Job Interview skills Learning Outcomes

Report
© Career Development and Employment Service
Job Interview skills
Learning Outcomes
By the end of this session, you should be able to :

Understand the purpose of interviews
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Be aware of the processes involved in different types of interviews

Know how to prepare for interview

Be clear about the importance of self presentation
Remember – an interview is not one way traffic! Recruitment
Costs are high and employers want you as much as you want them.
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An interview will enable an
employer:
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Ensure that you understand what the job involves, and that you have the
necessary skills

Check your knowledge of/and commitment to the company
It is a two way process and you should use the opportunity to:

Make sure you do want to work for the company

Check that the philosophy/values of the company match your personal
requirements

Find out more about the job, training, career structure etc.
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Types of interview

Individual interviews – one to one.
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Panel interviews – usually three people on the
panel, but there could be more!

Telephone interviews – usually part of the initial
selection process

Video interviews – uncommon at graduate level
entry, but not unheard of
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Individual interviews

For a large organisation this may be a ‘sifting’ exercise to see if
you will go forward to the next stage
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For a smaller employer, this may be your main meeting

The focus here is usually building on information from your CV
or application form, but you should be prepared for anything
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Panel interviews
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Very common for graduate entry level jobs
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Usually 3 people on the panel ( could be more, could be less )
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All will ask questions

Likely that they will have different areas of interest
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Telephone interviews
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Usually used as a screening interview to gain further information before
inviting you for interview
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Length of time may vary – could range from 10 minutes to 1 hour

Treat the experience with caution – just because you can’t be seen
doesn’t mean you are not creating an impression!
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Video interviews
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Check all technical equipment to make sure everything is working

Talk to the camera - this way you appear to be looking straight at the
interviewers
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The key to any successful
interview is preparation
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Research the company – make sure you have read all the literature they
have sent you and that you know about their main products and services

Use the internet to find out any additional information and read the
financial/business press to find out about any current developments e.g.
new contracts or takeover bids

Find out about the main competitors in order to demonstrate knowledge
of the wider context

Network with people who know about the company and don’t be afraid to
use any contacts you may have to get ‘inside information’

Have a list of questions ready to ask
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In addition…
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
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Plan your route and give yourself plenty of time in case of
traffic disruption
Plan your outfit, and remember – first impressions count!!
Anticipate questions and practise answers
Run through your presentation, paying strict attention to
timing
Bring copies of CV/Application form
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Interview nerves
You will be nervous but you can help yourself by
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Getting a good night’s sleep
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Allowing plenty of time for the journey
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Arriving early so you know exactly where to go – but not too early!
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Avoiding stimulants like coffee and cigarettes
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Checking your appearance to make sure everything is as it should be
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Remember that practice
pays
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Get a friend to ask you questions and give feedback
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Use a tape or video recorder to check for any mannerisms or verbal tics
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Ask at the Career Development and Employment Service about having a
mock interview
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Watch your language
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Avoid speaking too quickly
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Take a few seconds before you answer to give yourself time to collect
your thoughts
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If you are not clear about the question then ask for clarification
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If you lose your thread ask for a moment to clarify your thoughts
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Ask if the interviewer needs additional information
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Watch your body
language!
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Give a firm, dry handshake
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Make eye contact with all members of the panel
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Smile to show your interest and enthusiasm
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Avoid extravagant hand gestures
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Sit slightly forward to indicate involvement
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Remember:
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Do not alienate the interviewer by making them work too hard – it should
be a conversation rather than a question and answer session
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Avoid giving ‘yes’ and ‘no’ as answers - it is much more effective if you
go on to give examples to demonstrate what you mean
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Don’t just give an answer you think they want to hear - be honest in what
you say and be prepared to back up your ideas and views
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What sort of questions can
you prepare for
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Why are you applying for this job?
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Give an example of where you have worked in a team
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What has been your biggest achievement to date? Why are you interested
in this company?
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What are your main strengths?
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What are your main weaknesses?
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Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
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How would your friends describe you in 3 words?
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Put your answer in a context for
scenario based questions
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Context – brief description of the situation
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Action – what steps did you take?
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Result – what was the outcome?
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Do you have any
questions?
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What would my career prospects be like?
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What training/support could I expect?
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What would the key objectives be in the first 6 months of the job?
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How will my performance be measured?
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However….
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Do not ask questions just for the sake of it
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Do not ask questions if you should already know the answer e.g.if it is in
the company literature
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Do not ask about fringe benefits – that conversation can take place when
you have been offered the job
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And remember….it may be that all your questions have been answered
over the course of the interview
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