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CV and Interview Skills Workshop 2006

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1 CV and Interview Skills Workshop 2006
Nicola Cliff & Stephanie Hallsworth Citigroup Graduate Recruitment Welcome, thank you for coming to this CV & Interview Skills session. My name is….and I am a recruiter for Citigroup’s Corporate and Investment Bank. The session will last about an hour and our aim is to provide you with guidance on writing your CV and preparing for interviews. This is not just relevant for your upcoming Academy of Finance interviews but can hopefully be used for any future interviews you may attend.

2 Agenda CV Format and Tips Practice Group Exercise Interviews
Competencies Structure Preparation and Practice Questions

3 Curriculum Vitae What is a CV? – lit. record of life Purpose
Marketing tool – well presented and clearly structured Presents your qualifications, skills and attributes Balanced view of academic, personal and social achievements Demonstrates your suitability for a job Guide to your future aspirations Compiling your CV or résumé Your single most important marketing tool is your CV/résumé and its primary purpose is to secure you an interview. It is vital therefore, that your CV/résumé is well presented and clearly structured. As well as providing insight into your qualifications and experience, it should highlight your skills and attributes to the employer. It should provide a balanced view of you as an individual and demonstrate your suitability for the job. Additionally, it should act as a guide to where your future aspirations lie. Your CV/résumé is likely to form the framework for any interview and you can expect to be asked to elaborate on any statements made in your application. Consequently, it is important to ensure that its contents are both honest and accurate.

4 CV Format Personal Details Name, address, contact details Education
Highlight achievements/ results Work Experience Dates, name of company Summary of experience (skills and achievements) Skills Technical Hobbies & Interests Personal Details: all your personal details should go at the top of your CV/résumé. Include your name, address, telephone number(s) and address. Education: your most recent educational information should be listed first. Work Experience: should be listed in reverse chronological order, that is put your last job first and work backwards. Include dates of employment (month and year is sufficient), name of organization, location of work (city and/or country is sufficient). Summarize your experience with emphasis on specific skills and achievements. Skills: you may wish to list key or special skills and competencies such as language skills or IT literacy. Hobbies and interests: summarize your hobbies and interests by drawing attention to the skills and achievements in these areas. At a glance, your CV/résumé must appear ordered, readable and pleasing to the eye, with sections and headings clearly marked and, where applicable, dates should be included to show the duration of particular activities. Ideally, the maximum length of a CV/résumé is two pages. It is best to avoid unusual fonts. It is essential that you have as many people as possible review your CV/résumé and provide feedback - ask friends, family, etc. Remember to spell check your CV thoroughly.

5 CV – Tips Have a clear and ordered structure
Make sure you have included your main achievements and skills Maximum 2 pages Get your family and friends to review it Spell check!

6 Group Exercise - Deserted in the Desert
Work in groups Each group will have 1 assessors observing your discussion You will have 10 minutes to discuss and decide on the five items you wish to keep – this will be timed! You will be asked to present your decision to the assessors and may be asked to explain your decision. Once the exercise has begun you will not be able to ask any questions or involve the assessors in your discussions Split students up into groups. Most students will be participating in the group discussion and 1 or 2 from each group will be observing – identify who is doing what and give them appropriate handouts. Read through the instructions Run 10 minute session. Walk around between groups and check assessors know how to observe (and they are not participating/providing feedback during exercise!) After session as each group to nominate 1 person to call out the 5 items they identified. Explain that there is no right or wrong answer, however may need following 1. Salt tablets (for hydration and preserving meat), 2. Life raft (to collect and keep water), 3. Compact mirror (start fire for food/warmth and signalling), 4. Knife (to catch and eat food), 5. White sheets (shade and warmth at night). Ask each observer in groups to quickly summarise their teams dynamics. Probe them on “was there a leader?” “how did they get to consensus?” etc etc ASK: “What competency indicators do you think assessors look for in a group exercise?”. Relate following to their own experiences: Influencing & Persuasiveness Teamwork Leadership Flexibility/Adaptibility Problem Solving & Analysis TIPS: Use candidate names Don’t just regurgitate what someone else says – make suggestions/new ideas Don’t be silent! Even if don’t understand subject, take on role of coordinator/time keeper Don’t overpower either though! Make sure you listen to others and seek their involvement.

7 Interviews What is an interview? Normally 1:1 Two-way process
Normally based on CV or focussed on behaviours/skills or competencies

8 Interviews CV based Education, Work Experience, Projects
Skills and Achievements Skills/Competency based Technical skills (e.g. PC skills) Behavioural skills - competencies A CV based interview will probe deeper into the information provided on your CV and the interviewer may ask you to talk about your experiences or explain your decisions. Try to give specific examples and try to highlight any skills or competencies you have learnt or have demonstrated. A skill is a talent or ability. For example, your PC abilities on Word, Excel, etc would be a technical skill. A competency in this context is a type of behaviour found to be relevant to the job. For example, ‘detail conscious’ is a competency – describing someone who is able to cope with detailed work and is conscious of the need to be accurate.

