Interview Skills


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3 Hour Workshop on about Interview Skills for jobs Inside and Outside Academia. 6th December 2012

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  • Irony that interviewer will only really remember what say at start and end – not a chance to bullshit in the middle (joke  ) But be aware of the imp. Of impact at start and end
  • Interview Skills

    1. 1. CareersInterview skills for jobsInside and Outside Academia Dr Tracy Bussoli Careers Consultant for Researchers
    2. 2. CareersObjectives• To understand the purpose of an interview and the motivations of the interviewer in the selection process• To understand the type of preparation and research required for an effective interview• To help you provide evidence/articulate behaviours which show that they have the key experiences and competencies for a particular position
    3. 3. Careers Interviews• Application-based• Group• Competency-based• Technical or case study• Presentation (research or other)• Panel• Remote (telephone or video- link)
    4. 4. Interviews
    5. 5. What are they looking Careersfor?• Can you do the job? — Ability• Will you do the job? — Motivation• Can I work with you? — Fit
    6. 6. CareersPrimacy & Recency Effect
    7. 7. Careers Preparation, preparation, preparation….• Know yourself• Know the role• Know the Organisation/Research Group/University• Know the details of interview. Where, when etc.
    8. 8. CareersKnow Yourself Aptitudes/Skills Personality Interests Needs and priorities
    9. 9. Know the role andorganisation Small Groups (divide into i: those thinking about applying for academic roles and ii) those thinking about jobs outside academia) Think about1) a position in industry or2) an academic position e.g. postdoc Think about how you would research:• The Organisation/Research Group/University• The Role
    10. 10. Careers Research the organisation Industry Academia• Check on-line information – • Check online information – websites, linked-in, blogs etc. websites, , blogs etc.• Understand the Company’s objectives/mission statement etc. • How did they do in the REF? How many publications have they produced and in what type of• Company position in market place journals? • Know the research group’s work• Why are they different from their – read research papers competitors? • Is their ‘type of research’ being• People in your potential funded by the research councils department. What – how much research funding do do they do? How do your they have? interests fit? • Speak to postdocs/academics.• Speak to current employees • What is the PI like? Is the research group happy/well• Annual report? supported?• Memorise few obscure facts!
    11. 11. CareersResearch the role Industry Academia• Scrutinise the personal • Scrutinise the personal specification specification • Look at the job• Look at the job description description • Talk to people within the research group and• Talk to people doing same job/other people others working at organisation • List the research techniques/methods that• List the you have think about how skills/qualities/techniques these fit with the role and think about specific examples that illustrate • How much teaching is you have these involved? Can you fit in your research?• Look at other sites to find • Will you be supported in out about similar roles developing your own e.g. Prospects independent research?
    12. 12. CareersContent• Talk about yourself• Describe specific incidents• Show don’t tell• Be positive — don’t undersell yourself• Do not waffle on!
    13. 13. Careers Answering Competency Questions Tell me about a time when you showed good team working skills……….• First have a think about the behaviours which that competency involves (behind the buzzwords sheet)• Think about the different scenarios that one have been in ….research and other• Think about specific incidents
    14. 14. Careers Types of activities• Supervising a student • Participating on a committee• Teaching / tutoring a group of students • Participating in graduate school training• Preparing and publishing a paper • Managing part–time work and research• Preparing and presenting a poster • Outreach or public• Undertaking an audit engagement• Writing a funding proposal • Volunteering• Processing a set of accounts or • Charity fundraising managing a budget • Careers courses and• Managing a piece of laboratory workshops equipment
    15. 15. Careers Collecting a list of interested peopleSeeking opinion and listeningto others - is there a demand? Team working - organising a journal club Enthuse and encourage students, staff and academics to participate – hand out flyers, spread the word etc.Contact presenters Be flexible - volunteer to presenton a regular basis at the first journal club
    16. 16. Answering Competency Questions: Finding examples of your skills Individually Choose a specific situation from your PhD/research/other• Do a map of the behaviours associated with the task• Do any of the behaviours fall into a particular skill?
    17. 17. Structuring the Careersanswer • Situation • Task • Action (70%) use lots of verbs • Result
    18. 18. Careers TeamworkSITUATION – During my PhD,I felt that there was a need toget together more frequently toshare ideas about differentresearch areasTASK – So I decided toestablish an interdisciplinary/faculty wide journal club
    19. 19. CareersACTIONS – I canvassed opinions amongstacademics and students to see if this was agood idea, carrying out a small survey. Ithen tried to enthuse a few of mycolleagues about the idea and asked themif they would be happy to present at thefirst journal club. I let them know aboutthe audience and the format of the journalclub. Some of them needed reassuring andconvincing that this would be a good idea,as it would help with their presentationskills. Once I secured the first twospeakers, I booked an appropriate room,sent an email/flyer to relevant peopleabout the speakers, date, and venue.
    20. 20. CareersRESULT – there is now a wellattended journal club eachmonth, which I organise andcoordinate
    21. 21. Tell me about a time when you showed excellent…. • Team-working skills • Communication skills • Time Management skills • Project Management skillsIn pairs.Take one skill each and try to answer the question using STAR.Feedback to your partner.
    22. 22. Careers Impact• Appropriate appearance• Positive attitude, energy, enthusiasm• Be pleasant to everyone you meet• Listen carefully and show it• Eye contact and smiling• Relaxed but attentive body language• Varied delivery — pitch, volume, speed.
    23. 23. CareersTactics• Give yourself thinking time – Repeat, comment, “Can I have a minute?”• Think of the “punchline” before you talk• Seek clarification – “Are you looking for an example of...?”• Ask for feedback – “Is this example useful?”• When in a hole, stop digging – “Sorry, I’ve got a bit lost. May I start again?”
    24. 24. Some Practice Interviewer 1 2
    25. 25. Careers Your QuestionsThe job: find out more detail on duties, how long has it been vacant, where did the previous incumbent go?The organisation: what are the strategic goals, challenges they are facing, most significant recent developments in the organisation?The working conditions: what about support for training, career development, appraisals?The process: what happens next, how many people are being interviewed, when are you likely to hear whether or not you’re being offered the job?
    26. 26. Careers AFTERWARDSEMPLOYERWhat have you learnt? Your impressions of the employer.The interview is your opportunity to decide if you want to work for them.REFLECTIONReflect on the interview. Make a note of the questions they asked. Wereyou satisfied with your answers, or could you do better next time?CONTACTIf they do not contact you when they said they would or if it has been along time since the interview (more than two weeks), try ringing oremailing to check the situation.FEEDBACKIf you are rejected, try ringing to ask for some feedback so that you can gain an idea of where improvements need to be made.
    27. 27. Careers Practicalities• Rehearse journey• Turn off your mobile• Relax. They are human too.
    28. 28. CareersInterview Resources• Careers Group Interview Tips• Science Careers. Tools and Tips Section ow_to_prepare_for_an_interview• Academic Interviews ch/interview_proce.pdf• Monty Python Silly Interview Great Answers to tough interview questions. Martin John Yate
    29. 29. CareersCase Study Practice• nterview_tips/Practice_case_studies• bain/interview-preparation/default.asp• case/default.aspx
    30. 30. CareersSupport for PhD Students• One to one appointments: Monday and Tuesday mornings and Wednesday afternoon. Book by calling 020 7882 8533.• Workshops, Careers Seminars and Employer Events:• Researchers’ Career Blog: