Interviewing is not easy, there are so many things that you need to be aware of - body language; dress sense; background research; clarity of communication; are you building rapport?; are you being too familiar?; are you actually answering the question that was asked?;....the list of things you need to be aware of is extensive and you will find it quite exhausting and probably counterproductive, if you try to concentrate on too many at once. One thing I have found that makes the interview process so much easier and increases your chances of securing a job offer, is if you keep your message consistent. What you tell your recruitment consultant is invariably what they will then relay to the hiring manager.
A few, classic examples would be: your reason for leaving a previous employer, your salary expectations, your goals for the next role. What hiring managers do not appreciate, is when their expectations of a prospective employee is altered. An obvious example relates to salary expectations. We all work within budgetary constraints.
If you have a targeted salary level in mind and this has been discussed with your recruitment consultant, then do not stray from this figure if you asked this same question by a prospective employer in an interview. More will invariably see the hiring manager questioning why you were put forward for the role and if you provide a lower figure (quite often job seekers will provide a range), then do not be surprised when that is the salary offered. Another recent example of the impact of an inconsistent message that comes to mind, is when a highly qualified job seeker was considered for a position which was ‘at best’, a sideways move. Why would this role be of interest? Because the job seeker had reached a stage in life where `ladder climbing' was no longer the main goal. Finding a good job, good people, an interesting industry and being situated close to home, all rated higher on her wish list.
This information was then relayed to the hiring manager. However, when asked in the interview what her goals were for the next five years (an average question, but always asked!) the answer changed to indicating a stronger focus on career advancement. Why? Because she thought this response was what the hiring manager would prefer to hear. In this instance this was not the case, and by keeping the message consistent, this may have produced a more favourable outcome, i.e. getting the job!