It might seem obvious to be smartly dressed and make a great impression at a job interview, but you would be surprised by the sheer amount of people that we see who simply have not covered the basics.
We currently receive around 1500 applications a month and have recruitment days twice a week. There are so many people coming through the doors in the hope of becoming a member of team UKFast. So what does it take to nail a job interview here?
Firstly, it’s worth noting that it’s not all about the interview. We have a quiz, psychometric test and assessment days with group activities as part of our recruitment process. It might sound like a rigorous series of tests but it is impossible to get to know someone from a one-on-one interview.
1) Do your research
Really it is a given that you will do research about the company that you are applying for. After all, if you don’t know anything about the business, how can you know that you want to work there?
Look into why you want to work for that business and have your answer ready. Find out about the business’s leadership team. Find out about the progression opportunities.
Equally do research about yourself. Take the time to think about what you want to do for your career and why. What are you most proud of? What is your greatest achievement so far? How could you improve? What’s your five-year goal? Have well thought-out answers to these questions prepared ahead of any interview.
The more prepared you are, the less nervous you will be.
2) First impressions do count
Think about who you are meeting when you first walk into a company. It’s unlikely to be the interviewer! More often than not it is the person at the reception desk. How you behave towards them is one of the most indicative behaviours. That’s why at UKFast we always include our front of house team when assessing a candidate for a job role.
It is often said that the true measure of a person is in how they treat someone who can do nothing for them. If you’re rude to our reception team but switch on the charm for our MD, that simply won’t cut it!
3) A lasting impression
Along the line of first impressions: How is your handshake or greeting? Are you well dressed? Are your nails and hair neat? Whilst appearance isn’t everything, looking smart for an interview is really a given. Your greeting is equally important. Consider the difference a smile, eye contact and a strong handshake makes.
4) You’re the priority in an interview
Ultimately, you’re not attending an interview to impress the interviewer. You’re there to establish whether the job is right for you or not. Bear that in mind and take a list of questions along with you. Find out whether you think you’re the right fit for the role.
I believe that you can easily fit skills and a CV to a role. That’s a job. What I’m looking for are people passionate about the job, someone who is driven by what we do here, who is excited to grow their area of the business and who will get along with the existing team well. That’s creating a career. I know which I would rather have if I were going into an interview.
5) Be yourself!
It’s cliché to say it, but there is only one of you. It’s that simple. Don’t be distracted by what you think the interviewer wants you to be. Be yourself. Otherwise you might find yourself in a job role that doesn’t suit you, you may be out of your depth or it could be too easy a role. Be honest, let your personality shine through.
The last thing an interviewer wants to see are the same carbon-copy candidates who are pretending to be what they assume is the perfect candidate. I would much rather meet someone who I get along with, have a great conversation and get to know them. This approach is so much more valuable for both parties.