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Interview techniques workshop

  1. 1. Interview Techniques Workshop John McMenamin Employability and IT Consultant Career Development Centre
  2. 2. Workshop Objectives <ul><li>To outline principles and tips for successful interviews </li></ul><ul><li>To explore employers’ expectations </li></ul><ul><li>To share previous interview experiences and best practice </li></ul><ul><li>To gain an awareness of the importance of preparation prior to interviews </li></ul><ul><li>To practice creating and delivering answers to common interview questions </li></ul>
  3. 3. Workshop Content <ul><li>What you need to do before an interview </li></ul><ul><li>What is a job interview? </li></ul><ul><li>What are employers looking for? </li></ul><ul><li>Interview behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Interview questions </li></ul><ul><li>Interview tips </li></ul><ul><li>Summary and useful links </li></ul>
  4. 4. Three things you need to do before an interview <ul><li>Preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation </li></ul>
  5. 5. 1. Preparation <ul><li>RESEARCH yourself </li></ul><ul><li>RESEARCH the job </li></ul><ul><li>RESEARCH the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>RESEARCH the sector </li></ul>
  6. 6. 2. Preparation <ul><li>Knowledge about yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Re-read your application </li></ul><ul><li>Strengths and weaknesses </li></ul><ul><li>Why you want the job? </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge about the job itself </li></ul><ul><li>What skills do you need? </li></ul><ul><li>How can you demonstrate these skills with examples from University, work, outside interests? </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge about the organisation & sector </li></ul><ul><li>Why do you want to work for that organisation? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s happening in the sector right now? </li></ul>
  7. 7. 3. Preparation <ul><li>What will the interview format be? </li></ul><ul><li>How will you get there? </li></ul><ul><li>Rehearse your answers (We can help you with this!) </li></ul><ul><li>Questions for the interviewer – shows interest and enthusiasm for the role + tells you more about the job – take a notepad with you – jot down questions as they occur to you </li></ul>
  8. 8. Questions to ask your interviewer(s) <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUGevSj7I0A </li></ul>
  9. 9. What is a job interview?
  10. 10. Typical Interview Format <ul><li>Introduction phase </li></ul><ul><li>The formal interview </li></ul><ul><li>Information about the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Summing up / questions about the job </li></ul>
  11. 11. Every job interview is a ‘marketing’ exercise, so… <ul><li>Be clear about what you want to communicate </li></ul><ul><li>Support what you say with evidence (more on this later) </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>What are looking for? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Employers: Three Questions <ul><li>Can you do the job? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you have the knowledge and skills? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do you want to do the job? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you have the motivation? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Will you fit in? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you have relevant values and personal qualities? </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Employers’ Wish List
  15. 15. Interview behaviour
  16. 16. The Interview- First Impressions <ul><li>Dress </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Appropriate business dress clean shoes! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What to take </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Certificates if needed, copies of CV/application </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Arrive on time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plan the route </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leave extra journey time for problems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Meeting the interviewers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relax, but remember you are being observed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Body language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Handshake, eye contact </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Creating a good first impression <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIzqhQsTos4 </li></ul>
  18. 18. Behavioural Characteristics <ul><li>Remain calm </li></ul><ul><li>Remember your body language </li></ul><ul><li>Tone of voice </li></ul><ul><li>Be yourself </li></ul><ul><li>First impressions count </li></ul><ul><li>Communication styles </li></ul>
  19. 19. Body Language   
  20. 20. Interview questions
  21. 21. Types of Questions <ul><li>Motivational Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Technical Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Competency Questions </li></ul>
  22. 22. Motivational Questions <ul><li>Designed to test your motivation for the job </li></ul><ul><li>and the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Why do you want to work here? </li></ul><ul><li>How much do you know about our organisation? </li></ul><ul><li>Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years time? </li></ul>
  23. 23. Technical Questions <ul><li>These relate to your ability to use the technology you have learnt from your course/work experience </li></ul><ul><li>“ What systems and software are you competent in?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ What do you know about working in a photographic laboratory?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ What experience do you have of using the following… ?” </li></ul>
  24. 24. Competency Questions <ul><li>Questions based on the general competencies all employers expect from graduates (team skills, communication, problem solving etc..) </li></ul><ul><li>eg “Can you tell us about a time when you...worked in a team/dealt with a difficult customer/met a deadline?” </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that the key is providing evidence based responses based on the STAR formula (Situation, Task, Action, Result) </li></ul>
  25. 25. Skills Based Examples <ul><li>Try using the STAR model: </li></ul><ul><li>S – situation </li></ul><ul><li>briefly outline where you were, what was your job? </li></ul><ul><li>T – task </li></ul><ul><ul><li>explain the task you encountered, what had to be done? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A – action </li></ul><ul><li>what specific actions did you take to overcome the difficulty? </li></ul><ul><li>R – results </li></ul><ul><li>what were the results and what did you learn? </li></ul>
  26. 26. Example of a STAR response <ul><li>Describe a time when you have used an innovative approach to solving a problem: </li></ul><ul><li>Situation </li></ul><ul><li>Task </li></ul><ul><li>Action </li></ul><ul><li>Result </li></ul>When I was assistant manager of an IT training workshop at a college in Brighton, we had a student who couldn’t raise her hand to ask questions due to arthritis in her shoulders. She would get very frustrated when she had a problem and even more frustrated when she couldn’t get the attention of one of my staff to get the problem fixed. I went out and bought a set of decorative lights that attach to the sides of computer monitors which could be switched on and off by a button next to the keyboard. I informed her and my staff that if she had a problem, she should switch the light on and then my staff would be able to see that she had a problem and could deal with it accordingly. She was very satisfied with the solution and found the learning experience much easier and more rewarding.
