First Steps 

“Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail” 

 

  • Research the Role - Read the spec and make sure you are confident in how you can justify why you are the best candidate. Prepare the questions you will ask during the interview. 
  • Know your CV - Be able to expand upon your experience.  Have work related examples prepared to showcase your skills.
  • Research the Company - Use the internet, papers, people who work there etc.   Find out as much as you can on the company structure, products, culture 
    and philosophies.
  • Know who you’re meeting - Know the location for the interview and the names and job titles of your interviewers. 

Look up your interviewers on LinkedIn to get a better understanding of their background and potential common ground for talking points.

 

Structuring your Answers

Knowing what kind of questions you’ll be asked at your interview and how to answer them can be a real help.  You won't be able to predict every question, but you can be prepared for most!

   

 STAR Method

 

It is very easy to give a long rambling answer to questions if you are not well prepared. The ‘S.T.A.R.’ method can be a very useful way of structuring your answers for interview.

Situation - give an example of a situation you were involved in that resulted in a positive outcome

Task - describe the tasks involved in that situation

Action - talk about the various actions involved in the situation’s task

Result - what results directly followed because of your actions

Before the interview process, identify two or three of your top selling points and determine how you will convey these points (with demonstrated STAR stories) 

 

Example question: “Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.”

 

  • Situation: My role as project manager was to ensure that projects are completed on time and on budget.
  • Task: My last role involved combining three office spaces into one. With a tight deadline of 90 days and dealing with multiple contractors from different companies, I knew it was going to be a struggle to complete the job in time. I set the goal of having everything completed within 80 days to give us 10 days at the end to make final corrections.
  • Action: By dividing all the different contractors into three main teams and having three project managers controlling the three teams, I was able to create a more efficient and effective work timetable and ensure that downtime was kept to a minimum.
  • Result: As a result of this more efficient working time we completed the job on time and reduced costs by 15%. This new way of dividing contractors into smaller teams has now been implemented into standard work procedure and seen a reduction in overall costs.

 

Your response needs to be relevant and sufficiently detailed to show that you understand what is required, that you possess the relevant core competency and can use it effectively.

 

    Example Questions

 

General Questions

These opening questions should put you at ease at the start of your interview and could include:

  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What influenced you to choose this career?
  • How would you describe yourself in terms of your ability to work as a member of a team?
  • What quality or attribute do you feel will most contribute to your career success? 

Company Questions

This is your opportunity to show your interest in the company so make sure you have done your research

  • What do you know about our company?
  • What products do we make?
  • Why did you decide to seek a position in this company? 
  • Which is more important to you, the job itself or your salary?
  • What suggestions do you have for our organization?

Goals & Achievements

This is your opportunity to show your interest in the company so make sure you have done your research

  • Would you describe yourself as goal-driven?
  • What specific goals have you established for your life and what steps have you taken toward attaining them?
  • How do you determine or evaluate success? Give me an example of one of your successful accomplishments. 

Competency Questions

This style of question allows you to give situational examples of times in the past when they have performed particular tasks or achieved particular outcomes using certain skills.

  • Tell me about a time in which you had to use your communication skills in order to get an important point across.
  • Give me an example of an important goal that you had set in the past and tell me about your success in reaching it.
  • Tell me about a problem you recently handed. Were you successful in resolving it? What did you learn?
  • Describe a time on any job that you held in which you were faced with problems or stresses that testing your coping skills.
  • Tell me about a time you had to make a difficult decision?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.
  • What is your greatest achievement to date?

 

The Interview

1st Impressions

  • Arrive in good time
  • Suited and booted
  • Professional Appearance
  • Firm Handshake
  • Eye contact and smile

Positive Attitude

  • Be enthusiastic & engaging
  • Show interest in the company
  • LISTEN to the questions                                                                    

Differentiate Yourself

  • Engagement and rapport
  • Well prepared examples
  • No one word answers
  • Don’t be afraid to let them know you want it!

Closing Question

Remember: interviews are a two-way street, they are a chance for you to gather information on the company, and your questions will tell the interviewer that you are interested in their company.     

So, be prepared to ask questions such as:

  • What development opportunities exist within the company?
  • What are the greatest challenges in this position? 
  • What is the next step in the process?

Of course, only ask those questions which aren't answered during the course of the interview. The interview is not the time to ask questions about salary, benefits, hours or holidays. 

                                                                   
Pitfalls

  • Lack of rapport
  • Lack of preparation                  
  • Weak handshake
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Waffle

 

  To Sum Up...

Fail To Prepare Prepare To Fail

  • Research the company, undersand the job spec and required competencies

Know your CV

  • What is your key technical experience
  • How can you demonstrate the core competencies required?

The Interview

  • You don't get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression
  • Differentiate yourself - whey should they hire you?
     

I hope the above information has provided some insight on how to prepare for your interview but please feel free to contact us if you have any queries or require any further information. Best of luck!

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