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Back to Basics Workshop - Interview Skills - CH Toolkit*

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UTS Careers

on 11 January 2016

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Transcript of Back to Basics Workshop - Interview Skills - CH Toolkit*

Types of interview
Interview preparation
At the interview
Behavioural interview questions and STAR
Following the interview

Why Do Employers Interview Potential Candidates?
Telephone screening
Traditional face-to-face interview (1 on 1)
Panel interview (2-3 interviewers focusing on different criteria)
Assessment Centre or group interview
Skype or video conference
Video Interview
An interview is an exchange of information.
The quality and delivery of information will determine your success as a suitable candidate.

Types of Interviews
information about your skills, abilities, experience and qualifications

further information about the position and your work environment (organisation, people, location)

the role – is it for me? Be reasonable in your expectations

What are they looking for?

Would a line manager see different characteristics as being more important than a HR representative?
Example – Chromatograph

Is the interviewer experienced? If not, how will you effectively convey information you may not have been asked?

Consider their personal biases and judgements.

What Good Interviewers Will Be Looking For
Is the candidate well
Knowledge about the industry, company and role (they do not expect you to know every detail about daily activities, rather are assessing whether or not you understand the nature of the role).

Does the candidate have good
Oral presentation skills, ability to communicate their own strengths and weaknesses, ability to communicate within a group, technical terms.

Does the candidate possess a high level of
potential for success
Enthusiasm for the position and demonstrated patterns of accomplishment.

Does the candidate possess clear and realistic
Future plans and awareness of career paths, ‘Gen Y bias’.

How is the candidate’s

Realistic appraisal of self.

Does the candidate possess the right
Academic, work, volunteer, other experience.

Does the candidate exhibit good
Depending on the role, either/or may be more important; demonstrated ability to work with others and get others to work together.

Does the candidate appear to have good

work ethic
Acceptance of responsibility, ability to keep commitments and attitude of the importance of work.

Current activities/projects
Current issues
Office locations
Planned/recent mergers
Structure and size
Company mission/values
Major competitors
Industry and market trends
Potential future direction
Company culture

Research the organisation:
Prepare yourself:
The Interview
10 minutes
to the receptionist
your phone
body language – smile, firm handshake, eye contact
Wait to be asked to take a seat and sit in a relaxed, upright position.
Listen to the
entire question
– ask for clarification of necessary. A short pause will show you are thinking about your answer.
Take a copy of your
– it is OK to refer to it.
– it gives the impression you are keen (but maintain eye contact for the most part).
referee contact details available
– ensure you have spoken with them prior to the interview.
Have a
salary range
in mind – research beforehand if necessary. Example – OTE question.

will make you sound confident and knowledgeable, not stiff and rehearsed.

Be yourself
– be genuine and don’t lie, they will most likely pick up on it if you do.
Behavioural Interview Questions
Past performance is an indicator of future behaviour.

Behavioural interview questions are designed to produce short stories based on real experiences and discourage hypothetical answers.

The Benefits of Self-Assessment
Increased confidence in yourself and your place in the world.
Some questions for consideration:
Why did I choose to study instead of going straight into employment?
How did I deal with any obstacles which affected my choice?
Why did I choose my particular course?
How does my career choice link to my studies and training?
What skills and personal qualities has university helped me develop?
What did I enjoy most about my course?
What was I best at and why?

Typical Interview Questions Based Around Self-Assessment
Tell me about yourself
Tell me why you think your degree is relevant to this position, example – Kelly Scientific
Leaving aside your academic knowledge, what skills have you gained at university?
Which part of your course gave you the most satisfaction and why?
Why should this company hire you?
Tell me, what is your greatest area for improvement?

Do You Have Any Questions?
It is important to prepare your own questions. This shows confidence and interest.

If successful, what will I be required to achieve in the first year of my employment?
How do you assess the performance of your staff?
What is a typical day for a graduate at (company name)?
Are there opportunities to progress in other areas of the business?
What is your internal staff training program and are there also opportunities for further external training?
What is the team structure?
How would you describe the culture within the organisation?
What do you like most about working for (company name)?
What are your key projects or focus areas for this year?
What is your timeline for the interview process and the next steps?

After the Interview
Send a thank you email
Advise your referees you have attended an interview
Wait the specified time before calling for an update
If offered a position, be prepared to discuss salary and conditions
If you are not successful ask for specific feedback on your interview
Write down the questions and your answers
Review your preparation, behaviour and dress
Review your resume
Focus on the positive and keep improving

Final Tips



Interview Stream
UTS Careers Service website
Graduate Careers site
Australian recruitment websites
Careerfaqs books/site
UTS Careers -Resume Review Sessions
More in the workshop series:
Back to Basics - Resume Writing
LinkedIn Lab
Your tasks and responsibilities
Expectations of you (work hours etc)
Structure e.g. rotational graduate program
Learning and development
Career progression
Understand the position
Spend 80% of your answer on the activities (strategies) you implemented to solve the problem
Be late or flustered
Speak negatively of previous employers or work situations
Rush in with babbling answers to questions
Oversell or undersell yourself
Lie or exaggerate
Extend the interview
Fidget or chew gum
Use racist, culturally sensitive or sexist statements
Leave your phone turned on
Mention salary expectations unless asked
Smoke or douse yourself in perfume before your interview
Underestimate the power of practicing!
Interview Don'ts
Manage your nerves
Use adrenalin to your advantage
Remember that most interview situations are supportive
Modulated voice
Recognise and manage the physical symptoms
Refer to your notes if it helps
If your hands get hot and sweaty, run cool water over them before you go in
Introductory/General Questions
1) Tell me a bit about yourself
2) What are your key strengths and greatest weaknesses?
3) Why did you choose to study your current degree?
4) Where would you like to be in five years time?
5) Why are you interested in this role?
6) Tell me about your interests outside of university and work?
Interview Do's
Interviewee and Interviewer

Group 1: Discuss responsibility of a candidate during the interview.
Group 2: Discuss responsibility of the employer during the interview.

