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presentation by University of Sussex careers adviser, February 2013

presentation by University of Sussex careers adviser, February 2013

Published in Career
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  • Ask group about experiences of interviews so far- any particular concerns? Good experiences? Bad experiences?
  • Interviews are also a chance for you to decide if you want to work for the organisation & find out more about their culture. Its not a one way process. You might also experience good interviewers and bad interviewers!
  • Examples of competency based Questions could include: Tell us about a time when you worked as part of a team- what was your role? Can you give us an example of when you demonstrated your communication skills- what did you do?
  • The weakness question- key to answering this is to keep your example positive and end on a positive note.
  • Look at your application form again, read the person specification & job description- research the employers website Think about a range of examples from the range of your experience
  • Be grounded- be balanced!
  • Avoid ‘you know’ ‘like’
  • Avoid ‘you know’ ‘like’


  • 1. Interview Skills Careers and Employability Centre
  • 2. Why interview candidatesInterviews are designed to find out : • Can you do the job – experience and skills • Will you do the job – motivation • Do you fit in – culture and teamTwo main types of question – general and competency
  • 3. Types of interviewAsk what sort of interview to expect!First interview Second interviewTelephone interview 1 to 1 or panel interviewCV or Application Form based Competency basedCase study Academic or technicalSelection tests Assessment centre
  • 4. Types of questionsGeneral questions• Tell me about yourself• Tell us about your relevant experience• What is greatest achievement or career highlight?• What are your strengths and weaknesses?• What do you know about our company/industry?• What are your long term career goals?
  • 5. General questions• Give answers structure – don’t ramble• Your chance to paint your own portrait• Define the context• Be prepared with specific answers• Think about what they might ask you or what you have said already
  • 6. Types of questionCompetency based questions• Use ‘past behaviour indicates future success’• Objective way of comparing you to others• Relate to skills and behaviour needed for the role• Interviewers decide beforehand which type of answers score positive points• They look for structure, cause and effect and pragmatism• Use real scenarios
  • 7. Competency questions• Identify competencies for the job you are seeking •Company website •Advert •Job descriptions• Compare these against your background• Find your best example and prepare this in advance• Keep the answer concise• Avoid jargon
  • 8. Some typical competencies • Analytical skills • Communication • Problem solving • Teamwork • Leadership • Creativity • Adaptability • Influencing
  • 9. Examples of questionsGeneral:• Tell me about your weaknesses• Why do you want to work here?Competency:• How would you deal with a team member who is underperforming• Describe a time when you had to find a solution to a problem
  • 10. Before the interviewBe prepared!• Find out about the organisation and the interviewer• Rehearse your answers to typical questions with examples• Remember it’s a two way process: oWhat 10 (max) things do want them to take away? oDecide what are your unique selling points (USPs)• Know your CV inside out
  • 11. Initial impressions are criticalYou make an impression as soon as you meet someone:
  • 12. The impact you make •50% Body language •40% Voice •10% Words Delivery of your message is key
  • 13. Initial impressions• Walk tall and straight• Be grounded before you speak• Make eye contact and smile• Shake hands• Say who you are clearly• Remember to breathe
  • 14. During the interviewWhat you say:Use examplesBe informative – 10 points you want to tell themBoast modestlyTake time over difficult questions - ask for clarification if necessaryHow you say it:Think about the words you useTalk about I rather than weRegister – including appropriate language and vocabulary
  • 15. During the interview – what you say Situation: give a context by describing the situation Task: what was your goal? Action: tell the interviewer your specific actions Result: shows yourself in a good light, even if the overall project was not a success
  • 16. During the interview - behaviourSit reasonably uprightKeep hands on showMaintain good eye contactKeep an open postureMinimise things you do when nervousSpeak clearlyRemember to breathe
  • 17. Assessment Centres Employers use various techniques as well as interviews • Online and written tests • Exercises – individual and in groups • Social events • Presentations
  • 18. During the Assessment CentreReview your behaviourTalk to peopleCo-operate with everybody!
  • 19. Careers and Employability CentreFurther helpShort interview with a careers adviser10 – 5 Mon – Fri (plus Wed 5 –7)EventsWebsite www.sussex.ac.uk/careers
  • 20. Careers and Employability CentreExamples of questions………1. What has been your greatest achievement?2. Describe a situation where you have dealt with confrontation (for example a difficult customer).3. What do you look for in a job?4. Why did you choose your university and degree subject?5. Tell me about yourself.6. Describe a situation in which you led a team?7. Is a jaffa cake a cake or a biscuit?
  • 21. Careers and Employability CentreYour questions………What would an average day be like?How would my work be monitored and how often would I beappraised?What career paths have other graduates followed in this company?Will I have any opportunity to use my foreign language skills?Will I be working in a team? What is the make-up of these teams?What are the company’s development plans and targets over thenext five years?When am I likely to hear back from you?Do you support study for external qualifications?