9 Competency based selection
What is a competency? “an underlying characteristic of a person which results in effective and / or superior performance in a job” Boyatzis 1982 Competency descriptions e.g. teamwork: “working effectively within team/work group or those outside of the formal line of authority e.g. peers, senior managers, to accomplish goals through supporting others and sharing information” Competency questions e.g. “Tell me about a time where you worked as part of a team? What was your role and how did the team perform?” Competency – Skill or behaviour.

10 Skills & Competencies Drive and determination
Flexibility and adaptability Planning & organisation Initiative & pro-activity Teamwork Decision making & judgement Career focus Influencing & persuading Can you think of any skills or competencies? <Start them off with the first one> The skills the interviewer is looking for depends on the job in question.

11 Interview Structure Competency based interviews typically follow the structure below using the STAR technique Follow the structure outlined below: Explain the Situation Explain the Task Describe your Actions Explain the Result Apply this to all your examples – i.e. projects / achievements / work experience If talking about examples or specific projects you can use an easy method to structure your responses. This is known as the STAR technique. The interviewer may ask you about a specific project you listed on your CV. You can talk about: Situation (why were you involved in the project) Task (what role did you play / were you the leader or a member of the team) Actions (what specific actions did you take) Result (what was the outcome / was the project successful) Remember to talk about your skills, What did you learn from the project. What skills did you use? Did you learn any new ones? We will go on to do a quick interactive exercise, so you can practice the STAR technique.

12 Interview Preparation
Think through what competencies the company may be focussing on – read the literature and websites for clues. Think about projects and work experience that you can talk about. Use the STAR technique when practising. Don’t prepare scripted answers as they can sound like they are made up – skilled interviewers can identify this. Use concrete examples rather than hypothetical answers. Practice talking about your experiences with a friend. Research the company.

13 Exercise – Interview Question
Work in groups Each group is given a question. Each member of the group should put forward an example they would use in this situation to the others. The example should demonstrate the behaviour/skill. Each group should work together to read out their examples to learn about which skills the answers demonstrate. Try to structure your answers using the STAR technique. Hand out a skills question to each group. Give them 15 minutes to: Each put forward an example of that question to group Ask nominated person from each group to talk through their example. Probe them on the situation and outcome. Summarise what skills each example shows. Skills – Motivation, Communication, Innovation and Creativity, Leadership, Teamwork, Influencing.

14 Interviews – Questions
Remember that you have got through the most difficult part i.e. getting the interview! Other general questions to prepare for include: Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses? Why do you think you are suitable to our company? What attracts you to our company? Who else have you applied to and why? What are your future goals? Think about questions for the interviewer – Make the most of being in front of someone at the company for an honest answer Preparation, preparation, preparation! Unfortunately there is no substitute for it. Think about the general questions on this slide, you can expect to be asking during the recruitment process in any industry. The difficulty most interviewees have, is how to prepare themselves without memorising the company website or recruitment brochure! We do appreciate that it is difficult to really understand an industry from the outside and to get past all the business jargon/acronyms. Attend as many recruitment events as possible! Most companies offer you the opportunity to talk to their employees and find out more about what they do on a day to day basis and get a better feel for the position and/or industry. You need to go to these recruiting events with a number of specific questions relevant to the industry/position you are interested in, such as (write these up on a white board): What do you do on a day to day basis? What do you think are the key skills you need to do your job? What attracted you to this industry and why? How does the industry match up to the perception you had before you started working? Having the answers to these simple questions or similar ones, in addition to reviewing recruitment material and company websites, should help you get to the level of knowledge required at interview.

15 Interviews – Tips for on the day
Dress appropriately Don’t be late. Arrive minutes early When you meet someone shake hands firmly, make eye contact and smile Appear enthusiastic and listen attentively Think carefully about your answers and be honest Be natural but professional Enjoy and take something out of the process even if you are not offered a position. Ask for feedback if given the opportunity. On the day Dress appropriately. First impressions are very important. Know where your interview is and arrive minutes early. When you meet or are introduced to anyone you should shake hands firmly, look him or her in the eye and SMILE!! Slouching or sitting with your arms folded will give a negative impression and suggest that you are disinterested in the conversation. Appear enthusiastic and listen attentively throughout the interview, leaning forward and maintaining eye contact. Answers should be kept succinct to avoid any waffle. Conversely, don't just say "Yes" or "No"—try to qualify your answers with examples that best show off your strengths, skills and achievements. Don't feel you have to give an immediate answer to a question. It is perfectly acceptable to pause and gather your thoughts before answering. Be yourself but be professional. At the end of the interview, make sure you thank the interviewer and ask what the next steps are. Should you be unsuccessful after an interview, ask for verbal feedback, so that you are able to learn from each interview. Enjoy the experience.

16 Questions?

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