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International Students - Interview Skills and Assessment Centres


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Careers adviser presentation, March 2016

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International Students - Interview Skills and Assessment Centres

  1. 1. Interview Skills and Assessment Centres Careers and Employability Centre
  2. 2. Why interview candidates? Interviews 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 team Two main types of question – general and competency
  3. 3. Types of interview Ask what sort of interview to expect! First interview Second interview Telephone interview 1 to 1 or panel interview CV or Application Form based Competency based Case study Academic or technical Selection tests Assessment centre
  4. 4. Types of questions General 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. 5. Competency questions - preparation • 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
  6. 6. Some typical competencies •Analytical skills •Communication •Problem solving •Teamwork •Leadership •Creativity •Adaptability •Influencing
  7. 7. Examples of questions General: • Why do you want to work here? • In which areas would you require further training? • Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? 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
  8. 8. STAR model 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
  9. 9. Before the interview Be prepared! • Find out about the organisation and the interviewer • Rehearse your answers to typical questions with examples • Know your CV inside out
  10. 10. Initial impressions are critical You make an impression as soon as you meet someone:
  11. 11. The impact you make •50% Body language •40% Voice •10% Words
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. Assessment centres- what to expect
  14. 14. Assessment centres vary widely but typically include: Selection Tests and exercises including ‘in’ or ‘e tray’ - individually or in groups you will answer questions, solve problems, make decisions Giving a presentation – address the audience, clearly and confidently Group tasks, role play and case studies - get everyone involved. An Interview - which may be in depth so prepare well. Social/informal events – also part of the selection process
  15. 15. Types of selection tests Ability Tests • taken under standardized conditions and with strict time limits • paper and pencil or online, multiple choice questions, marked by trained person or machine scanned, scored against norms Personality Questionnaires • provide information on a person’s preferences • no right or wrong answer, usually get feedback
  16. 16. Giving a presentation What do you need to know? – subject, length, facilities available and who the audience is. Basic ingredients for preparing good presentations: •Structure •Content •Audience engagement •Confidence with visual aids •Adequate preparation
  17. 17. Dealing with case studies – for example A publisher of scientific journals and books is looking to make a significant acquisition. It has identified a target company and approached a number of investment banks for their views on the merits of a potential deal and a target price. Based on these presentations, the publisher will decide whether to proceed with a bid and, if so, select one bank to act as their adviser. The task: Your team is one of the investment banks bidding to win the mandate. You need to analyse the figures provided; to review the marketplace, your potential client (the publisher) and the target company; and to prepare a five-minute presentation giving your recommendations, eg whether to go ahead, go ahead under specific conditions, etc.
  18. 18. Further help • One to one appointment with a Careers Adviser • Support with job search, applications and interview preparation • Advisers are available every day 11 – 5, book via Careerhub • Employer recruitment and networking Events • Website •
  19. 19. How to approach the case study exercise on the day – 7 steps 1. You need to be clear about what you’re being asked to do. 2. Start by reading through the information pack and assessing which parts of the information are relevant. 3. Manage your time, allow time to prepare for the final presentation 4. If you’re working in a small group you could divide up the tasks 5. Don’t dominate, but do contribute to discussions. 6. Don’t lose sight of your objectives. 7. The final presentation should be relevant, clear and concise, and should include a summary of your conclusions and recommendations
  20. 20. Examples 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. 21. Your questions……… What would an average day be like? How would my work be monitored and how often would I be appraised? 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 the next five years? When am I likely to hear back from you? Do you support study for external qualifications?