Interview Advice What to do: dress smartly, look bright and attentive, and speak clearly and confidently. find out where the venue is beforehand, how to get there and how long it takes get your outfit ready the night before offer a firm and confident handshake find out what kind of interview it will be so you can prepare examine the person specification and your CV and think about what type of questions they will ask you prepare answers for the main questions - for example, why do you want the job, what are your strengths and weaknesses, what are the main tasks in this job make about three or four points in each answer quote real examples of when you've used certain skills - just saying you've got a skill isn't enough take your time when answering the questions. Make sure you understand the question and take your time if you need to think look directly at the other person when you are speaking to them. sell yourself! Be positive about yourself and your experiences prepare some questions to ask at the end - use it as an opportunity to find out more about the role and the company. But don't ask about money or perks just yet! when discussing salary, know your market worth. get feedback on your performance, whether you were successful or not turn off your mobile! Treat the interviewers with respect and give them your undivided attention keep your answers focused on what you can do for the employer, not what they can do for you What not to do: don't be late! don't swear or use slang words don't slouch in your seat or do anything else that makes you look disinterested don't smoke don't lie! The interviewer may see through you. Even if you get the job, your employer can dismiss you if they find out don't let your nerves show too much. A few nerves are normal but extreme nerves will affect your performance. Use breathing techniques and try to remember that it's not a life and death situation! don't be arrogant and assume you've got the job. Nothing turns off employers more than someone who is disrespectful and over-confident don't read from notes or your CV. You should be familiar enough with your own history to be able to talk about it unprompted don't criticise former employers or colleagues. Interviewers may mark you down as a troublemaker and a gossip don't argue with the interviewer, no matter what. Remember to keep things positive! Before your interview find out everything you can about the company. Review the job description, thinking through your own career and the questions they might ask you. You should try to anticipate the general questions which they will ask and also prepare some questions to ask them. To do well at the interview you will need to convince the interviewer you are technically qualified to do the job. You will also need to show that you are sufficiently motivated to get the job done well and that you will fit in with the company's organisational structure and the team in which you will work. You should dress smartly for the interview and should leave home earlier than you need to on the day of the interview - you may be delayed by traffic or for other reasons. Be courteous to all employees of the company. At the interview itself you must be positive about yourself and your abilities - but do not waffle Possible Interview Questions Why do you want this job? Think carefully about this question. Stress the positive aspects which have attracted you to applying for this position. Do not mention the negative aspects of your current job or the job in question. What qualities do you think will be required for this job? Their advertisement for the job may help you a little bit, but you should also think of the other qualities that may be required. These may include leadership ability, supervisory skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, problem solving, analytical skills, etc. What can you contribute? This is your chance to shine. Tell them about your achievements in your previous position(s) which are relevant to the new position you are applying for. Why do you want to work for this company? Emphasize the positive reasons why you want to join their company, but avoid aspects such as more money or shorter hours. These would not endear you to a prospective employer. What do you know about this company? This is your chance to impress the interviewer with your knowledge of their company. Do your research and give them facts you have gathered such as a run down of their products/services, sales figures, news, company figures, customers, etc. What do you like and dislike about the job we are discussing? Likes: stress things such as a new challenge or the opportunity to bring fresh experience to the company. Dislikes: Imply there is nothing to dislike about the job, which is why you are so interested. Why did you choose a career in …? Be positive about your reasons. If you have changed careers make a logical argument as to why you did so. Why are you changing careers? This question will only be asked if you are making a radical change in your career. Always stress the positive aspects of the change rather than the negative aspects of your previous career - you do not want to come across as someone who is moving just because you hate your old career. Say why you think you will be good in the new career - this should come from your experience and achievements, stress the transferable skills you have, such as leadership ability, etc. How much does your last job resemble the one you are applying for? What are the differences? The interviewer is trying to see how well you would fit in to the position you are applying for. So you should stress the similarities rather than the differences. When it comes to discussing the differences it will help your case if you can show that either you have done something similar in the past or that you can quickly pick up the new skills. Why did you join your previous company? Did they live up to your expectations? Why are you leaving now? Always be positive about your reasons for joining and leaving a company. Be very careful that you do not say anything negative about your present employer. If you do, the new company will wonder what you will say about them when you leave. You might want to stress that you are looking for a new challenge and that you feel that the company who is interviewing you fits the bill! Explain the organisational structure in your last company and how you fitted into it? This sort of question may be used to find out whether your old job is at a comparable level to your new job. If the new job being discussed would be a step up the ladder you will need to show that you are ready for a more demanding position. You may be able to show that you have already had many of the responsibilities and the necessary skills which would be required for the next step What are you looking for in a new job? Make sure your answer fits in with the company who is interviewing you. A suitable reply would be that you are looking for a new job where you can apply your existing skills and learn new ones. What would your ideal job be? Again, remember where you are! Describe the job in terms of the criteria they have used to describe their job. An ideal job might include things like challenging work, a fair rate of pay for the job, nice colleagues, good career prospects, good team atmosphere, opportunity to learn new skills, apply old skills, etc. What did you do on a day to day basis? Stress the positive things you did including your achievements. Even if some or much of it was paperwork, you can still show your interest in the way it was tackled. What was your greatest success? How did you achieve it? You should pick an achievement which is related to their needs. How do you handle criticism? Your answer should be along the following lines: "I always think that it is important to get feedback on how I am performing so that I can improve any areas which my manager/supervisor highlights. Do you have regular staff appraisals and a staff development plan?" What management style gets the best results out of you? Try and think about how you have reacted to different managers and which factors have motivated you. Do not say too much in reply to this question, because if your answer is contrary to the management style of the company they will not be keen to employ you! What do you dislike doing? Say that you are prepared to do whatever it takes to get the job done well and on time and try to do disagreeable things first to get them out of the way rather than putting them off. What problems did you encounter in your last job? What annoyed you about your last job? Stick to the problems that you were able to solve, i.e. "I had problem X, which I later managed to resolve by doing Y". Show that you are a person who can solve problems rather than someone who lets things get on top of them. Do you work well under pressure? Give real examples of times when you have had to work under pressure. Describe how you coped with the situation and the positive outcome. Fantasy questions These questions can be very difficult to answer. Such questions might include: "What would you do if you won the National Lottery?" You should give the answer, which in your opinion will give you the best chance of getting the job. Questions to ask What do you expect me to do in the first 6 months? Where is the company going? Upwards? Expansion plans? What is the Company Vision/Culture? What training do you provide? When will you decide on the appointment? What is the next step?
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