Interview tips I 5 steps to make sure you secure that second interview

Congrats on getting that first stage interview! Now it’s time to maximise your chances of getting to the all-important second round.  The hardest part about the first stage interview really is making sure you stand out.  During the process, the first stage is always the most competitive and you need to make sure you’re a step above the rest by displaying five key traits:

1. Interest and curiosity

This is so important and very much undervalued. Showing interest and enthusiasm for the role and the company will immediately drive a connection between you and the interviewer. Showing indifference and not asking any real, well thought-out and genuine questions in the interview will immediately eliminate any chances you have – hiring managers want passionate, enthusiastic and curious talent. Added to this, rapport building is hugely important in a first interview with ability to engage and be a good conversationalist beyond just ‘work’.

2. Initiative

You may be asked the question “give us an example when you used your initiative to…” but this doesn’t show the interviewer much in a real way nor allow you to stand out. Initiative comes from your research and the ideas and suggestions you create from that. For example, if you were interviewing for a Social Media Executive role, researching the company’s social presence and coming back with real, well-thought out suggestions and ideas will immediately propel you to that second stage interview – trust us!

3. Drive

Finding someone that shows proper drive is rare – many people look at jobs as they are – a 9 to 5. Those that show drive look at jobs as careers and really push to demonstrate this. For example sending an email after the interview to say thanks and following up on a couple of points of difference or some further thoughts is an instant stand out move.

4. Credibility 

This has a lot to do with the skills you are bringing to the role and the way that you describe and display them in the interview. Make sure to read through the job description but try and go further – if you were hiring for this role what skills and characteristics would you be looking for in a recruit?

5. Confidence

Confidence is crucial but can be hard for those with a lack of it. Some key tips we’d suggest here is to make sure to show enthusiasm and to speak positively, ask lots of questions, and do plenty of prep. The more prep you do the more confidence you should have – equally don’t over prep as that can have the opposite effect!

I’m a Founding Partner of Bamboo Crowd. I help our clients invest better in people and scale through Engine. I solve recruitment challenges and help our clients source the best talent across operations, business development, programme management, and technology. Ask me about good films, beards and hip hop.