  27. 27. Problem Solving <ul><li>‘ Describe a difficult problem </li></ul><ul><li>that you have solved’ </li></ul><ul><li>What was the problem? </li></ul><ul><li>How did you analyse and solve the problem? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there anything you would do differently?’ </li></ul>
  28. 28. ‘ Why Have You Applied To Us ?’ <ul><li>Aim to show you know what they do and how they operate </li></ul><ul><li>Link it to what you are interested in / have experience of (from your studies / work exp etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Try to make it unique to them (Vs other companies) and to you (Vs other applicants). </li></ul>
  29. 29. Your Toughest Interview Questions
  30. 30. Calming job interview nerves <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqXMITOhjy4 </li></ul>
  31. 31. Interview tips
  32. 32. Interview Checklist <ul><li>Switch mobile off </li></ul><ul><li>Look prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>Answer questions using STAR model </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to ask questions yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Take a copy of your application (CV or application form) </li></ul>
  33. 33. Interview tips from an employer <ul><li>https://mycareer.wmin.ac.uk/video/r1610.html </li></ul><ul><li>Simon Reichwald – CEO Graduate Success </li></ul>
  34. 34. 10 Tips for a good interview <ul><li>Assume the interview starts the moment you enter the building </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to the question and answer it, ask for clarification if unsure what they are asking </li></ul><ul><li>Engage all interviewers in eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>Always back up everything you are saying with examples from your experience </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid taking notes in with you and certainly never read from them if you do </li></ul>
  35. 35. 10 Tips for a good interview <ul><li>Always have questions ready for the end </li></ul><ul><li>Know what you’ve said in your application and be prepared to discuss the details </li></ul><ul><li>If they don’t tell you, ask when you will hear about the outcome of the interview </li></ul><ul><li>Thank the interviewer(s) by name </li></ul><ul><li>Smile!  </li></ul>
  36. 36. Interview practice <ul><li>Describe a time when you worked as part of an effective team, what did you do and what was the outcome? </li></ul><ul><li>Describe a time when you solved a difficult problem. What did you do and what was the outcome? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your biggest weakness? </li></ul><ul><li>What factors have influenced your career choice? </li></ul>
  37. 37. Summary
  38. 38. Interview No-nos <ul><li>Lack of knowledge of company </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of knowledge of field/industry </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of enthusiasm </li></ul><ul><li>Late to interview </li></ul><ul><li>Over-confident / casual </li></ul><ul><li>Discussing salary expectations / administrative questions </li></ul><ul><li>Talking too much / not listening </li></ul><ul><li>Fidgeting </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Sweaty palms syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>Being negative about anything </li></ul>
  39. 39. Preparation is the key to success! <ul><li>Find out the selection criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Know what you are offering </li></ul><ul><li>Identify likely question areas </li></ul><ul><li>Research some (original) things about the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Rehearse responses to potential questions </li></ul><ul><li>Practice and get feedback </li></ul>
  40. 40. Interview - but no job offer? <ul><li>Did I prepare thoroughly? </li></ul><ul><li>Did I get feedback on my performance? </li></ul><ul><li>Am I right for the job/organisation? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I need advice? </li></ul>
  41. 41. Useful links <ul><li>MyCareer </li></ul><ul><li>Online careers resource with a wealth of information, resources, links and a number of interactive exercises developed by me </li></ul><ul><li>http://mycareer.wmin.ac.uk </li></ul><ul><li>Monster – Careers advice </li></ul><ul><li>Features lots of advice, instructional videos and an interactive mock interview </li></ul><ul><li>http://career-advice.monster.co.uk </li></ul><ul><li>Prospects </li></ul><ul><li>The official UK graduate careers website, lots of information and advice – ideal for researching salary expectations and job descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.prospects.ac.uk </li></ul>
  42. 42. Contact Career Development Centre <ul><li>www.westminster.ac.uk/careers </li></ul><ul><li>T: 020 7911 5184 </li></ul><ul><li>E: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>First floor, 101 New Cavendish Street </li></ul><ul><li>(next to Cav St campus) </li></ul><ul><li>Also at Harrow – Maria Hewlett building </li></ul>