Present information to each other.

General Interview Questions

Prepare an answer to one of the self-assessment type questions listed in the previous slide.

Where applicable consider if you conveyed your passion for the position.

Behavioural Interview Questions
Questions To Ask The Interviewer

Write down one question that you think would be
to ask at an interview.

Write down one question that you think would be
to ask at an interview.

Interview Preparation
Choose a key competency area and use the STAR model to prepare an answer to one of the questions on the sheet.

Practice the answer in pairs and give each other feedback - mark against the STAR technique
Can you tell me about a time when you had to organise a major event?
To do this, I was required to market and advertise the Fair to both students and employers. I also had to organise venue hire, catering and booth construction, and exhibition equipment.
To market the Fair to students, I had a postcard designed and mailed out to our target audience. I also used banners, flyers and posters to advertise. In the week leading up to the Fair, we used a video wall for the first time.... [Describe succinctly each of the other tasks for which you were responsible].
112 employers attended the fair, which was the largest number of employers to attend to date. And there were over 2700 students, which was also a record number.
'Yes - earlier this year I had to organise the UTS Careers Fair.

I had to organise the UTS Careers Fair last year which a large number of employers attended.
Can you tell me about a time when you had to organise a major event?
Do You Have Any Questions?
Interview Questions
What is the interviewer trying to identify?
"Tell me about a time where you supported, led, or worked effectively with others"
What is the interviewer trying to identify?
"Tell me about a time in which you had to speak up to be sure that other people knew what you thought or felt"
What is the interviewer trying to identify?
"Describe a situation when you failed to meet a deadline. What things did you fail to do? What did you learn?"
Organisation and planning
What is the interviewer trying to identify?
"Give me an example of a time when there was a decision to be made and procedures were not in place. What was the outcome?"
Decision making, Problem solving,
Using Initiative
Interview Preparation

Produce a list of things to consider when preparing yourself for a job interview.
Interview Skills

Back to Basics

Brought to you
by UTS:Careers
Supporting Resources:
General Questions - Sample Questions and Responses
Behavioural Questions - Samples Questions
STAR - Handout
Questions for Employers
UTS Careers - Interview Preparation Checklist
What You Wish You'd Known Before Your Job Interview
Video Interview Resources:
Interview Stream - User Guide Practice
Pre-Recorded Best Practices
Student Guide To Interviewing
UTS Careers - Video Interview Tips
umm like guide
Elevator Pitch
Refer to supporting resources
Please take note of the following keys throughout the presentation:
Please refer to the Video Interviewing resources via http://bit.ly/vidintv
Please refer to 'General Interview Questions' via http://bit.ly/genintv
Please note these documents are found in CareerHub Resources via http://bit.ly/b2bintv and direct links for the resources have been provided throughout the presentation
Please refer to the 'Questions for Employers' via http://bit.ly/empquest
Please refer to:
Behavioural Questions via http://bit.ly/bhvintv
STAR Handout via http://bit.ly/intvstar
Please refer to the 'Interview Preparation Checklist' via http://bit.ly/intvprep

Arrive 10 minutes early
Open with a smile and strong handshake
Posture shows confidence or insecurity- sit up straight!
Be positive, enthusiastic and mature
Listen attentively and with appropriate eye contact
Provide examples where possible to strengthen answers
Never use negatives or apologise for your lack of experience/skills (always focus on your positive attributes)
Prove to the recruiter that you are the best candidate. Demonstrate what makes you different and better than the rest.
throughout the entire recruitment process.

Consider what you will
(what do you think your interviewers will be wearing?). You need to feel comfortable – nothing worse than sitting in an interview feeling under- or overdressed!

Research the
and modes of
– allow plenty of time for travel. Practice if need be – you don’t need to arrive feeling extra nervous.

will be conducting the interview? Know their
and a little about their
in the company.

Please refer to:
What You Wish You'd Known Before Your Job Interview via http://bit.ly/beforeintv
Interview Preparation Checklist via http://bit.ly/intvprep
Interview Tips
Additional Resources
Please refer to:
Behavioural Questions via http://bit.ly/bhvintv
STAR Handout via http://bit.ly/intvstar
If you complete activities online and would like to discuss your responses you are welcome to come to the Careers Services Drop-In during our opening hours, please see additional details via
Come and visit the Drop-In Service for further details or book online through CareerHub via https://careerhub.uts.edu.au/students/events
Be prepared:
Recruiters often ask how candidates stay up to date with the industry.
Be gracious and polite if you receive constructive feedback
Full transcript