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Interview skills for IS staff

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1 Interview skills for IS staff
University of Kent Careers and Employability Service Interview skills for IS staff You can download a copy of this presentation at

2 Content 2.00 Introduction/Icebreaker 2.25 Interview skills presentation and quiz 3.15 Refreshments 3.35 Interview exercise Helen Johnson, Natalie Smith and Bruce Woodcock Some of the general advice that is needed by students could be trimmed, eg what to wear, and codes of behaviour in an interview. Overall the workshop was good, however we were often told that there was more information on the website, making me feel as though I could have just gone to the website. IV NERVES

3 Discussion What are your experiences of interviews?
What are your main concerns?

4 HOW NOT TO INTERVIEW Candidate had a fizzy drink just before interview and spent the whole interview burping. Announced she hadn't had lunch and proceeded to eat burger and chips during the interview. When asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and started tap dancing around the office. Without saying a word, candidate stood up and walked out during the middle of the interview. Dozed off during the interview. Said he never finished high school because he was kidnapped and kept in a wardrobe.

5 Preparation

6 Commercial awareness: carefully research the employer and the job.
What do you know about our organisation? What are our main products/services? What are the problems facing our organisation? What changes have there been in our sector recently? Who are our clients? What do you think the job you would be doing entails? The library in changing times: move from books to e-resources and e-learning. wider perspective: information rather than just books serving the customer in a business sense, student satisfaction!

7 Does what I wear really matter?
37% of employers decided against hiring someone because of what they were wearing 80% of interviewers think it is inappropriate to wear red to an interview 99% of interviewers said they would be inclined to mark down female applicants if they wore dangly jewellery 95% find low-necked tops and no tights unsuitable interview attire (The Ladders)

8 UoK Careers Fair
The thing that annoys me the most in the interview process is when a candidate hasn’t bothered with their physical presentation. We want to see business dress – wear a suit. Make an effort, do your hair, don’t be scruffy! UoK Careers Fair We look for how the candidate is presented. They need to be professional. We also value communication skills and confidence. The thing that annoys us most in the interview process are the ‘know it all’ candidates! Tom: Audit Supervisor Baker Tilly Alison, Vanessa, Caroline, Liz Canterbury Christ Church PGCE

9 How not to interview!

10 BODY LANGUAGE Dress smartly
Shake hands warmly but wait to be invited to sit down. Smile! Eye contact Try to relax: don’t sit on the edge of your chair, but don’t slouch. Speak clearly and not too quickly Don’t fidget

11 End Interview Quiz! Tell me about yourself
Why should we take you rather than the other candidates? What are your weaknesses? Do you have any questions you would like to ask us? How long should interview answers be? The interviewer asks you a really tough question ….. 5 minutes End

12 Every question is designed to assess you against set criteria
“I tried to work out which of these criteria a particular question was pertaining to, and address that, rather than just the specific question. In the public sector there are no real spontaneous questions and nothing is asked without a purpose: they have to do everything fairly and openly. So there’s a grid of criteria, with questions that relate to those criteria, and each question you get asked will result in the panel writing down the evidence that shows you meet that criteria. Each question is given a score, then the highest total score wins so you have to be hitting those criteria. It’s a question of asking yourself, what do they ACTUALLY want from me with this one?” Successful candidate for a library post

13 Person specification Experience/Knowledge Essential Desirable Experience of prioritising competing demands Experience of working with a diverse client group Skills/Abilities Ability to achieve targets within agreed timescales Ability to work autonomously and as a team member Ability to work with people at all levels Interview questions will be largely based around the competencies in the person specification e.g. “Describe a situation where you had to achieve targets within agreed timescales”

Describe a situation where you had to ..... show leadership make a difficult decision overcome a difficult obstacle refuse to compromise work with others to solve a problem

Start by briefly outlining the Situation Keep the focus on your specific Tasks and responsibilities Say what Action you took, then try to summarise what you achieved Give concrete Results when possible. If you cannot be totally positive about the experience, say what you learned from it. Situation/Tasks/Action/Result

"How would you deal with an irate customer?” (customer service interview) Interviewer picks up an object from the desk. "Sell me this pen". (sales/marketing) interview BA pilot - asked what he would do if he met the captain wearing a dress in the hotel bar. (British Airways interview)

Used because it's impossible for you to work out your answer beforehand. Test your ability to think quickly, logically and produce practical solutions. Don't panic! Take a few seconds to think - this shows confidence. Just try to think of one or two sensible things to say to start off. There may be many possible solutions.

DON’T ASK about holidays, pensions and parking facilities. DO ASK about training, career development and the work itself.

What is your Zodiac sign? Do I have to dress for the next interview? I know this is off the subject, but will you marry me? Will the company pay to relocate my horse? When is pay day? Would it be a problem if I'm angry most of the time? Why am I here?

How is performance at work assessed? What is a typical career path in this job? Can you give me more details of the training programme? What is the ‘‘work culture’’? i.e. informal, formal, do people work autonomously, does everyone come in early, stay late? What are the challenges that the organisation is facing? What is your personal experience of working for this organisation?

21 FOLLOWING UP The interviewer will probably let you know when you’ll know the result. If they haven't made this clear, ask! After the interview, make notes on the questions asked and what you could have answered better.

now streamed on-line All last about 25 minutes and are excellent!

23 Further Help Answers to 150 interview questions Interview Skills

24 University of Kent Careers and Employability Service
Interview skills You can download a copy of this presentation at

25 Dress Smartly Men - conventional suit with a conservative shirt - plain pastel shades or modest stripes and dark shoes. Don't wear light coloured socks or too much aftershave! Women - conventional suit or coordinating jacket and skirt. Dark colours suggest authority but bright can work with care. Wear tights. Don't wear lots of frills, trousers unless smart, very high heels or lots of make-up, perfume or jewellery.

Research the employer and the job Prepare answers to obvious questions Think of your unique selling points Think of how you would answer questions about your weaknesses Prepare some questions to ask Dress smartly Leave plenty of time to get there

27 Task 1 Get into pairs, decide who is the interviewer and who is the candidate Interview question: Give me an example of a situation where you have had to refuse to compromise Interviewer – take notes identifying whether the answer uses the STAR approach (Situation, Task, Action, Result) You have 5 minutes 5 minutes End

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