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© Careers Advisory ServicePage 1 Interview Skills Careers Advisory Service
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 2 Outline Why interview? Before the interview (the three P’s) Types of interviews During the interview & exercise After the interview Other types of selection Sources of help
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 3 Why do employers interview? 1. Will you be able to do the job well? 2. Are you really motivated to do the job? 3. Will you fit into the organisation
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 4 The three ‘P’s for interviews Preparation Practicalities Presentation
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 5 Preparation Research the employer/sector/job Study job description and candidate specification Consider why you want this job What can you offer / your Unique Selling Points? Prepare responses to questions Prepare your own questions
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 6 Practicalities Confirm your attendance Check exact location Plan journey Organise clothes Organise documentation
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 7 Presentation - on the day Arrive a little earlier Look the part Make sure your mobile phone is off! First impressions: body language & mannerisms Be polite to all those you encounter Be positive / act naturally Be attentive, listen carefully Answer questions fully but succinctly
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 8 On the day – avoid … Being too familiar / over-confident Being negative Criticising others Asking about salary and conditions
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 9 Types of interviews First / second interview One-to-one Panel interview Formal and ‘informal’ Telephone interview Case study interview Web-cam interview
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 10 One-to-one interviews May be a sifting exercise or a ‘first interview’ Often focuses on information from CV and application form May be a telephone interview
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 11 Telephone interviews Initial screening process Treat it as a formal interview Usually pre-arranged Choose suitable location/environment Have documents ready Listen carefully Sound the part Video / web cam interviews …..?
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 12 Panel interviews Often used for graduate jobs Usually 2-4 members, 1 acting as the chair Not all members may be experienced interviewers / know the post well Panel interviews usually fairer than 1-2-1 interviews HR representative may be present to ensure fair play
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 13 Competency based interviewing Seeks evidence for the skills the employer is looking for: Team working Leadership skills Problem solving Communication Analytical thinking Taking initiative Business awareness
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 14 How to handle Competency Questions – STAR Model S = Situation. –Describe the situation, “Tell me about a time when….” –Be clear & concise T = Task –“What was your role?” A = Action –“What did you do? How did you do it?” –Be specific (use “I”) R = Result –“What happened? What did you learn? –Highlight the benefits to the employer
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 15 Typical ‘competency based’ questions E.g. ‘Tell us about a time when you worked in a team’ ‘Talk me through a situation when you exceeded what was expected of you’ ‘Think back to a time when …. What did you do and how did you do it?
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 16 Behaviourally based interviewing (Source: WestLB) A broad, behavioural question Probe Narrow Confirm Summarise or test understanding SituationAction Result Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision when you were under pressure? Why were you under pressure? How did you go about making your decision? What action did you take? What was the outcome? What did you learn from that experience?
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 17 Working in pairs take 5 minutes each to practise some typical interview questions. 1.Tell me about your degree course at Imperial and why you have chosen it. 2.Could you give me an example of when you were in a team, what your role was, how you approached it and what was the outcome? 3.Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 18 Tricky Questions What would you say has been your greatest achievement / failure? Why should we take you above everyone else? How would your best friend describe you? How do you react to criticism? What makes you angry? What is your greatest weakness?
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 19 Any questions for us? What would be the key objectives in the first sixth months of the job? How will my performance be measured? What is the general progression of graduate trainees after their training? What training/support can I expect? What happens next?
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 20 After the interview Take stock –What went well? –What did not go well? –What could you have done better? Unsuccessful? –Seek feedback from the employer –Move on! Do more reading and research. Study ‘interview’ videos.
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 21 Other types of selection Group discussion Case study Presentation In-tray or e-tray exercise Written exercise Psychometric assessment
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 22 Group discussion May ask you to discuss current business and current affairs topic or hypothetical work-related problem Used to assess your inter-personal skills (verbal communication, team-working, listening, facilitating, leadership, understanding, persuasiveness, negotiation, confidence)
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 23 Case study interview Used by consultancy & law firms Analysis of a business problem Evaluated on: –How you analyse –How you identify key issues –How you pursue and develop your thinking “The process not necessarily the result”
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 24 Resources to help you Streamed DVD 'Making an Impact: the graduate job interview video' Reference books e.g. “Great answers to tough interview questions”, “The Perfect Interview”, “Preparing for interviews” and others. www.imperial.ac.uk/careers www.prospects.ac.uk Case study interviews, DVD (Bain) 20 min ‘quick query’ session 40 min. appointments to discuss interview techniques Group Mock interview session to put things into practice
© Imperial College London Careers Advisory ServicePage 25 Thank you. Careers Advisory Service
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