“I feel like I’ve been interviewing for a load of jobs recently, and everyone tells me that’s a good position to be in but it feels pretty frustrating to be invited but not to get past that one last hurdle. It feels like I’m “always the bridesmaid, never the bride”!
“I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong at the interview stage, as my CV evidently isn’t the problem. One of the last people who gave me feedback (it was a video interview) said that my responses felt ‘canned’ and disengaged. I don’t really know what I should do with that information. Help, please?”
Think back to each interview. Try to get back in the room, figuratively speaking, and look at yourself as objectively as you can. Look for moments where you might have come across as disengaged. Is it possible you were feeling nervous, and therefore on a back foot? Did you feel that you genuinely gave the best version of yourself, or were you trying too hard to impress and losing some of your character?
Regarding the feedback that your responses were ‘canned’, this problem is actually more common than you think. Unfortunately when candidates prepare for a lot of interviews at once, their responses can end up routine, and that can lead to a fairly scripted sound, especially to interview questions that come up again and again.
No, we’re not advising that candidates don’t prepare well! But if you don’t pay any attention to your delivery, you’re really going to lose out – remembering your ‘lines’ might game a robot recruiter (though probably not for long) but it won’t do anything for an actual person who wants to see you as an individual!
In this highly competitive environment, interviewers are looking at a lot of similar glowing CVs, and that’s all the more reason why you need to shine at all of your interviews. Don’t think of it as a done deal.
Video interviews are an interesting case – every candidate is given the same questions and you are expected to video-record your answers, so this environment can make it even harder to show your individualism and enthusiasm. Here’s what I recommend:
Whatever the interview question, tailor your response with a strong bearing in mind of what the company is hiring you for. Try to get a good grip of what they are looking for by doing your due diligence and researching them online. The number of people I see who don’t do their research is astounding, so that’s an opportunity for you. Instead of over-preparing blanket statements for common interview questions (which everyone is prone to do), spend more time getting excited about what it might be like to work for that company. Show that you’ve thought about them closely, and use that knowledge in each one of those ‘common interview questions’, to personalise your response. Refer to quotes from the firm’s website! Your enthusiasm will come through at the interview.
Good luck with the next one!
Recruiters are experts in finding out how to match the best candidate to the position. Build a relationship with your recruiter – they are a mine of information – many of them will be glad to run a practice interview with you before the company interview, where you can get great feedback.
If you’re looking for a job in the City of London, talk to us, and follow us on social media. We love to talk.