Congratulations! You have secured yourself an interview for a position within Defence Industry. So, what now?
Now you need to prepare. Here we have covered two of the most important steps in preparing for your interview which will significantly increase your chances of securing the job.
Research the organisation and its associated defence projects
Having an in-depth understanding of a company’s services or products will be an obvious place to start. Just Google them, right? Well, due to the nature of the industry, the organisation you are interviewing with is likely to be involved with a defence project or possibly a Government department, which may not be common knowledge or even very accessible.
Try to network with people who know, or who have worked with the organisation you are meeting with. However, if you don’t have access to people ‘in the know’, be sure to create a list of relevant questions related to the types of projects the organisation tends to be associated with.
For example, don’t hesitate to ask whether a project you are interviewing for is a genuine need right now or if this is a piece of work the organisation is currently hoping to win. Any experience or knowledge you have on a specific project will be imperative. You may also be able to draw on previous experience when discussing upcoming projects that could be the key factor to determine if you are going to be suitable for the role or not.
Interviews are a two-way street. The more knowledge you go in with, the more you will both come out with.
Know who your interviewer is
This is crucial. No matter who you will be meeting with; the HR Manager, Hiring Manager or the employee you are taking over from – know who they are.
By this I don’t just mean getting their first name from the Recruiter who has arranged the interview for you. Find out what that person’s role is within the business, how long they have worked for the organisation, their work history prior to that and the projects they have worked on.
LinkedIn is great for researching a person’s work history. Not everyone has a profile on LinkedIn, however, a large proportion of senior business professionals do and you may be able to find colleagues who work with them in a similar capacity. Again, if you can’t find this information, then come prepared with questions for them. Especially if they are potentially your new manager – it’s very important to walk away from an interview knowing how they can help you to develop yourself in the future. But keep in mind that their current priority is to see what value you can add to their team and what they are working on now. Your future development is not their priority in this moment.
Researching the person you will be meeting with can give you a few advantages. You may find that you have a mutual connection in your industry, or better yet, in your circle of friends! You may have previously worked for the same company, or perhaps you even worked on the same defence project. This can be a great ice breaker and a good initial talking point in an interview, and can quickly bring down those barriers and help with any nervousness. Also worth noting, is the value of having a mutual connection when it comes to a final decision between you and another qualified candidate. Having someone in the decision makers professional network to informally (or formally) recommend you could really make the difference between an offer or not.
Above all, this preparation shows that you have done your research, and that you have a genuine interest in the organisation and the people you will be working with. It’s the little things that make you memorable in a competitive industry, and these little things can lead to your continued success.