At Plug & Play we’re a small, close knit team and choosing our next recruit carefully is really important to us. We don’t have a long interview process, usually just a telephone interview and one face to face interview, both of which are fairly informal. However, there are certain things that never fail to impress us and despite sounding obvious, are things that are regularly ignored by candidates.
Arrive at the right time
It’s an obvious one, but it’s not uncommon for a candidate to misjudge how long it’ll take to get here, get caught in traffic or get lost en route. Our whole business is built around giving good customer service, so if you are late to an interview, it doesn’t suggest that you’ll be able to get to client meetings promptly.
Having said that, we often have candidates arrive too early, interrupting a meeting that hasn’t yet finished or the previous interview! Arriving more than 10 minutes early can be inconvenient. Make sure you aren’t late by leaving in good time and then find the building you need to go to. Once you’ve scoped out exactly where the office is, find a coffee shop and collect your thoughts before heading into the interview, feeling relaxed because you’re neither too early nor too late.
Like many agencies, we have an informal dress code and usually conduct interviews in jeans and a t-shirt. Even if this is your normal attire at work, dressing smartly helps you look professional and feel prepared. It’s always better to be too smart than too casual and many of our clients have a corporate dress code, so demonstrating that you do scrub up well is essential.
Our industry is completely portfolio focused. We trade off of our case studies and a huge part of our interview process is ensuring that the candidate will be able to deliver the high standard of work we strive for that our clients expect. Come to the interview armed with some examples of work you are most proud of, that’s relevant to the position you are applying for. Presenting your current portfolio confidently and explaining how you approached the work, any limitations you had and anything you would do differently next time demonstrates a passion for what you do and a desire to keep learning; two skills that we really value.
Find out about the position you’re interviewing for
It sounds obvious, but I’m always surprised by how little people know about Plug & Play and the job they are applying to. I’ve blogged on preparing for an interview before, but considering you’ll spend more time at work than doing anything else, I think it’s pretty important to find out exactly what you’ll be doing and what the environment is like. The first stage of our interview process is a telephone interview, which will give you the chance to hear more about the company and the position and ask any initial questions. When preparing for your face to face interview, it’s a good idea to reflect on the telephone interview and think about things you don’t yet have answers to:
- What’s the commercial direction of the company?
- What’s the working environment like?
- What are key metrics of success in the role?
- What are the day to day responsibilities of the position?
The interview process is just as much about you interviewing the company you are applying to, ensuring that they are right for you, so make sure you really understand the business and the job you are interviewing for.
Having questions ready help you build a bond with the interviewer, get conversation flowing and break up the ‘Question, Answer, Question, Answer’ format that can be nerve wracking and awkward. They also demonstrate that you are really interested in a career at the company, rather than simply ‘getting a job.’
Send an email follow up
After the interview, send an email to your contact at the company thanking the interviewer for their time. This shows that you are polite, professional and communicative. It also helps keep you at the forefront of the interviewer’s mind if they’ve conducted a lot of interviews that day. You never know, it could give you the edge against other candidates.
We’re always looking to hear from good people. Check our careers page for our latest positions.
A note to recruiters; thank you for considering us and for thinking about getting in touch with possible candidates, but we prefer to hear directly from our ideal candidates.