Preparing for Interviews June E Kay Careers Development Consultant Postdoctoral Research Staff.
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Preparing for Interviews June E Kay Careers Development Consultant Postdoctoral Research Staff
∂ INTERVIEWS You can assume that, because you’ve got past the application form/CV : They feel that you can do the job That they want to know more about you So why select further? To assess the knowledge that you have marketed in your initial application To evaluate your transferable skills under pressure To judge how you would fit into their organisation BUT It is also an opportunity for you to judge whether you want to work for them
∂ TOUGH QUESTIONS Why do you want to work for…? What is it about the position that you most like? Take me through a task that you have completed from beginning to end? Was it successful? Why? What were the main obstacles that you had to overcome?
∂ TOUGH QUESTIONS What would you describe as your greatest strength? What would you say is your major weakness? What would you say is your greatest achievement and why? Give me an example of when you have worked in a team and tell me what role you took on? What are the current issues facing…?
∂ Tough Academic Questions Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Who are the leading researchers in your field worldwide? Are any of them willing to work with you? What innovations in teaching would you like to implement given sufficient resources? What are the 5 most outstanding advances in your field in the last 5 years?
∂ Preparation Re-read the job advert, application pack, job description What skills have they asked for? What personal qualities are desired? What type of organisation are they? (ethos, management style, culture) Review CV or application form & covering letter How do you meet the criteria / where are there gaps? What would you ask if you were them? Are there any weaknesses you might be probed upon? What probing questions might they give about your answers What other action did you consider? What might you do differently the next time? etc
∂ Research Company Products they make / sell Locations Clients Turnover World Ranking (if multi-national) Main competitors Recent expansions / contracts won / cut backs / mergers Sector Upturn / downturn profits Effect of new technology or legislation Market leaders Academic Institution, Department, staff, Higher Education issues, subject issues
∂ YOUR INTERPERSONAL SKILLS / REACTIONS What impression are you hoping to create? Dress code: formal/informal ‘company culture’ Body Language handshake eye contact mannerisms open/close posture Smile
∂ Academic Interview Format Panel Interview – 4/5/6 members, Impartial Chair – represent the interests of the university not dept. Head of Department Head of Section (research group / area of teaching) Member of different department – lateral comparability Questions split according to panel members area of interest and map onto person specification
∂ Non-Academic Interview Format Individual interviews or a panel interview One in a series or one off interview Technical Head of Department, Human Resources, Occupational Psychologist Part of Assessment centre? Other tasks – group activities, presentation, in-tray / e-tray exercise
∂ YOUR INTERPERSONAL SKILLS / REACTIONS What approach are the interviewers adopting? style of questions pace of interview body language inc. note taking friendly/business like
∂ Competency Based Questions S ituation T ask A ction R esult
∂ Final Tips Be yourself Give interesting examples to questions that they ask Be willing to expand on any responses that you make Don’t be thrown by the unexpected question Stay calm Buy time to think Remain positive throughout Show them that you are right for the position and for them! At the end of the interview think about what impression you want to leave with them: ‘If you can’t think of good questions [to ask them] don’t ask stupid ones.’ Ian Jackson BT