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How to survive an Interview

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1 How to survive an Interview
Speaker Notes Run through the agenda for the session and introduce yourself Introduce yourself to students. Let them know your name, job (may need some explanation), and some interesting personal information. This could be anything from the football team you support, where you live, to what you do at weekends. If possible, include a slide with some pictures to further engage the students. Pictures could include your office, photos you doing interesting activities, a map of the country showing where you are from, etc. Explain to the students why you are speaking to them. Put the focus on to them – it is about the students starting to think about their futures. You will be telling them about one option for when they leave school (higher apprenticeships). Reassure them that it is ok if they don’t know anything about higher apprenticeships at the moment. The aim is that by the end they’ll have some understanding. Set your expectations. Explain that you want it to be an interactive session, and say that you will value their contributions. Communicate how you want the students to ask/answer questions (hand up, shout out). The presentation will be greatly improved if you can refer to students’ names. If possible, put a blank piece of paper on their desks and ask them to write their names on it. They can then fold it over and display it on the desk. If appropriate, you could use this activity as a fun starter by allowing the students to choose a creative name (cartoon character, musician). They could then introduce themselves to the rest of the group. This will not always be appropriate, so speak with the teacher about the best way to get students’ names.

2 What is an interview? Professional conversation
Two way conversation with a purpose Opportunity for the interviewer to gain evidence Opportunity for the interviewee to obtain further information Speaker Notes Explain that an interview is a professional conversation between two people (the interviewer and the interviewee) where questions are asked by the interviewer to obtain information from the interviewee. Two way conversation / Process Remind students to keep this in mind as they approach the interview. Employers want to find out more about you, it is not an opportunity for them to catch up out or trick you. It’s also an opportunity for you to find out whether this is the type of company you would like to work for and the type of role you are suitable for. Ask yourself some questions: Do you like the office / location? Do you like the interviewer? (They will be your future employer) Are people friendly towards you? Did you get a feel for the type of culture? Explain there will an opportunity for you to ask questions to find out more about the role / company. This allows you to find out more, but also demonstrates your interest and enthusiasm by asking the right types of questions.

3 What are competencies? Competencies are particular qualities that an organisation feels desirable for employers to possess During interviews and assessments competencies are used as benchmarks that assessors use to rate and evaluate candidates Speaker Notes Explain that a competency is a particular quality that a company's recruiters have decided is desirable for employees to possess. During interviews and assessment processes competencies are used as benchmarks that assessors use to rate and evaluate candidates. In interviews recruiters look for evidence of competencies by asking candidates competency based questions. This style of question forces candidates to give situational examples of times in the past when they have performed particular tasks or achieved particular outcomes using certain skills.

4 Quick exercise to outline skills
Your task In small groups consider the types of skills employers are looking for. List 5 to 10 skills. Feedback in 5 minutes Speaker Notes Ask students to spend 10 mins discussing what type of skills employers might use. Ask them for feedback.

5 Taking responsibility Understanding of the company Making decisions
Competencies Teamworking Taking responsibility Understanding of the company Making decisions Communication Being trustworthy Solving problems Managing your time effectively Speaker Notes Employers typically use some of the following as their key competencies  Explain that examples can be taken from anywhere, at school, sport, university, work experience, voluntary work, during gap years,, etc.

6 The first 60 seconds Body Language
Be on time Dress appropriately Maintain eye contact Have a firm handshake Try to relax Smile The first 60 seconds of an interview Although competency based interviews are standardised, a typical interviewer will start to form an opinion of you in the first 60 seconds. It is very important to give a good impression to your interviewer from the very first moment you meet. Ask students to shout out a couple of ideas about how they should create a first impression. Then go through the list: Don’t be late, shake hands confidently, smile, introduce yourself, and be generally convivial to the occasion. Sitting quietly and communicating poorly will not help you, and neither will boisterous or arrogant behaviour. You should be polite but outgoing, assertive but not aggressive and aim to be every bit as professional as the interviewer who is assessing you. Be on time – plan the route. Think about how you will get there, where will you park, which tube stop will you need? Allow at LEAST an extra 15 minutes for the journey and aim to arrive 10 minutes early. Dress appropriately – explain what interview attire is. Eye contact – explain what is appropriate in terms of retaining eye contact Firm handshake – explain that this communicates confidence and warmth. Can do a quick demo to break up the slide if necessary. SMILE! Let your personality come through and try to relax. Think here about your body language too.

