I still remember my job interview to join the team at Ph.Creative like it was yesterday.

I don’t remember the question or my answers but I remember the feeling well.

A lot has changed since then. Part of my role now as a Senior Manager I’m now sat on the other side of the table doing the interviewing.

So what have I learnt from the dozen or so more interviews given? More importantly from my own experience of being the candidate? What did and I think and feel?

My Interview

It was only my second interview. My first led me to the job I was about to leave if Ph. Creative were to offer me my dream role of working for a web design agency.

As the sole designer and developer in my previous role I needed to work amongst like minded and skilled. And when I came across the job advert on-line I felt I was the perfect fit.

Back then, almost 8 years ago, Ph. were located on Rodney Street in Liverpool. It brought back memories. I’d complete my school work experience on that same road for a graphic design agency only a few door down.

On arrival I was greeted at the entrance by the receptionist and was lead down to the office were a team of six were busy working away. I nervously took a seat all suited and booted and waited to meet the MD for the first time.

A couple of my colleagues to be, asked me a few questions before I was lead into Bryan Adam’s office, trying to suss me out early on.

Bryan was looking at some of my work on his screen as I took a seat and all I could think was ‘oh god, why did I put that site in my CV?’

The nerves

Most of the interview was a blur as I tried to keep my nerves in check. I accepted the offer of a cup of tea but struggled to take a sip as I couldn’t keep my own hand steady. Spilling some of it down my chin hoping Bryan, who was sitting facing me, didn’t see.

A week or so had passed and I’d not heard anything back. I thought I’d not got the job. So I took the initiative to ring up and see if a decision had been made on the role.

The receptionist explained they’d tried to contact me but my number on my CV was wrong!

Thankfully, even with that blunder, I was offered the job on the call which I gratefully accepted.

I couldn’t wipe the grin of my face. That was until the thought of resigning from my current role came to mind. This company had given me my first opportunity. A foot on the career ladder. 5 years. But it was time to move on.

Here are some tips that I hope you find useful

Submit an eye catching CV and cover letter

Stand out from the crowd. I tend to quickly scan through a CV to look for key skills, latest experience and interests. Only put good stuff in.

Put the correct information in. I could of lost my opportunity if I hadn’t of followed up.

Arrive on time

Never turn up late. there’s no excuse. Be 20 minutes early if you have to. If you’re late for something as important as this, what will you be like on a daily basis?

Do your homework

Make an effort to research the company and their services. Look further into the team members and the company values.

If you’re on the same page with the interview you’ll make a better impression. Even saying ‘Hi Jim’ before I introduce myself. It makes me feel like you’ve taken the time to find out who I am. Stalk us on Social Media.

Look the part

Act and dress like you already work for the company.

If everyone dresses smart/casual and you turn up suited and booted, it doesn’t feel natural. Almost uncomfortable. Understandably you’re trying to make a good impression but look like you’re part of the team.

The best interviews I’ve had are when it feels less like an interview. Instead, a great conversation about our passion for digital.

Ask questions

The culture and people would be a major factor for me. You’re going to be spending more time with these folks than you do your own family!

Don’t sit there mute.

We’ll ask you about your personal life to gauge what type of character you are and if you’ll fit in. The person is just as important as the skills.

Stand out

Saying you like to socialise with friends is what everyone says. Give us something interesting.

I’m obsessed with Cats and I play in a band.

Show you have a passion for something other than your job.

Be interesting, have a point of difference.

Follow up

After the interview, send something more to keep you in mind. Usually we’ll interview several people for one role to compare.

Bring food or drinks to the interview. Or present a set of creative slides about yourself. Send us gifts to thank for us for the time. impress us. If you really want to work here, do anything to stand out from the other candidates. Just don’t beg.

Ask for feedback

Whether you got the job or not, it’s good to know why. Learn from the experience for next time.