Presentation on theme: "Succeeding at interview and assessment centres"— Presentation transcript:
1 Succeeding at interview and assessment centres Dave CarterUCL Careers Adviser
2 Aims of today’s session gain an insight into what to expectidentify the 3 key areas of preparationunderstand the typical ‘interview dynamic’learn how to create a good first impressionidentify types of question and how to tackle themknow where to look for further support
4 Public sector recruitment process Pre-assessment centreSelf Assessmentrealistic job preview questionnairenumerical/ verbal reasoning Q’scomplete online application form (20K)online reasoning and competencies testing (10K)test centre e-tray (3K)Assessment centre: (1K)written exercise – policy recommendationgroup exercise – role playbriefing exercisecompetency-based interview(350 successful candidates)
5 Psychometric Tests Aptitude: verbal, numerical and diagrammatic. administered under exam conditions or onlinestrictly timed – approx. 30Q’s in 30 minutesmultiple choice: right/ wrong answersverbal tests depend on comprehension of the passage not outside knowledge.Personality questionnairesexplore the way you react or deal with situationsnot looking for rigid ‘typical’ personality profilemay receive feedback and form basis of discussion at interview
6 Aptitude practice test answers Verbal reasoning1: B 2: A 3:BNumerical reasoning4: B 5:E 6:D
7 Succeeding at psychometric Tests Aptitude:brush up on arithmetic, fractions and ratios, practice crosswords etc.‘How to pass’ books available to ‘loan’ from careers servicepractise in test conditions at the careers servicePersonality questionnaires:be as honest as you can(see website for details).
8 Preparation re-read your application what might interest/ worry an interviewerfamiliarise yourself with job description/ person specificationwhat skills, qualities and experience are they looking for? what examples can you give?research the company and the sectorusp’s, customers, competitors, ‘swot’, valueswebsite, annual report; industry presscompany presentations, talk to people workingin related fields, (LINX alumni website)
9 Creating a good impression know where to go and be on timelocationjourney timebe pleasant to everybodydress appropriatelybetter to be overdressed and conservativepass the office to get an ideaknow who you’re meetingprepare yourself mentally
10 Interviews: Primacy and Recency The Perfect Interview – Max Eggert, Random House Business Books, 1999
11 Performance - impact The impact we make is based on… - what we say (7%)- how we say it (38%)- unspoken signals (55%).
12 Performance - body language walk confidently into the interview and shake hands.make eye contact and smileuse mirroring techniquese.g. leaning forward, laughingstay alertsit upright, noddon’t stare or look downslow your movementsbreathe
13 Behavioural/ competence Types of questionsBiographicalWhat aspects of your degree are you enjoying?Tell me about yourself?What are your main strengths and weaknesses?MotivationalWhy are you interested in this role within our organisation?Who else have you applied to and do you have any other job offers?How do you keep up to date with developments in this industry sector?Follow-up: Tell me something you have read recently. Why did this interest you and what do you think are the key issues?Behavioural/ competenceTell me about a time when you worked within an effective team and what was your role?When have you shown good organisational skills and the ability to prioritise effectively?
14 Types of questions hypothetical/ brainteasers Technical Inappropriate How could I estimate the number of dentists that operate in the UK?How would you persuade doctors to listen to you if you were a business manager? (NHS)What would you do if I asked you to do something you disagreed with?TechnicalGive an example of where you have demonstrated your (specific) technical knowledge to overcome a complex problem?Why might a company be worth more to another company than it’s present market valuation? (Corporate finance)InappropriateQuestions which you feel are potentially discriminatory.Ask yourself –’Would someone of a different sex, age, race or religion be asked this question?
15 Answering questions structure your stories: S: Situation T: Task listen carefully! - answer the question asked.treat a closed question as though it were open:are you enjoying your degree?Tell me about your degree course and what you are enjoying?talk openly and with enthusiasm about your achievements, but…don’t waffle – keep answers to a maximum of 1 to 2 minutesdon’t overstate them and avoid apologising or being negative.structure your stories:S: SituationT: TaskA: ActionR: Result
16 Typical interview scoring schedule ‘Tell me about a time when you showed good organisational skills and the ability to plan effectively.’Unacceptable: Scores 1 & 2took action without developing a plan andunable to prioritisefailed to evaluate and manage resources appropriatelymissed important deadlinesfailed to cope with difficultiesAbove average: scores 3 and 4evidence of planning and prioritisingtools you used to achieve eg. set objectives & milestones/ daily schedules/ project softwareanticipated need for resources and used them effectively eg delegation to others/ resources requiredconsistently beat tight deadlines requiring extra commitmentcope when things don’t go according to plan
17 If it seems to be going wrong…. the interviewer is aggressive or doesn’t seem to like youyou don’t understand the questionask for it to be rephrasedyou go blank or you don’t know:ask for “a few seconds to think about it”admit it, but offer instead some intelligent reasoning/ a sensible guess (based on assumptions)a cluetry not to panic - it’s unusual to fail on one question
18 Closing the sale thank them if the job genuinely interests you then let them knowyour questions - examples:what are the possibilities of using my --- skills?What sort of career progression have other graduate trainees experienced?how will my work and training be monitored and appraised?(context) what do you enjoy about working for the organisation‘Thanks I think everything I wanted to know has now been covered’.make sure you know what the next step is
19 Interviews – summary prepare thoroughly for every interview first impressions countcompetency questions - STARreview your performance and ask for feedback
20 Further resources and Careers service support CareersGroup: ‘How to succeed at interviews’ booklet1:1 practice interviewson confirmation of ‘real employer interview’video guides:how to suceed in interviews and assessment centres‘Top answers to tough questions’Matthew J Deluca/ John Leesemployer/ CA led interview skills workshopssign up at - forthcoming events:Practice aptitude tests – 15/21/27 Nov, 3 Dec, 14, 21 Jan……JP Morgan: Interview skills – Tue 13th NovAccenture: What to expect at assessment centres Wed 21 NovEmployer led mock interviews/ assessmentcentres - Jan to mar 08
21 UCL Careers Service : 4th floor ULU Building Malet Street, London WC1E 7HYtelephone:Opening times (term & vacation):Mon - Thurs 9:30 -17:00Friday 11: :00