7 Exercise – First Impressions
Your task In pairs, take it in turns to act as the interviewer and interviewee Interviewee – Your role is to approach the interviewer as if you have just met, shake their hand, and answer their question in 30 seconds Interviewer – you role is to ask one question: “Tell me about yourself” Speaker Notes First impression 2 minute activity: In pairs, ask students to number themselves 1 and 2. 1: Interviewer 2: Interviewee The interviewee is to walk over as if they have just been sent into the room. Number 1: Is to ask one question: ‘So - Tell me about yourself’ Number 2: Your job is to approach the interviewer as if you have just been invited in, shake their hand, and answer their question in 30 seconds. If time allows, students can swap roles. Ask the interviewers to feedback on the handshake, the eye contact, and the confidence and demeanour created.

8 Techniques Providing evidence - S T A R
Situation – Set the scene Task – Explain what you did Action – What actions did you take Result – Explain what the outcome was Speaker Notes Explain what the acronym STAR stands for It is a universally recognised communication technique designed to enable you to provide a meaningful and complete answer to questions asking for examples. At the same time, it has the advantage of being simple enough to be applied easily. Many interviewers will have been trained in using the STAR structure. Even if they have not, they will recognise its value when they see it. The information will be given to them in a structured manner

9 What does a bad answer look like?
Volunteer to ask an interview question Whilst I answer, jot down why you think this answer is not going to land me the job Speaker Notes Allow the student to ask an interview question or two. Provide an on-the-spot inadequate answer, making it obvious that you are unprepared. Fail to give an example – e.g. use vague statements such as ‘all the time at school’ Stumble over what you actually did – maybe go back later to add in more detail Don’t mention the outcome

10 Exercise - Interview practice with peers
In small groups prepare answers to the sample questions and then role play as interviewer and interviewee! OBSERVER ROLE: Role: Observe the interview and provide feedback on the answer, body language, first impression etc INTERVIEWER ROLE: Role: Ask at least one interview question and take notes on the answer INTERVIEWEE ROLE: Role: Answer the interview question(s) using the STAR technique Speaker Notes Ask the students to work in groups of 3 (numbers permitting) They will take turns taking on one of the three roles: Observer, interviewer, interviewee Give the students 3 minutes role play an interview, and then two minutes for the observer to feedback on all aspects of the interview that they have learnt about: body language, handshake, eye contact, use of the STAR technique, etc

11 Interview practice with peers
OBSERVER: Role: Observe the interview and provide feedback on the answer, body language, first impression etc Describe a situation where you have had to work as part of a team Give an example when you have been really stretched for a deadline and how did you achieve it? Give an example of an occasion where you have given constructive criticism to a member of your peer group Tell me what your greatest achievement to date has been? INTERVIEWEE: Role: Answer the interview question(s) using the STAR technique Speaker Notes Run through the example questions before the exercise starts. Remind students they may need to ask follow up questions to draw evidence from the interviewee INTERVIEWER: Role: Ask at least one interview question and take notes on the answer

12 Key Tips – During your Interview
Don’t be afraid of silence. Your interviewer will be making notes It’s perfect ably acceptable to take a moment to collect your thoughts Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat the question if you didn’t understand it Be concise, do not provide long winded answers as this may detract from your main points Don’t give one word answers. This is your opportunity to sell yourself Do not always use the words “the company” or “we”, try to explain examples and situations as ‘I’ Have questions prepared in advance to ask them about the job/organisation Speaker Notes Run through the hints and tips. Share some of your own experience of attending interviews. You may be a trained interviewer yourself and be able to more even more insight.

13 Reasons for failure Not preparing for the interview
Providing superficial information or waffling Not listening to the questions - answering a question that ‘was not asked’ Speaker Notes Not preparing for an interview In terms of preparing this is really following on from the application form research, re-reading brochures, websites and your application form and thinking about different examples that you could use to answer the questions. It is important to remember the application form gives you hints. Providing Superficial Information If you know the competencies then you have a head start, start thinking about your examples to work with these, however, remember also not to sound too pre-rehearsed as it may come across as stifled. An employer will want a succinct answer so do not feel you have to spend 10 minutes answering each question, remember don’t waffle but try and answer the question as directly as possible. Failure to Listen The interviewer is asking you a specific question in order to gain evidence for a certain competency so do answer that question. Answering a question that was not asked Annoying from an interviewer’s point of view; it also shows that you have not followed a basic instruction, i.e. listening to the question. Remember the interviewers are often as nervous as you are! There is only one person who can sell you so believe in yourself.

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