Interview Techniques

Employability and graduate Development
01392 724493
[email protected]
Aims of this session
Preparation for interviews
Typical interview questions
Non-verbal communication
Coping with different styles of interview
What is an interview?
 Getting an interview means that you are ‘nearly there’
 Interviewers want you to succeed – help them!
 It is not an interrogation but a chance to expand on
your application form/CV
 How you come across is just as important as what you
 Be enthusiastic and interested
Types of Interview
Information based/life history
Structured behaviour based (competency/strength)
What may happen….
A panel interview
A technical interview
A telephone interview
A case study
A group interview/discussion
Several different interviews on the same day
An unstructured interview
“ The best thing about not planning is that failure comes
as a complete surprise and is not preceded by a period
of worry and depression “
Sir John Harvey-Jones
Three important points for a successful interview:
 Preparation......... Job ,Company, Motivation
 Preparation.. Impact ,appearance, body language
 Preparation....... Questions, strengths competencies
 Any Weaknesses????
 Plus “The Magic Ingredient”
 Job ,
 Company,
 Motivation
 Market/Sector/Competition
 Plus Commercial and Current Affairs
First impressions…..
What you wear is important!
Many people believe decisions are made on:
 55 % body language
 38 % voice
 7 % words
Body Language – ‘don’ts’
Limp handshake
Avoiding eye contact
Folding your arms
Leaning forward and sitting on the seat edge
Looking out of the window
Looking unhappy , bored, disinterested
Body Language – ‘dos’
 Firm handshake
 Open body language
 Smile
 Eye contact –with everyone
 Sense of humour-but be careful
 Relaxed and professional manner
Question types
 Information seeking questions –
 knowledge of the organisation
 your motivations
 arising from your CV or application form
 why do want this job?
 Behavioural questions
 competence
 strength
 Scenario or hypothetical questions
Examples of competency based
 Give me an example of when you influenced the work
of others
 Describe a challenging project, activity or event which
you have planned and taken through to its conclusion
Remember the STAR technique
Structure your answers
– the STAR format
 SITUATION- “I was part of a sales team that was
responsible for …..”
 TARGET/TASK- “Customers were confused about
the difference between ….”
 ACTION – “ I questioned whether this would work
and suggested that we try …..”
 RESULT – “Positive feedback from customers
showed that ..”
Strength Based Interviews
Shorter questions designed to discover what you
enjoy rather than what you can do. E.g
 “Do you prefer starting or finishing a task?” Back this
up with an example of why you think this
 “What do you enjoy most about your current role?”
Tip: Research the role and prepare strong examples of appropriate
strengths & state why this is relevant to the role/organisation – employers
will be looking for energy and enthusiasm in your answer
Surprise questions
 Who do you most admire and why?
 Is there a future for the European currency in Greece?
 Give me five uses for the colour red
 How would your best friends describe you?
 Tell us about a book you have just read
 Why did I ask you this question ?
 If you were a type of sweet or confectionary bar,what
would you be?
Let’s try a few questions ………
Are we heading for a double dip recession?
Tell me about a time when you have used your initiative
to cope with changes ?
What makes a successful day for you?
Give me an example of when you have performed
effectively in a team?
How did you decide to apply to our organisation?
Have you had to solve a complex problem and how did
you approach this?
Your questions
 Training
 Promotion?
 Development /job content
 The future of organisation
 Questions answered in the literature
 Questions about conditions of service/pay
Tips on the day
 Help the interviewer
 Enjoy the interview
 The magic ingredient:
….you don’t get a second chance to create a first
Useful resources
 EGD vidcast (on web site)
 – interview tips under the ‘Jobs and
Work’ section
 DVD – ‘Making an Impact’ – available at Reed Mews
 Careers and Employment Guide
 The Interview Experience/mock interviews with employers
(check web for details and dates)
 Appointment to see a Careers Consultant
(Tel: 01392 724493)

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