Halloween interview strategies – trick or treat?

29th October 2019

As we gear up to the annual spook-fest, we scary recruiters are asking ourselves whether candidates should be harnessing the spirit of Halloween by wearing a mask to an interview (not literally you understand) or whether you should present yourselves in all your genuine glory and simply be true to yourselves. Not necessarily warts n’ all, but do we want to see a true representation of your skills and character traits, or do we want to meet the ‘perfect’ candidate?

Like at Halloween, many candidates feel they should pretend to be someone else to snare their dream job. We’ve all asked ourselves, ‘Should I be more formal than usual? Should I try to appear more outgoing or gregarious? Or should I just be me?’

We conducted an interesting little piece of informal research by picking the brains of recruiters around the Oaklands Global office and we’ve reached the conclusion that honesty is the best policy. We want to, and must, see who you really are to ensure you’re the right fit for the job, but a level of formality must be maintained to achieve the best outcome for both employer and future employee. Recruiters at Oaklands unanimously agree that a friendly and approachable candidate makes the process more enjoyable but there are limits. If we spend the interview joking and chatting about holidays and pets we may never reach the nitty gritty of your answers. An equal mix of friendly and professional is the ideal balance.

Here are some top interview tips from the Oaklands Global team:

  • Don’t wear a mask

Recruiters are real people and we know that you are too. We can see through that false bravado and we spot exaggerated tales of success from a mile away. We want to know what you can really do well, otherwise you’ll find yourself in the wrong job – and in pretty hot water!

  • The Introduction

Keep it to around a few minutes long and don’t cram it in, we want to know about you as a person, but this isn’t a life story. Where possible highlight relevant experience and key skills that relate to the role. We want to see you are passionate about your work and you have the attitude that our clients are looking for.

  • Beware of being underprepared

Planning and organisation are key to every successful interview. Be prepared with examples of previous work situations that demonstrate your qualities and be ready to answer the most common questions asked by recruiters. (Hint – see our previous blog). Most importantly, understand the job role and research the company!

  • Confront your fears

We are aware that submitting online CVs and video applications can cause the most confident professional to tremble in their boots and that sitting in front of us in an interview can be truly terrifying, but please remember that we’re on your side. We want you to secure the job if you are right for it and we are never trying to trip you up – we promise! Digital aversions must be overcome for candidates to access the best jobs on the market, so get that CV ship-shape and sign up to online job-seeking forums and websites. It’s more straightforward than it looks and it opens many doors. The job-seeking process needn’t be frightening. Keep calm and you will overcome your biggest nightmares.

We wish you success in your recruitment journey and a fun-filled fright-night on the 31st – Happy Halloween!


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