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Interviews and selection centres

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Presentation on theme: "Interviews and selection centres"— Presentation transcript:

1 Interviews and selection centres
Laura Newman and Sara Boyle Introduce yourself – name, job role, organisation etc.

2 Agenda The recruitment process Preparation Activity One
The BT Competencies Activity Two Interviews and Assessment Centres Activity Three Hints and tips Questions and Answers

3 The recruitment process
Your career starts here CV and Application Form Self-Selection Tool Standard online application system. Interview and Testing A mix of online psychometric tests and telephone interviews. Assessment Centre A mix of capability interviews, role play scenarios and paper based tests. This is the general assessment process for most organisations, however, this can differ depending on the employer – this example is based on BT.

4 Know the organisation Know yourself Preparation Know the company
understand the company’s business think about what they are looking for in you values, capabilities, and skills what are you assessed against? be familiar with the role/graduate scheme Know yourself be familiar with your application form understand your strengths and weaknesses

5 Activity One - Knowing the company
In pairs: List 5 products or services that your potential employer provide. Now describe them – does your partner understand your description?

6 What do BT provide? Technology consumables
Phone book 21CN VOIP Business process consultancy Information management Networked IT service provider Government policy advisor Software development and deployment Future technology development Core and emergency communication network Broadcast / On Demand TV Media and Broadcast Solutions Sub-sea cables Manage historic and cultural land marks BT Community Connections BT Education Programme BT Satellite Services BT Yahoo internet Connected Earth Museums CRM & Contact Centres Security and Compliance consultancy Identity Management Operational Risk Management Applications Management and Hosting Carbon Impact assessment – Sustainable practices. Network Design Wholesale access This slide is rather text heavy but it serves to emphasise the vast range of services that BT provides – would you have know these?! The message is it’s important to really understand what the organisation does.

7 What employers are looking for throughout the process
BT Competencies This slide is the most important of the presentation. competencies that BT uses to asses all applicants. Remember these competencies at all stages of the application process when answering a question, whether its on an application form or during an interview. These competencies remain a key part of employee assessment and development once you are in the business. They are an integral part of the companies identity and employees are expected to show them at all times. Once you get the job you’re assessed against them in the business

8 Activity Two – can you relate?
In pairs: Think of an example of something you’ve achieved and relate it to the BT values. Trustworthy- do what you say they will Helpful - work as part of a team and contribute to the success of others Inspiring - create a compelling vision and help customers to realise new possibilities Straightforward - exercise common sense and judgement in pursuit of clear objectives Heart - passionate and confident about implementing our strategy, mobilising and energising people, acting as role models. Get them to give examples and give some examples of what we’ve done.

9 Preparing for the day: Assessment centre activities
Interviews Group exercise Role play Psychometric tests Case Study In-tray exercises Multi-candidate event – for those that have passed the early stages of the selection process Normally 1 day – can be ½ day or up to 2 days Multiple exercises aimed at testing various competencies/leadership capabilities/values In many cases assessment centres are not seen as ‘competitive’ – you will be measured against a standard as opposed to against the other candidates Typical exercises include business case study, group exercise, psychometric tests, presentation, face to face interview, role play. In-tray exercise Remember the organisations values Take each activity as it comes First impressions count!

10 Business case study What? Why? Hints & Tips?
The case study will often consist of information about a company, how well it is doing, its competition, what it’s challenges are, its values, it’s finances etc. You will then be asked to answer a series of questions using the content provided. Why? To assess your: Analytical skills and written communication Ability to process lots of information and identify the key detail Ability to be innovative Ability to cope with time and pressure Hints & Tips? Keep an eye on the time Highlight the important information Make sure you answer the question asked Be clear and concise Answer as much as possible, even if it involves bullet pointing Make sure your handwriting is legible!

11 Group exercise What? Why? Hints & Tips?
Placed in a group with other candidates Asked to solve a problem / organise an event / recommend a solution Often required to meet certain objectives Likely to be advised not to select a leader/chairperson Why? To assess your: Ability to communicate with others Ability to solve a problems in a team Ability to influence others Ability to recognise good ideas and arguments Interpersonal skills Hints & Tips? Recognise the contribution of others and invite people into the discussion If you volunteer to time keep/scribe don’t forget to continue to contribute to the conversation Keep focused on the objectives of the task

12 Presentation What? 5 / 10 minute presentation to two or more managers
20 – 30 minutes preparation time Could be on a topic that you have chosen or a business scenario Q&A by the panel Why? To judge whether you are a professional individual Ability to research a topic Ability to convey a topic to an audience with little prior knowledge Hints & Tips? Be aware of your body language Prepare thoroughly Be prepared for questions Ensure you talk at a steady pace If you use slides don’t cram them full of text!

13 Role play What? Often involves discussing an issue/challenge with somebody acting as a peer or manager Why? To assess your: Ability to work with others Ability to deal with resistance/conflict Interpersonal skills Ability to think and react quickly Hints & Tips? Concentrate on the key messages you want to get across Support your suggestions with evidence from the brief Listen carefully to the other person’s responses Remain calm – pause to collect your thoughts if you need to

14 Assessment Centre – Top Tips!
Travel Effort Exercises Time Prepare Professional Be yourself Feedback Plan your travel arrangements carefully – allow time for delays 2. Put as much effort into the last exercise as the first 3. If you feel like you underperformed in an exercise – try to forget it and start the next refreshed 4. Keep an eye on the time – make sure you arrive promptly for each exercise 5. Preparation – have some questions ready 6. Remain professional at all times 7. Be yourself 8. Read carefully and listen to the questions being asked 9. Prepare and be clear about your own strengths and weaknesses and what you can bring to the organisation 10. Most employers will offer feedback – if not, ask!

