How to Ace an Interview
Want tips on how to ace an interview? We spoke with IMG Senior Manager Kris Allen, who has just completed the hiring process for Tough Mudder 2018. This article focuses on what he looks for when selecting candidates and how a potential applicant can secure a position.
What draws you into a candidate?
Out of the whole process what is the aspect that you really tune into?
One of the most important characteristics is to figure out how confident the candidate is; I personally value an old-school handshake.
Having a firm handshake with eye contact allows me to see if the potential candidate has self-confidence. Confidence is a key aspect; first impressions are made within the first sixty-seconds and if an interviewee becomes nerve stricken it’s sure to stand out.
What are the types of questions you ask candidates for junior roles or entry level positions?
I enjoy having an understanding of who they are as a character and what experience they’ve had within the workforce today.
“What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Is a key question in understanding a candidate’s character. Generally, what we would like to hear in this reply is an acknowledgment that they have a potential weakness but have a means to overcome it. “I have a weakness, but I actively try to work on it”.
Constructive answers allow us to understand that the individual has the potential to build. Character building is a key aspect in finding an enthusiastic candidate who enjoys their work and is willing to continue to learn.Another question I often ask is scenario based, this permits me to a receive a real-world answer from the individual and allows me to see how they would react in a problem-solving situation.
A potential question could be “We’re running low on t-shirts at the finish line, what would your game plan be?”.
This one specifically relates to Tough Mudder, generally the types of answers we are looking for are always pro-active based, in many cases it’s not the answer itself but how they come to their conclusion and the way they can deal with resolving in a potentially nervous situation.
Overall how far does a resume get you in regards to the application process?
Does the interview have more weight or the candidates experience?
Firstly, your resume is your gateway into getting a face-to- face interview, if you want to get your foot in the door you really need to nail your CV. Most universities, communities and schools offer workshops in creating the perfect resume so if you have time they’re worth checking out.
The perfect resume would have correct grammar and formatting, starting with a name, blurb and easing off into more detail, this is followed by easy to read dot points about key strengths and then finally breaking out into experience and past work relatable to the position.
Finally, references are key in continuing on to the next interview stage. Three, for me, is the magic number. If you are coming straight from a university course and haven’t worked more than three jobs character references are just as important, references that back up the information you are putting onto your resume.
What characteristics do you admire during the process (confidence, character, enthusiasm etc)?
I admire personality, being able to show your personality through the interview process is always commendable. Being confident but not arrogant is also important, we want someone who can step-up but also be understanding.
Taking initiative is another aspect I admire, especially when it comes to communication. Following up with emails, messages and an overall well-managed response rate makes things a lot easier.
Appearances vs mentality; does appearance (like clothing, piercings and tattoos) ever deter you
from selecting a candidate?
This all comes back to the company’s core values and the principles they represent. The one thing to keep in mind, is that you can’t teach an individual personality but you can ask if they’d be willing to wear a uniform.
If there is a dress code- for example at IMG we endorse smart casual we would love for our candidates to follow this but allow for them to still have their own flare. Overall, I would say we emphasis more on character traits.
– Kris Allen, IMG Senior Manager, Tough Mudder 2018