By Jo Sweeney, account director at Troika Recruitment
Let’s face it, in Events we are a bunch of extroverts who usually love to meet people, talk about the industry and share our experience. So, with all these great personalities, it would be logical to think that the whole business of sitting down to interview would be relatively easy, almost pleasurable in fact. The truth is though interviewing well requires a whole different approach and all too often candidates can come away from a conversation with that feeling of “I know I could have done better”.
To get the conversation started on how to avoid a disappointing interview, here are some tips to get you thinking:
Be prepared. Such a basic point but you would be amazed how many people come unstuck for both very senior and more junior appointments on this very basic criteria. Research of the broader market is essential; make sure you research the competition as well. Know some key facts about the person you are meeting, their background and career pathway. Research should not be limited to the company’s own website, there is endless information of course on the web but don’t underestimate the information that exists within your own network also. Talk to your clients, have they aware of the business you are hoping to secure employment with and what were their impressions?
Don’t oversell. This one is less obvious and there is a fine line to tread of course between letting someone know how great you are and sharing too much detail. In initial interviews, clients will look for detail to back up your achievements, for example the level of turnover you have been responsible for. But, don’t feel you have to give away the whole of your knowledge at this stage. Interviewers will appreciate a level of professional discretion from you, if you were to join them this would be a quality they would expect to see from you toward their own business.
Be quantifiable. If you are asked to talk about an area of your achievement then you will need to have some strong examples to back this up. Here you can highlight the headlines, what the business was worth, how you won it or how you delivered a fantastic event in a challenging situation. Make sure you can illustrate points and actions that were directly within your personal control, avoid the “we did this” or “the team and I “ type of responses and try to focus on what you personally did. This will illustrate what you have to offer in such a way that the interviewer gets a strong sense of what you can deliver.