15 Face to Face Interview Format Most located at employers offices
Preparation Appearance First Impressions Format Most located at employers offices Interviewer(s) will introduce themselves and talk to you about what will happen in the interview Most interviews will last for minutes Often competency based questions but occasionally also look at career motivation/work experience Chance for you to ask questions Preparation Read through your application form prior to the interview. Re-read the job advert or graduate website – look for the type of person the organisation is looking for – it will help you to demonstrate that you have those qualities Research the company – Companies will have expected you to do your homework. Find out about a company’s vision, products, culture and the kind of people who work there. Then use that information, with the job description, to provide examples of why you’re a suitable candidate. Practice answering questions with a friend or the careers service may be able to help – ask them to give you feedback on you non-verbal communication such as hand gestures as well as how well you answered the questions. It’s a good idea to have a list of questions ready for the interviewer. In general it is not advisable to ask about the financial package – remember if you are offered the job, this conversation will then happen naturally after the interview. Appearance First Impressions and Body Language The Handshake: Your handshake should be firm Your Posture: Stand and sit erect. We're not talking ramrod posture, but show some energy and enthusiasm. A slouching posture looks tired and uncaring. Eye Contact: Look the interviewer in the eye. You don't want to stare at her like you're trying to look into her soul, but be sure to make sure your eyes meet frequently. Avoid constantly looking around the room while you are talking, because that can convey nervousness or a lack of confidence with what is being discussed. Your Hands: Gesturing or talking with your hands is very natural, but keep it in moderation. Getting carried away with hand gestures can be distracting Don't Fidget: There is nothing worse than people playing with their hair, clicking pen tops, tapping feet or unconsciously touching parts of the body.

16 The Interview Why have you applied to us?
Demonstrate that you are serious about the organisation Capability questions How have you dealt with a difficult situation When have you had to take on additional responsibility When have you had to achieve a difficult task or goal When have you had to challenge unacceptable behaviour What do you think you can bring to the role/organisation? The “why have you applied to us” question is often asked by employers – its an opportunity for them to understand why you chose their organisation and that it was not just another application. Do your research – the best answers are from individuals who have really looked into what the company does and can relate that back to their own ambitions and aspirations. Don’t read straight from the website – it is very obvious when this is being done – para phrase it the way you want to It is useful to sit down prior to the interview and think about the sorts of situations you have been in where you have had to deal with customers and work in teams. Use examples from all of your experiences both academic and outside of university

17 STAR Situation Task Action Result TASK SITUATION
Set the scene. Briefly! Don’t waste word count TASK What was the task? When was it? How did it come about? STAR Situation Task Action Result The competency questions in an interview are one of the most important elements – the questions that are asked will be related to a specific skill that the organisation considers important for applicants to have. It is a situational question – You will be asked to describe a time and event when you have had to deal with a situation. The question is often broken down into smaller questions to help you to structure your answer. Answer all of these questions – they are there for a reason. Don’t provide 1 or 2 word answers (I have seen this in the past) as this doesn’t give us the evidence that we need to say “this person demonstrates the skills that we are looking for” When discussing this we are really looking for examples of actions that demonstrate the positive behaviours and these have to be specific. RESULT Did you achieve your objectives? What was your learning? ACTION What did you do? Most importantly, why?

18 Activity Three – Interviews, are you prepared?
In pairs: 15 minutes each Answer the questions on the next slide Interviewee - Remember we are looking for specifics Interviewee – Remember to answer the question Interviewer – think about what feedback you can give afterwards – how clear were the answers, how articulate was your partner

19 Activity Three – Sample Competency based interviews
Q2: BT puts customers at the heart of everything it does. A customer is anyone we do work for. Think of a time when you were involved with one or more ‘customers’. In particular, think back to a time when you had a difficult situation with a customer. Q1: Inspiring is about thinking creatively to change things for the better. Think about a time when you challenged existing thinking. What was your role? What was the setting? 1. Describe the situation. (Your role, Who were the customers? What was the setting?) 2. What did you want to achieve? 3. What actions did you take to address the situation and why? 4. What was the outcome? 5. What would you do differently if you were in the same situation again? 1. Briefly describe the situation. 2. How did you identify the opportunity to do things differently? 3. What was your approach? 4. What factors did you take into account? 5. What problems did you encounter? 6. What was the outcome? 7. What was the most important thing you learned?

20 Feedback 5 Minutes Now just spend a few minutes giving each other some feedback Group Feedback Are there any concerns? How did you find the exercise? What was useful about it?

21 Interview Hints and Tips
Be pleasant Time Answers Listen Be clear Tone and rhythm of your voice Don’t over prepare Pauses Smile! Don’t rush your answers – if you need a moment to consider your answer, take one. If you just give one or two word answers it makes it very hard to put you through to the next part of the recruitment process because we can’t see that you’ve demonstrated what we are looking for. Some people don’t focus on the question – they are so concerned with telling you about their leadership skills that the interviewer again can’t put you through because you have not demonstrated what the question was looking for Para-phrase your research the way you want to – don’t read it straight from a website or company brochure Telephone contact means that there is no visual interaction unlike a face-to-face interview so the tone and rhythm of your voice are very important – if you speak in a monotone voice this will be more apparent of the telephone! Remember that you need to use your voice to get across your enthusiasm for the organisation. I mentioned earlier that it’s a good idea to prepare beforehand – one of the advantages of the telephone interview is that you can have notes and information with you to act as prompts for possible answers – but it is possible to over prepare so be cautious – too much information in front of you could make you flustered if you can’t find the piece of paper you are looking for. Don’t be put off if the interviewer pauses – they will probably be taking notes Smile – as silly as this might sound, smiling when you talk really helps – you will come across as more friendly and confident!

22 Any questions? For more information on the BT Graduate Scheme please visit

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