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Preparing for job interviews

Hints and tips for successful job interviews

Fiona Christie

on 1 March 2017

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Transcript of Preparing for job interviews

Get as much practical experience as you can
Try to think of 5 stories about yourself that you can use to show how you meet the requirements of the job
You’ll have more to draw upon at interviews – it’s all about the evidence
Top tips…
Prepare a few questions in advance
DON’T ask for information already covered in recruitment literature/website
Asking them questions
Difficult questions are often easy questions in disguise
If you’re stumped, try…
Asking for a moment to think
Asking for clarification
If you don’t know, own up!
Answering difficult questions
Remember the STAR technique for answering questions
About you
Reasons for applying
General career aims
Your strengths and weaknesses

About your experience
How it might be relevant
Key achievements

The skills & competencies required in the job
Skills / competency focused questions, e.g. teamwork, problem solving…

Your knowledge of the organisation
Understanding of their marketplace / culture / profession / competitors
Developments within the industry
Anticipate areas of questioning
Further viewing
Make no mistake, interviews are stressful!
The best way to deal with stress is to be prepared
Know yourself
Know the job
Know the organisation
Know the details
Research shows that people tend to recruit within their comfort zone
To succeed at interview you need to demonstrate that you will fit into the existing organisational culture
So do your homework…
Organisational Fit
Do you agree?
A successful interview is a two way communication process:
Interviewer’s chance to find out if you are suitable for the job
Your chance to meet someone from the organisation and assess them
Purpose of an interview
It takes less than 3 seconds for someone to form a 1st impression of you
Smile and look confident
Keep reasonable eye contact
Be aware of your body language
Speak up!
Dress appropriately
First impressions
To understand the purpose of interviews.
To reflect on what employers look for in interviews.
To learn how to anticipate and prepare for interview questions.
To get some real interview practice.
21 Days to Success programme - http://blogs.salford.ac.uk/careers-employabilty/2017/02/02/day-18-well-done-youve-got-job-interview/
General information - http://www.careers.salford.ac.uk/page/jobapplicationsandinterviews

Further information
First impressions count
Do your research – know yourself
Do your research – know what the employer wants
Interviews are a 2-way process
Anticipate and prepare for questions
Identify skills and competencies required
Remind yourself of examples you used on your CV / application form
Gather additional examples of these skills
Be prepared to explain any weaknesses in your application
Summary: Anticipating questions
Have you worked in teams before?
Which team has worked most effectively?
What did YOU contribute to this team?
What characterises an effective team?
Is that always the case?
Tell me about another team you are part of
Competency-based questions … example – teamwork (be prepared drilling down)
What employers are looking for?
Expect the unexpected, but never forget the rules of the game!

What makes a stand-out candidate at job interview
Fiona Christie
Careers consultant

Asking for feedback - how common is this?
I had an interview with Network Rail earlier last week, the interview was professional, friendly and the atmosphere was great! Unfortunately, I wasn’t the best candidate but that’s beside the point.

At the end the recruiting manager told me they will get back to me later that week and I got the response back on Thursday, a couple of days later followed by a call by a talent manager to explain to me why they didn’t chose me.

She took that 8 minutes of her time just to let me know that I did a good job, highlighted some areas I should focus more on and she encouraged me to apply for other roles.

Well somebody was better but still I feel great about the whole process. Well done Network Rail!
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