First impressions are important. What you wear, how you introduce yourself and the way you reply to the interviewer’s questions, play a fundamental role in determining the success of your first interview.
Getting ready for your interview can help you reduce the stress, feel more confident and, finally, be successful.
How can you get ready for your first job interview and get your dream job?
We asked Katrina Jackson, HR Director – Europe.
Katrina has worked for Sims for 11 years and in HR for 20. She started her career in Recruitment working in specialist areas, and then she decided to transfer her skills to HR. She is a chartered member of the CIPD and has an MSc in Human Resources Management.
She joined Sims as a Regional HR BP and accepted the role of HR Director in 2021. Katrina now manages a team of 8 direct reports across Europe, HR Business Partners, a Recruitment Specialist and a Human Resources Information Systems Manager who work very hard to engage with employees and allow Sims to adapt to changing business needs.
As a team, Katrina said, “one of our current key focus areas is to create a diverse workforce that breaks the stereotypes of our industry. That has its own challenges, but fundamentally, it starts with recruitment and candidate attraction. Following the pandemic, industries and recruitment have changed dramatically, with a renewed focus on recruitment strategies and the ability to think outside of the box in terms of how we attract applicants to get the most diverse pools, we are striving to create a workforce that is attractive to all”.
With over 20 years’ experience in HR positions, Katrina will guide you through your first job interview at Sims Metal.
Here is what we asked Katrina… Grab a pen and some paper or take a screenshot, you may want to take notes for this one!
1. Let’s start with an essential question: how can people interested in working at Sims get started looking for a job?
We have many avenues that people can take if they are interested in working for our company, we have active pages on LinkedIn, our own job pages on our website and we advertise on job boards. People are also always welcome to send in speculative CVs these can then be held for a period of time with a view to matching them to future opportunities.
2. What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a career at Sims?
Understand our business, understand our values, and decide if this is a good basis for your career. Sims is more than just recycling; we are an organization that prides itself on our values and our status as a sustainable employer. Our purpose is “create a world without waste to preserve our planet”, that’s the starting point to your career at Sims.
3. What are 3 skills that someone working at Sims should have?
This one is difficult as the skills can vary depending on the type of role you would be applying for, but again I revert to our values and suggest that if you believe you can work in an organization with those at the core of its activity, then that’s a good start:
- Social Responsibility
Look at the job description and always think of how you could demonstrate the skill being asked for, it maybe you haven’t used a skill in a workplace environment, but have the competency to be able to evidence how you could.
4. How relevant is what you wear at your job interview? Is there a dress code?
There is not a dress code as such, but first impressions are lasting ones and always try to present yourself well. If you are concerned, always ask prior to attending the interview. For instance, you may be asked to take a site tour, so would want to be dressed appropriately for that.
5. Is there an appropriate tone for job interviews?
Be clear and honest, don’t try to over sell yourself, but do sell yourself, you have come this far and remember that you need to know and believe the job is also right for you. An interview should be a two-way street, so don’t waste the opportunity to ask your questions.
A very simple technique is to remember to breathe. If things are starting to feel rushed, take a second, ask for a little time to consider the question, regain composure and answer. If you don’t know how to answer, explain that. Clear communication is always fundamental to relationship building and this could be the first step to a working relationship with your interviewer.
6. How is a first interview usually structured?
A first interview will be based around you and your experience and competences that can add value to the role. We aim for interviews to be relaxed and transparent, giving clear indications of the stages and what to expect.
7. What are 3 of the most common first interview questions?
“Tell me about yourself”, “what interests you about this role”, “tell me what you know about Sims”.
8. Is body language important in an interview?
Yes it is, try to ensure you are engaged and listening to the interviewer.
9. How can someone come prepared for the first interview? Is there something you should practice at home?
Practicing for interviews is always a good idea. Research interview questions and definitely research the business. Also, prepare questions for the end of the interview, this really helps the interviewer to appreciate you have spent time thinking about this process.
10. What are 3 things that you should never do or say at your first job interview?
“I don’t know anything about the business”, “I don’t really like working”, “What’s the job again?”.
11. How should the candidate end the first interview?
Thank the interviewers for their time, ensure that you have asked any questions you have thought about and try to understand the next stages of the process.
12. What are the most important questions a candidate should ask the interviewer?
“What are the next stages?”, “when will I be likely to hear?”, “would you be able to provide feedback on my interview?, “why should I work for Sims?”
13. Should someone follow up after the interview?
If you have asked for a timeline and you have not heard, then yes you should follow up.
here we are, you made it through your first job interview at Sims Metal. Congratulations!
Thanks Katrina for answering all our questions and for all your fantastic suggestions.
Apply now for one of our open job positions around the world!
Do you have any questions about pursuing a career at Sims Metal or your first job interview? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.