You landed an interview and after the joy, it’s stress! In order not to panic, there is only one solution: prepare for this interview methodically. You have to build your pitch, your speech, and train like a sportsman.
“The most important thing is to be natural”. As you approach your interview, this is what we repeat to you to reassure you. So, should you go to his interview “with your hands in your pockets”?
Certainly not because for a recruitment interview, being natural and credible requires real preparatory work upstream. Learning to talk about yourself, your career, your project , and in connection with the recruiter’s expectations, you have to prepare !
Especially since if you are under 30, you do not necessarily master all the codes of the professional world … and naturalness can also play tricks on you.
Take time to prepare for your interview
Without stopping all your research, you must therefore spend time preparing for the interview . The ideal is to start as soon as you have your appointment and take it step by step.
First step: group together the elements concerning the company, and possibly the classified ad to which you are responding. It’s basic, but imagine that a lot of young candidates, having answered several advertisements, do not know any more for which position they apply when they arrive for the interview. On the contrary, take the ad carefully and reread it carefully.
Note all the points of the profile sought: training, experience, qualities (dynamic, good salesperson, perseverant, etc.), and the title of the entire position “Account manager for the Seeds and Seeds sector”.
Find out about the company recruiting
If you have the name of the company you’re applying for – which you usually do – you absolutely need to find out about it .
If it’s a big company, visit its website (it’s the minimum), find out what types of products or services it offers, what new products it wants to launch, etc. Go see the organization chart or the names of the heads of the major departments and write them down. You may be interviewed by one of these people. If you know who will be seeing you, you can also check their profile on LinkedIn.
If you are applying for a management position, it is wise to know how to locate the company by its turnover,. You can consult the specialized press (on the Internet or in the library) to search for possible articles on the company.
If you know friends who have already done internships there, you can also call them to inquire about the atmosphere, recruitment policy, salaries, etc.
Why this research? To know where you are setting foot, and to be more informed, more responsive in interviews and thus prove your motivation, even your knowledge of the sector and the profession. If the person you’re talking to tells you about their new product or explains that they want to strengthen their sales team, you will be better able to understand their concern.
This little survey also allows you to see if this company attracts you by its activity, its style, its leader, its reputation, the human relations it maintains. Your motivation must be very concrete.
Analyze your CV and find your strengths for the position
Then you need to go back to your CV (this is the document the recruiter had in hand) and point out all your strengths and weaknesses for this position by being very objective. Do not hesitate to do this by taking paper and a pencil so as not to forget anything.
– Put yourself in the place of the person who will receive you. What can interest him about you? Do you have the required training, yes or no? If so, it should be noted in terms of assets, but it is not enough to get you hired because other candidates will have the same training.
– And the experience? Analyze the experiences mentioned in your CVand think about what to emphasize in front of your interlocutor. What did these experiences bring you that might interest him? What should you highlight? Was there a logic, a progression that led you to apply for the position in question?
– Then move on to your personality. What “extra-professional activities” did you indicate? Do they show that you have the qualities required for the position? Why? Are there other things in your life that better reflect these qualities? A particular success in a project, an internship?
Look your weaknesses in the face
Finally, ask yourself what are your weaknesses for the position: the recruiter will have seen them too. He’s going to question you on that. Failure, periods of unemployment, change of direction, lack of satisfactory experiences.
“Having gray areas is quite normal, reassures Claude d’Estais, former HR pro and executive coach. Few people do not have them. The important thing is to know them and see them worked on. before presenting yourself in front of a potential employer “…
Do not hide your face , but think about how you will respond not by denying or by concealing, but by bouncing on the positive: “Yes, I haven’t yet had any experience in the automobile industry, but the food industry has taught me to fight commercially and to develop quality approaches. I really want to contribute my skills to your industry. “
Prepare your pitch, practice speaking
Once your positive and negative elements are listed, you have to get on the track! In other words: train yourself to communicate all of this orally.
– Start by preparing your presentation pitch : you have to say who you are and summarize the main lines of your career in 1 minute flat , without forgetting to highlight your main assets (for example underline that you speak 3 languages and have lived 1 (year abroad for an international position, etc.)
Practice speaking fluently, neither too fast nor too slowly , with pauses to breathe. You can record yourself in video on your smartphone to improve yourself.
– Thengo back to your CV, and practice talking about each of your past experiences (internships, jobs, projects …) because recruiters often ask you to specify such and such a point. Do not get bogged down in the details, be direct and above all efficient: clearly highlight what may be related to the position for which you are applying.
– If you have the time, also practice answering a dozen classic questions asked in a job interview (default qualities, values, project), this will prevent you from being unsettled during the interview by a question you would not have thought. And even if you are not asked these questions exactly, it will still teach you to talk about yourself and know how to “sell” yourself.
training with friends, it will relax you and help you correct certain faults and especially to gain self-confidence.
Prepare all your things well
The day before (and not the same day so as not to be late), prepare your business (dress code), and the papers to take away:
– The summons or the letter that you have been sent and the classified ad
– Several CVs (even if you have already sent it) because you may have to give it to several people who have not had it or … have misplaced it.
– The original or a certified true copy of your diplomas
– Your internship attestations and/or work certificates
– Optionally, the program of your school or your training in the specialty which concerns the position (to show your recruiter that you have been trained on such or such hardware or software)
– Possibly, your thesis or end-of-studies research report if the subject is directly related to the position and that you may have to talk about it, or your achievements (press-book) if you apply for creative positions ( photos, arts, communication, design …)
– Something to take notes, paper, pen, and diary in case you have another appointment.
– The detailed plan of access to the company to avoid getting lost or arriving late (avoid!)
A tip: put all this in a sorter so as not to give the impression of being in a mess. And study your route in advance, allowing for a safety margin. You see that you really have to prepare!