Essential ingredients for a successful first round interview
October 10, 2023
Table of contents
With so many companies having wildly different recruitment processes, preparing for the first interview can be tricky. What to expect? What should you talk about? In this article, my aim is to help you prepare for your first interview with Nord Security.
Purpose of the first round interview
The whole recruitment process at Nord Security is a two way street. It's never just the company that selects a person. It's also you, as a candidate, selecting us. Therefore, each recruitment process should aim for an equal exchange of information, and the first interview is where that begins.
The aim of this initial interview is for you to learn more about the company, our work processes, our goals, etc. Hopefully you will come out with a clearer understanding of the role, the team, the challenges, the opportunities, and everything else the position entails.
At the same time, the recruiter will want to get to know you, your professional experience, your expectations, and see if there’s a mutual match.
This exchange of information allows both sides to better evaluate a potential match, then make a conscious decision on proceeding to further steps or not.
It’s the recruiter’s responsibility to properly prepare for the first interview by reviewing your profile or CV. The recruiter should be aware of your professional experience to make the conversation effective and informative.
You should expect the recruiter to present the company for you as well as answer relevant questions. This ensures that you have “the big picture” of life at Nord Security. The recruiter can tell you more about our:
Expect the recruiter to provide you with additional information about the position. We can tell you more about the team's responsibilities, what challenges or roadmaps they have, and where you would fit in. The recruiter can outline the team structure and how work is organized between them, what methodologies or technologies they’re using, and how tasks are prioritized. While we can’t give you a very in-depth view of the team, it should be sufficient enough to give you an idea of where you’re getting yourself into. Lastly, if the recruiter isn’t sure about something, we’ll make a note and obtain this information directly from the team.
You’re encouraged to ask questions. We want to make sure that you have sufficient information about the position and have a strong initial impression of what to expect if you do end up joining us (which I hope you do). :)
In most cases, the recruiter will be interested to learn more about your current responsibilities and contributions. When introducing yourself, we highly encourage you to focus on 1-2 past workplaces. Development and technologies change quite a bit, so there’s no need to go through your whole career in detail. Focusing on the most recent or meaningful achievements makes it easier for us to understand your level of competence and knowledge.
Describing your previous workplace allows the recruiter to better understand what you're actually focusing on these days, your level of ownership and contributions. Your current workplace experience showcases your most up-to-date skills, knowledge, and expertise and is the clearest indicator to us about your suitability for the role.
Another important aspect to remember is your personal contributions. Company achievements can be useful, but they are mostly interested in you specifically. Emphasizing your personal contributions provides a more comprehensive understanding of your abilities, soft skills, and impact. It helps you stand out as an individual candidate with unique skills and achievements.
Highlighting your individual contributions allows us to identify your impact on the team and how much it relates to the position at hand. Also, talking through your personal experiences gives an indication on your soft skills which are equally (if not more so) important. At Nord Security, we emphasize teamwork. Providing examples and talking about how you dealt with certain situations in a team context is invaluable for your recruiter.
Examples of concrete situations enhance your credibility, demonstrate your skills and problem-solving abilities, leave a lasting impression, support your claims with tangible results, facilitate storytelling and engagement, and promote clarity and understanding. Including examples throughout the interview can really increase your chances of standing out.
Information provided by recruiter & candidate
Tips for maximizing your interview impact
A few points to be mindful of before the interview.
Keep it brief: Being concise and to the point in your responses ensures that your message is clear and focused. Being concise allows for a balanced conversation where the interviewer can ask all the questions they have within the allotted time. It ensures that both parties have a fair chance to contribute and engage in a meaningful discussion.
Prioritize key points: Identify the most important aspects of your experience, skills, and qualifications that align with the role, and focus on those during the interview.
Technical issues: If you encounter issues like poor internet connection, background noise, or other factors that affect the interview quality, reach out to the interviewer and ask for the call to be rescheduled. We understand the importance of a smooth interview experience and will be accommodating in rescheduling the call.
In essence, the first interview with Nord Security is a holistic process where information exchange, effective communication, and alignment of values and skills converge. Approached with authenticity and readiness, this interview serves as the foundation for a potential partnership built on mutual understanding and shared goals.
You, as a candidate, should use this interview as an opportunity to gain insights into the company's culture, objectives, and the role itself. By focusing on recent and relevant experiences, you can showcase your individual contributions and skills. Sharing specific examples of achievements, problem-solving abilities, and soft skills can create a lasting impression on recruiters.
Recruiters, on the other hand, are tasked with thorough preparation. They should be equipped to present the company comprehensively, address your queries, and provide detailed information about the role, team dynamics, challenges, and methodologies. Encouraging open dialogue and offering a platform for you to ask questions fosters transparency and helps you make informed decisions.
And remember, at the end of the day - it's just a conversation.