Interview Techniques WorkshopLouise BamfordCareers ConsultantCareer Development Centre
Workshop Objectives1. To outline principles and tips for successful interviews2. To explore employers’ expectations3. To share previous interview experiences and best practice4. To assess your own levels of confidence5. To practice creating and delivering answers to common interview questions
Workshop Content– What you need to do before an interview– What is a job interview?– What are employers looking for?– Interview behaviour– Interview questions– Interview tips
Three things you need to do beforean interview1. Preparation2. Preparation3. Preparation
1. Preparation– RESEARCH yourself– RESEARCH the job– RESEARCH the organisation– RESEARCH the sector
2. PreparationKnowledge about yourself– Re-read your application– Strengths and weaknesses– Why you want the job?Knowledge about the job itself– What skills do you need?– How can you demonstrate these skills with examples from University, work, outside interests?Knowledge about the organisation & sector– Why do you want to work for that organisation?– What’s happening in the sector right now?
3. Preparation– What will the interview format be?– How will you get there?– Rehearse your answers (We can help you with this!)– 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
Employers: Three Questions– Can you do the job? Do you have the knowledge and skills?– Do you want to do the job? Do you have the motivation?– Will you fit in? Do you have relevant values and personal qualities?
The Interview- First ImpressionsDress – Appropriate business dress clean shoes!What to take – Certificates if needed, copies of CV/applicationArrive on time – Plan the route – Leave extra journey time for problemsMeeting the interviewers – Relax, but remember you are being observedBody language – Handshake, eye contact
Types of Questions3. Motivational Questions5. Technical Questions7. Competency Questions
Motivational QuestionsDesigned to test your motivation for the joband the organisation– Why do you want to work here?– How much do you know about our organisation?– Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years time?
Technical Questions– These relate to your ability to use the technology you have learnt from your course/work experience– “What systems and software are you competent in?”– “What do you know about working in a photographic laboratory?”– “What experience do you have of using the following… ?”
Competency Questions– Questions based on the general competencies all employers expect from graduates (team skills, communication, problem solving etc..)– eg “Can you tell us about a time when you...worked in a team/dealt with a difficult customer/met a deadline?”– Remember that the key is providing evidence based responses based on the STAR formula (Situation, Task, Action, Result)
Skills Based ExamplesTry using the STAR model:– S – situation briefly outline where you were, what was your job?- T – task explain the task you encountered, what had to be done?– A – action what specific actions did you take to overcome the difficulty?– R – results what were the results and what did you learn?
Example of a STAR responseDescribe a time when you have used an innovative approachto solving a problem:Situation When I was assistant manager of an IT training workshop at a college in Brighton, we had a student who couldn’t raise herTask 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 ofAction 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.Result She was very satisfied with the solution and found the learning experience much easier and more rewarding.
Problem Solving‘Describe a difficult problemthat you have solved’–What was the problem?–How did you analyse and solve the problem?–Is there anything you would do differently?’
‘Why Have You Applied To Us?’– Aim to show you know what they do and how they operate– Link it to what you are interested in / have experience of (from your studies / work exp etc)– Try to make it unique to them (Vs other companies) and to you (Vs other applicants).
Interview Checklist– Switch mobile off– Look prepared– Be prepared– Eye contact– Answer questions using STAR model– Be prepared to ask questions yourself– Take a copy of your application (CV or application form)
10 Tips for a good interview1. Assume the interview starts the moment you enter the building2. Listen to the question and answer it, ask for clarification if unsure what they are asking3. Engage all interviewers in eye contact4. Always back up everything you are saying with examples from your experience5. Avoid taking notes in with you and certainly never read from them if you do
10 Tips for a good interview– Always have questions ready for the end– Know what you’ve said in your application and be prepared to discuss the details– If they don’t tell you, ask when you will hear about the outcome of the interview– Thank the interviewer(s) by name– Smile!
Interview practice– Describe a time when you worked as part of an effective team, what did you do and what was the outcome?– Describe a time when you solved a difficult problem. What did you do and what was the outcome?– What is your biggest weakness?– What factors have influenced your career choice?
Interview No-nos– Lack of knowledge of company– Lack of knowledge of field/industry– Lack of enthusiasm– Late to interview– Over-confident / casual– Discussing salary expectations / administrative questions– Talking too much / not listening– Fidgeting– Lack of confidence– Sweaty palms syndrome– Being negative about anything
Preparation is the key tosuccess!– Find out the selection criteria– Know what you are offering– Identify likely question areas– Research some (original) things about the organisation– Rehearse responses to potential questions– Practice and get feedback
Interview - but no job offer?– Did I prepare thoroughly?– Did I get feedback on my performance?– Am I right for the job/organisation?– Do I need advice?
Useful linksMyCareer– Online careers resource with a wealth of information, resources, links and a number of interactive exerciseshttp://mycareer.wmin.ac.ukMonster – Careers advice– Features lots of advice, instructional videos and an interactive mock interviewhttp://career-advice.monster.co.ukCareer player- More tips and advice about interviews and other career areashttp://www.careerplayer.com/tips-and-advice.aspxProspects– The official UK graduate careers website, lots of information and advice – ideal for researching salary expectations and job descriptionshttp://www.prospects.ac.uk
Contact Career Development Centrewww.westminster.ac.uk/careersT: 020 7911 5184E: email@example.comFirst floor, 101 New Cavendish Street(next to Cav St campus)Also at Harrow – Maria Hewlett building
Thank youLouise Bamfordl.firstname.lastname@example.orgSlides will be available atwww.slideshare.net/cdcwestminster
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