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When working as a freelance consultant, a certain code (recommendations, if you will) applies when it comes to the process of progressing from being the needle in the haystack to landing the perfect job.
A pivotal part of this process is the consultant interview, which is the consultant’s first opportunity to make a lasting, personal impression. Here are 6 tips on some of the elements you should consider when preparing for your interview, as well as how to navigate the interview itself.
Do your research
Before the interview, it's vital to acquire an understanding of the type of organization and project you are dealing with. This will also give you an indication of how to make yourself relevant in relation to the client’s needs.
It will be to your advantage to look up who will participate in the interview, and how they relate to the project. It's also advantageous if you have knowledge of relevant problems or initiatives that the organization might have.
Besides making it easier for you to navigate through the interview, it also makes you appear professional and prepared, and this will give the client an initially positive impression.
Dress the part
It’s also important that you, as a consultant, consider how you appear at the interview. Make sure to check if the organization has a dress code that you should follow when going to the interview.
Regardless of whether there is a dress code or not, it's always important to appear well-dressed.
If the organization has English as its corporate language, you should be prepared to carry out the interview in English, if necessary.
During the interview, it's essential for the client to get a clear sense of the competencies that you have, and how you will rise to the challenge. As a consultant, you should therefore prepare for the pivotal point of the interview – presenting yourself – to be hard facts rather than soft skills.
The approach to the interview is often matter-of-factly and well structured, and the client wants to get right to the point. They need to find out why you are right for the job.
Don't expect the usual small talk, instead be ready to give a suitable presentation of how you can help the client.