Here’s how to shine in your interview

We are well aware of that a successful interview often is the first step to a successful assignment. That’s why we always aim to give you as a consultant the best preparations before your interview. Our freelance partner Amanda, who has five years of experience in recruitment, shares some of her best tips when it comes to owning the interview. She is also here if you would like some coaching or pep talk before your next one.

Amanda says hi

From my previous role as a recruiter I’ve gained experience from hundreds of interviews. Today, in my current role at Tingent, I often participate in interviews when a consultant meet our client for the first time. In other words you can say that interviews are kinda my thing.

Our goal is to always accompany consultants when they meet our client for the first time (if they want to). We think it’s a very good way to get to know both our client and you as a consultant even better. It’s also a perfect time to gather feedback to help both parties in the future.

During interviews I often get impressed by how good many consultants are at presenting themselves and explain  what they are good at and what they can bring to the table. Unfortunately, I have also experienced when consultants, who has the right skills on paper, haven’t “done the job” and prepared themself for the interview and hence have been rejected. With that said and based on my experience, the one who is best suited for the assignment may not always “get it” rather than the one who is best at interviews.

I have listed some of my best tips on things I think you should keep in mind and reflect on before your next interview. I hope it will give you some new thoughts.

Prepare and take control

Read about the client so you have an understanding of what they actually are working with

Why? Every client wants to meet candidates that is curious and genuinely interested. Show them that you are interested about their project and their company. Also, knowledge about the client will give you some extra confidence. Have you tested their product? Do they have any news about upcoming projects? Why do you want to work with them/this?

Always say yes to a cup of coffee or a glass of water before your interview

Why? The minutes you get at the coffee machine is a perfect time for you to have a small chat and get to know a little bit about the person who will be interviewing you (and let’s face it, everyone likes it when someone is interested in what they do).  This will also be the time to get yourself into the right frame of mind. 

Be prepared to answer questions like  “tell us a little bit about yourself?” 

Why? This is a common question and to give a good answer can be more difficult than it seems. Practice your pitch and be comfortable to say it out loud. Know what you are good at and learn to explain what you will contribute with. Note – this does not have to be a long answer.


Owning it

Learn how to present your assignments according to relevance

Why? The client doesn’t have to know everything you have done but at the same time, the client is not a mind reader. Select the assignments and tasks where you have the most relevant experience for the current assignment.  Relevance is key here!

 

Which programming language do you think are most interesting to work with and vice versa? 

Reflect on: Is there any language you are extra good at? How do you prepare and gather knowledge about new technologies? And if you get a question about whether you have worked with a specific language or not. Then just be honest. You can always describe what you know that is similar and compare and draw parallels.  

Learn how to explain and give good examples of challenges in earlier work

Why? There are no right or wrong answer here. The client/interviewer only want to see that you are aware of possible options, your thinking process, trade-offs and that you are able to make the best choice in given constraints. 

 About you  

What are your strengths?

Reflect on: What are you best at and what can you contribute with? How do you do the little extra? What more does the team and client get from you more than the coding?  It’s not only about your results. Let the client get to know you and show them what you are passionate about. 

Nobody knows everything (that’s a fact)

Reflect on: How do you seek help from your potential colleagues. What do you do when you can’t solve a problem yourself? It is okay to have weaknesses. Be humble.

Be a team player

Reflect on: Can you give an example of good team work? How do you act if you don’t get along with someone in the team and how do you solve that? How do you respond to feedback and how do you prefer to give feedback? In the majority of assignments you will work in a team and teamwork is essential in many aspects of a job.

 And last but not least

 Ask many questions! Show them that you are interested and at the same time, make sure the assignment is a fit for you.

→ Be aware of your body language, avoid arms crossed and smile (ok then, only if you want to). Present yourself with a confident handshake, look your interviewer in the eye and let your personality shine through!

→ It’s clichéd and easy for me to say, but believe in yourself! Keep in mind that the client has chosen to meet you. You are there for a reason.

 



Best of luck with your next interview, you’ll do great! 

Do not hesitate if you have any questions or would like to come
in contact with me at amanda@tingent.se / 0720902852


/Amanda