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© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services1 Job Interview skills Learning Outcomes By the end of this session, you should be able to : u Understand the purpose of interviews u Be aware of the processes involved in different types of interviews u Know how to prepare for interview u Be clear about the importance of self presentation Remember – an interview is not one way traffic! Recruitment Costs are high and employers want you as much as you want them.
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services2 An interview will enable an employer: u Ensure that you understand what the job involves, and that you have the necessary skills u Check your knowledge of/and commitment to the company It is a two way process and you should use the opportunity to: u Make sure you do want to work for the company u Check that the philosophy/values of the company match your personal requirements u Find out more about the job, training, career structure etc.
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services3 Types of interview u Individual interviews – one to one. u Panel interviews – usually three people on the panel, but there could be more! u Telephone interviews – usually part of the initial selection process u Video interviews – uncommon at graduate level entry, but not unheard of
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services4 Individual interviews u For a large organisation this may be a sifting exercise to see if you will go forward to the next stage u For a smaller employer, this may be your main meeting u The focus here is usually building on information from your CV or application form, but you should be prepared for anything
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services5 Panel interviews u Very common for graduate entry level jobs u Usually 3 people on the panel ( could be more, could be less ) u All will ask questions u Likely that they will have different areas of interest
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services6 Telephone interviews u Usually used as a screening interview to gain further information before inviting you for interview u Length of time may vary – could range from 10 minutes to 1 hour u Treat the experience with caution – just because you cant be seen doesnt mean you are not creating an impression!
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services7 Video interviews u Check all technical equipment to make sure everything is working u Talk to the camera - this way you appear to be looking straight at the interviewers
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services8 The key to any successful interview is preparation u Research the company – make sure you have read all the literature they have sent you and that you know about their main products and services u Use the internet to find out any additional information and read the financial/business press to find out about any current developments e.g. new contracts or takeover bids u Find out about the main competitors in order to demonstrate knowledge of the wider context u Network with people who know about the company and dont be afraid to use any contacts you may have to get inside information u Have a list of questions ready to ask
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services9 In addition… u Plan your route and give yourself plenty of time in case of traffic disruption u Plan your outfit, and remember – first impressions count!! u Anticipate questions and practise answers u Run through your presentation, paying strict attention to timing u Bring copies of CV/Application form
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services10 Interview nerves You will be nervous but you can help yourself by u Getting a good nights sleep u Allowing plenty of time for the journey u Arriving early so you know exactly where to go – but not too early! u Avoiding stimulants like coffee and cigarettes u Checking your appearance to make sure everything is as it should be
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services11 Remember that practice pays u Get a friend to ask you questions and give feedback u Use a tape or video recorder to check for any mannerisms or verbal tics u Ask at the Career Development and Employment Service about having a mock interview
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services12 Watch your language u Avoid speaking too quickly u Take a few seconds before you answer to give yourself time to collect your thoughts u If you are not clear about the question then ask for clarification u If you lose your thread ask for a moment to clarify your thoughts u Ask if the interviewer needs additional information
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services13 Watch your body language! u Give a firm, dry handshake u Make eye contact with all members of the panel u Smile to show your interest and enthusiasm u Avoid extravagant hand gestures u Sit slightly forward to indicate involvement
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services14 Remember: u Do not alienate the interviewer by making them work too hard – it should be a conversation rather than a question and answer session u Avoid giving yes and no as answers - it is much more effective if you go on to give examples to demonstrate what you mean u Dont just give an answer you think they want to hear - be honest in what you say and be prepared to back up your ideas and views
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services15 What sort of questions can you prepare for u Why are you applying for this job? u Give an example of where you have worked in a team u What has been your biggest achievement to date? Why are you interested in this company? u What are your main strengths? u What are your main weaknesses? u Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? u How would your friends describe you in 3 words?
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services16 Put your answer in a context for scenario based questions u Context – brief description of the situation u Action – what steps did you take? u Result – what was the outcome?
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services17 Do you have any questions? u What would my career prospects be like? u What training/support could I expect? u What would the key objectives be in the first 6 months of the job? u How will my performance be measured?
© Career Development and Employment Service Department of Student Services18 However…. u Do not ask questions just for the sake of it u Do not ask questions if you should already know the answer e.g.if it is in the company literature u Do not ask about fringe benefits – that conversation can take place when you have been offered the job u And remember….it may be that all your questions have been answered over the course of the interview
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