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Interviews: How to succeed
Transcript of Interviews: How to succeed
Face to Face Interviews
Job Interviews: How to succeed
(cc) photo by Franco Folini on Flickr
(cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr
It's also a chance for you to prove yourself . If you don't already have the skills they're asking for, can you show that you can pick them up quickly?
Can you help them solve problems - like organisation, speedier service or motivating others?
Can you bring new skills
or ideas to the job?
Are you an open and friendly person and will you fit into their organisation or team?
Job interviews are about more than showing an employer that you have the knowledge and skills to do the job, they also help employers discover things like:
These could be: informal telephone interviews, timed tests or set written/ creative tasks, to check you meet the basic job requirements
These could be: one-to-one, panel ( where several people interview you at once) or group ( where you are interviewed or observed in discussion with other interviewees)
Before The Interview
Research the company and the job you're going for
Work out how you will get there before hand and arrive early
Get a good nights sleep and eat well
Activity:"So tell me about yourself"...
Write down answers to these common interview questions:
What are your achievements at school - i.e. subjects, exams, activities and prizes?
What is your work experience, including school or community volunteering?
What are your main strengths - think about communication, effort, learning new skills, team work?
What are your career objectives?
Types of Question: Behavioral Questions
These questions focus on the Idea that your past behavior and performance can predict future behavior and performance
WHen answering, you should draw mostly on work / school related experiences, knowledge, skills, and abilities rather than experiences from your personal life / friendships
'Talk about a time when you worked as part of a team to solve a problem'
'How do you organize and plan for major projects or exams?'
'Tell me a time when you had to lead a team of people.'
Types of Question: General Interview Questions
'Why are you interested in our company/program'?
'What is important to you in a job? What motivates you'?
'Describe what kind of situation you find stressful'. 'How do you handle the stress'?
And finally: What is your greatest weakness?
This is a tricky question but it's not a trick question!
choose a skill or attribute that was listed as essential in the job ad
say something completely negative like 'I just can't get up in the mornings...
Think about things you struggle with and
them with your positive strengths e.g if you are spontaneous, you might say 'I sometimes act very quickly, but when I work in a team I always listen to others before I act...' or 'I'm working to improve my number skills and because of this I always pay extra attention to what I'm doing'..
Now You can ask some questions!
Who is the direct supervisor for this position and what is that person’s management style?
What type of training is provided?
How well do students succeed in this program?
What do they look for in a candidate?
Go to a quiet place
Have your CV or application form in front of you and the other notes you made.
If you are nervous take some deep breaths and sip water before you answer
Speak slowly and be clear and concise with your answers
Avoid slang words and avoid using, 'umm' and 'like' while you're thinking
about your achievements, don't say 'I can't do this' or 'I don't know', say 'I'm building my skills in this area', or 'this is what I do know and I'd like to continue learning more'
Before you take the call, make some notes:
Write down your skills, accomplishments, goals and strengths
Write down an example of when you worked well as part of a team - it could be a group project at school, a sports team, after school club or job
Research the company and make notes on why you are interested in working there, plus any questions you want to ask them.
Think carefully about all of these points as they often come up in interviews...
THE S.T.A.R. METHOD
Situation or Task- Provide an example of task / situation at work or school, where you helped to create a positive outcome
Action Taken (or Behavior)
- talk about the action you took and the behavior you showed e.g calm under pressure, fair and unbiased in the way you treated someone
- describe what happened as a result of your actions e.g you made that deadline, or the conflict was resolved
Do you have a genuine interest in the role and the organisation?
1. DO prepare and practise - you wouldn’t be able to play the trumpet without practising so don’t expect to be able to interview without practising either!
2. DO remember that first impressions count - smile, say hello, how are you? etc.
3.DO sit up straight and smile (see body language tips later).
4. DO have a 30 second summary of yourself and practise it over and over again. Cover who you are, your qualifications, any relevant experience and your skills & qualities.
5. DO have five really good reasons why you want the job. Learn them.
6. DO have five really good reasons why you would be good at the job. Learn them. (Remember that why you want the job and why you would be good at the job are very different things.)
7. DO know five things (at least!) about the company or organisation you’re applying for. Learn them. Why would someone hire you if you don’t know anything about them?!
8. DO think about the interview from the perspective of the interviewer (rather than your own). What will they want or need to hear?
9. DO have some examples from other experiences (school, extra-curricular or work-experience) that are similar and relevant to whatever you’re applying for. They don’t have to be the same - just find the similarities. Be prepared to talk about them.
10. DO read quality newspapers at least three times a week - building up knowledge of current affairs is a vital life-skill to make you a more rounded human being - and therefore more likely to succeed in an application!
And Finally, remember....
You've already done really well to get to the interview stage, well done!
The employer will be trying to impress you too and this is your opportunity to assess whether the job and firm are right for you
Don’t be afraid to ask how the interview went at the end of it?
Follow up for feedback, this is the only way you will improve
1. DON’T criticise other people - it will make you sound difficult to
work with, even if your criticism might be fair!
2. DON’T assume that just because you put something in a cover letter, CV or application form that the interviewer will already know it - you MUST go over this important info at interview too. Many interviewers don’t read the written material before the interview!
3.DON’T give one word answers, even if a yes or no would literally answer the question. You must be able to show that you can expand on a question and give specific examples of your experience
4. DON’T be silent. If you're stumped on a question, say so - and say why you can’t think of an answer. Interviewers always appreciate honesty. Ask the interviewer for more clarity or how they would answer it. If you can think of a similar question that you could answer, try to answer that one instead!
5. DON’T dress for the wrong job. Wear clothes that are appropriate for the job you’re applying for. A job interview with a fashion magazine will require you to dress differently than for an interview with a bank. You can always call the employer before interview and ask what their dress code is, but to be safe, always wear something simple and smart and no trainers!
6. DON’T over do it on make-up or aftershave. Be neat and clean, but stick to your normal routine and you'll do just fine!
Copyright © 2012 Success at School Ltd. All Rights Reserved
A note to thank...
...Hutchinson Communications for providing the DOs and DON'Ts. For more information www.hutchinsoncommunications.com
2. DO think of five really good reasons why you want the job - think about things like learning a new skill, working with people etc. Write them down and learn them.
1. DO write a 30 second summary of yourself and practise it over and over again. Cover who you are, your qualifications, any relevant experience and your skills & qualities.
7.DO sit up straight and smile . Body language is an important part of the impression you make throughout your interview.
6. DO remember that first impressions count - dress smart, brush your hair, brush your teeth, smile and say 'hello, how are you' when you walk in the interview room.
8. DO prepare and practise - you wouldn’t be able to play the piano well without practising, so don’t expect to be able to interview without practising either! The good news is, you can improve with every interview you do.
4. DO learn five things (at least!) about the company or organisation you’re applying to. Why would someone hire you if you don’t know anything about them?!
5. DO have some examples from other experiences (school, extra-curricular or work-experience) that are relevant to whatever you’re applying for. They don’t have to be the same - just find the similarities e.g. teamwork, customer service, problem solving. Be prepared to talk about them too.
3. DO think of five really good reasons why you would be good at the job (Remember that why you want the job and why you would be good at the job are very different things).
When the Phone Rings...
Activity: Try out the
Things to ask your interviewer...
These are to check general points like: have you read the job description, are you enthusiastic about the job and do you have the right temperament to handle it. Because you are so likely to be asked these things, give yourself a head start by preparing your answers before the interview...