First impressions count – Tips for interview success

First impressions count – Tips for interview success Author: AJ Marsh Published: 14 June 2018

Retail is not all about your qualifications, it's more about your leadership style and experience. 

I have always said it’s better to fully immerse yourself with no more than three interview processes at any time. Being thoroughly prepared and remembering ‘retail is detail’, will give you the best chance of success. Without focussing your time you are likely to misrepresent yourself and damage your reputation in the market. 

The interview process can be nerve wracking at any level, but by following a few simple steps you can take the pain out of the situation and create a great first impression.

  1. Be Prepared
    It’s an old saying but still a classic, ‘if you fail to plan you plan to fail’. It’s a simple message but an extremely important one that I cannot convey enough. Know your figures and do your research, not just on the business but the people you are meeting. I once heard a candidate tell a colleague of mine “I don’t prep for an interview; I just turn up and give it my best”. I would argue that without preparing you aren’t able to do your best, and the hiring manager will be able to tell.

  2. Ask questions
    Having quality questions prepared about the role and business this will serve you very well. Review their strategic plan and ask questions that will give you an insightful view of your future employer as well as demonstrating your understanding and interest in the role. 

  3. Stand Out
    Consider what makes you a relevant and interesting future employee. What is your key differentiator that makes you the best candidate? Identify what specifically attracted you to this position and organization. This is your time to come to life, demonstrate your suitability and passion for this role. During your preparation, you should have found a couple of common grounds such as a mutual contact, or a relevant article. This is a good way to develop commonality that starts to build confidence with your future employer.

  4. Be remembered
    A well delivered simple message can be all that you need to secure a second interview. If you are able to leave your interviewer with a strong first impression you are half way there. A good example of this is leaving your presentation for the interviewer to reflect on.

We have all done many interviews to get where we are, however a few simple steps can take a good interview to a great one.

AJ Marsh is a Consultant in the Retail Practice at Berwick Partners

Categories: Retail Recruitment

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