed. A good date works when both parties want each other equally…so tone your language down.
When hiring, the hiring manager is going to need to picture you in the team and whether you would be a good fit. If you ask well thought through, but guarded questions, you risk not getting your personality out. Make sure you have a number of soft, casual questions in your agenda like “what’s the team here like?” or “can you give me an idea of the culture in the company?”. Let them see what you are like day to day, so they can picture you outside of the interview.
Many people store up their questions until the end of the interview, expecting there to be a Q&A session. That’s quite unnatural. If you have a question, it would be natural to ask it when you think of it. Doing this will allow a much smoother flow to the interview and show you’re engaged.
If you feel you missed something or you want to ensure a point came across as it was intended, fully debrief your agent. As much as your agent wants to help, they weren’t in your interview. You were. You might hold the information which persuades the client you are the right hire. Give your agent this extra weapon in their arsenal. The hiring process doesn’t stop once you walk out of the interview door.