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The interview advice we give to every candidate

We happily call ourselves a digital recruitment agency, but within that category we have several specialist teams. Teams that look after e-learning, ecommerce, digital marketing and more. ‘Digital’ unites them, but they’re still very disparate areas, with different job titles, skills sets and experiences being dealt with every day.

On top of that, our clients are all different beasts, who demand different things from their employees.

So it’s hardly a surprise that the interviews we arrange every day can vary wildly.

Some are highly formal affairs, others are more casual. Some involve going through the candidate’s CV with a fine tooth comb, others are more interested in their portfolio or presentation.

But when it comes to preparing our candidates for their interviews, talking them through what they should (and shouldn’t) cover, there’s one thing we mention every time…

“KNOW THE ORGANISATION”

This means knowing more than the contents of the business’s homepage or latest press release.

If they’re a retailer, it means visiting their nearest stores and checking out their products – up close and personal. If they’re a training provider, it means taking a look at some of their current courses. If they’re an international behemoth it means getting clued up on where they operate, and if they’re a tiny start-up it means getting to grips with how they formed and what they’ve got planned next.

Now don’t get us wrong – we help with this all we can. We take pride in knowing our clients well, and being able to pass on handy information about what’s expected at interview. We generally know things that jobseekers won’t otherwise be aware of, things like the culture of the office and what the Christmas party is like. We’ll certainly be able to tell you about why the job opening has come about, and what the organisation has planned for the position.

But any interviewer worth their salt wants to know more than how you’ll fit in with the team – they want to know WHY you want to fit in with THIS team!

It’s also becoming increasingly important for digital businesses to employ real brand evangelists – people who won’t just work their socks off in the office but who will enjoy spreading the word about their brand’s products or services out of hours. People who will bring real passion and ambition to the table, not just for themselves, but for their organisation.

Don’t kid yourself that wowing interviewers with your skills and experience will be enough to gloss over the fact that you don’t really know anything about them, or haven’t properly communicated your enthusiasm for what they do.

The internet has made this kind of research much, more easier than it used to be, so there’s really no excuse for not spending a few hours getting to know your interviewers a little better ahead of time. Explore their website thoroughly. If they’re a major organisations, have a look at what’s been reported about them on news sites. Go and visit a physical store.

But don’t panic! This isn’t about having an in-depth knowledge of the company’s 563 product lines – rather, it’s about showing how much you care about, say, three of those product lines.

And don’t forget, if you’d like some more in-depth advice about preparing for an interview – whatever side of the desk you’re going to be sitting on – you can always give one of our lovely digital recruitment consultants a call! 0161 714 0600.