Many organisations, especially those in the banking, finance and professional services sector, hold regular ‘Insight’ days. Insight days are primarily information events for potential candidates to learn more about the organisation and career opportunities, but also offer a fantastic opportunity to stand out from the crowd and get invited for an interview.
There are several things you can do to boost the success of your insight day including:
Ahead of the insight event you should set aside some time to research the organisation and the role you are targeting. The organisation’s website is a good place to start and the ‘careers’ or ‘work for us’ section will generally contain a lot of useful information about the organisation’s values and business goals.
You can also read the organisation’s annual report, blog or newsletter as well as monitor news stories and social media to gain a broader insight into their activities, challenges and culture.
Consider taking some notes that will help you recall the information and that you can refer to prior to the event. Also think about how you would answer questions like:
- What do you know about us?
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What sets us apart from our competitors?
Although an insight day is primarily about you going along to learn more about the organisation, it’s important that you dress appropriately. If you are seriously considering joining the organisation, you should present yourself accordingly. Dress as you would for a job interview, in a professional and business-like way.
Develop your pitch
It’s a good idea to develop your pitch including a brief introduction about yourself and your USPs (unique selling points) and why you want to work for the organisation. Think of how you would answer questions such as:
- Tell us about yourself
- What makes you unique?
- What 3 words best describe you?
- What is your greatest strength?
Prepare to network
Don’t be afraid to mingle and speak with fellow attendees as well as organisational representatives. Insight days are often used as a recruitment tool whereby talent scouts will be observing attendees to see who shines. If you develop a good connection and it feels appropriate, invite people to connect with you on LinkedIn.
Think about how you will introduce yourself, and what you want to convey. When speaking with an organisational representative remain professional but don’t be afraid to let your personality show. A confident handshake, eye contact and a smile will go a long way.
While most organisations prefer to receive CVs digitally, it doesn’t hurt to take a long a printed copy of your CV. Make sure you have a pen and a notepad handy as well as a fully charged mobile phone (to save contacts, access a website, photograph a slide etc) but remember to switch your phone to silent mode during the event.
Not all insight events involve group activities, but many do. Activities can range from simple introductions or answering a specific question, to working as a team to discuss a topic or solve a problem. Group activities enable the organisation to observe your interpersonal and communication skills along with how well you work within a team.
Develop a list of questions you have about the organisation and the role you are interested in. Your questions might range from practical ones about the recruitment process or training programme through to what a typical day might look like for you in your role in the organisation.
As the insight event progresses, write down any questions that crop up for you so that you can ask them at the appropriate time. There will likely be time during the event where you will be invited to ask questions in an open forum, don’t be afraid to stand up and seek answers.
Hopefully this sheds some light on what to expect in an insight day and you’ll be well prepared and feeling confident. Most of all, be yourself and don’t be intimidated. This is a chance for you to get some insider knowledge and understanding that will help you make informed decisions about your career and ultimately, get the job you want. Best of luck!