Going for a job interview can be pretty nerve-wracking, but fortunately, there are some things you can do to help you stand out and land that job you want.
Mathew and Chris from Custom Plugs have their own preferences on what they would like to see from potential candidates. Building a strong team helped them to develop their multi-million pound eCommerce website business from scratch, and they are now one of the leading international websites for body jewellery, ear stretchers and plugs, alternative clothing, ear gauges, and accessories.
Here is some of their advice for anyone applying for a role in an eCommerce environment:
Understand the involvement of the owner
When applying for a job in a smaller e-commerce environment, it’s imperative you appreciate the likelihood that the person employing you has built that business from the ground upwards. That business is like their baby, and they will be very protective of it. They will only employ people that they truly believe will take the values and culture of the business as seriously as they do.
Matt says, “when I’m employing someone, I like to look for innovation and creativity. I want someone who will bring ideas and personality into the workplace, and add value over and above just doing a job. I want someone who will embrace the business, be innovative, and use their initiative.”
Go in prepared
Always do your research on the business and come up with some creative suggestions that you can discuss in the interview. If you’re applying for a marketing role, come to the interview with 4 influencers that you’ve agreed to promote products, or come with an amazing marketing idea or concept – even if the interviewer hasn’t requested it.
This will show you’re keen, help you stand out from the others, and show the interviewer that you have ideas and creativity. If you really want the job for a certain company, you’ll put the extra work in without being guaranteed a job.
Know what the marketplace is doing. Research competitors and be aware of what’s happening on eBay and Amazon.
Test the product
Where possible, try to purchase a product from the website before you go for the interview and provide examples of how the company could improve the customer experience. Contact the customer service team and feedback on your experience (good or bad) during the interview.
Additionally, ensure you read the business blog/news feed and talk about a topic of interest in the interview. Follow them on social media and be prepared to discuss recent posts you’ve seen or engaged with.
Prove your versatility
In a smaller business, you may be asked to undertake a variety of roles, and being able to roll up your sleeves and take on any task is a really important skill. Talk about your approach to this and how you manage your workload accordingly.
- If you’re applying for a sales job, consider going to the interview with 5 leads and contact them during the interview. Show the interviewer your approach to the sales process, and how you build a relationship with your customer.
- If you’re applying for a customer service role, ask the interviewer to give you a few scenarios to handle whilst you’re in the interview. Show them your approach to customer care – be confident and calm at all times.
It’s about thinking outside the box and making yourself stand out during the interview. Prove to the interviewer that you’re worth employing; show off your skills first hand rather than just coming along and talking about what you’ve done before. This speaks far more than anything.
It’s surprising how few people smile during an interview, and it makes such a difference. Matt sympathises, “I understand nerves can play a big part, but you need to know the person you’re employing is going to be personable and not difficult to be around, especially if you’re only a small team.”
Most importantly, have confidence in your ability and let it shine. Show your best self during the interview and it makes it much easier for the interviewer to make the right call.
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