An interview is a way for an employer find out if you are suitable for a job. It also gives you an opportunity to see if the job is right for you. An interview can take several forms. It may be:
- With employers or a recruitment agency
- With one or more people, either one at a time or all together (a panel interview)
- In person or over the telephone
- A technical interview to see whether you have the skills for the job (this often involves a literacy/numeracy test)
- With a group of other applicants where you will be assessed against them
These are becoming more common and are often used as a ‘vetting’ process so BE PREPARED!
- Before you make the call make sure you have all your details to hand. This should include the job advert, your application letter and CV
- Have a pen and paper ready
- Use a telephone in a quiet area
- Speak clearly
Face to face interviews
- It’s important to prepare thoroughly before starting out for an interview.
- Find out as much as possible about the company by looking at their website
- Read your CV and application letter carefully
- Write down the most important points you want to make during the interview
- Prepare answers to likely questions
Here are some possible questions:
- Using only three words, describe yourself.
- What did you like/dislike about your previous job/work experience?
- How do you react under pressure?
- What interests you most about this job?
- Tell me about an achievement that you are proud of.
- What do you feel you can bring to this job?
- What are your long term ambitions?
- Can you tell me about an occasion when you have worked successfully in a team?
- Why do you want this job?
- What qualities do you think this job requires?
- What do you know about this organisation?
- Have you done a similar role before?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
- How do you handle criticism?
Useful tips for the interview:
- Be early but no more than 10 minutes – check out the route you will take the day before.
- As soon as you arrive give your name to the receptionist.
- Wear smart clothes, even if it is for a job which would not require you to dress smartly. This does not mean a new outfit, but make sure what you wear is clean and tidy. Remember ‘first impressions’ count.
- During the interview, keep your answers positive and relevant to the job.
- If you do not understand a question say so and ask for an explanation.
- Be aware of your ‘body language’. Don’t slouch or fidget. Try not to fold your arms or cover your mouth when you speak. Turn your mobile off and do not chew gum.
- Look at the person when you answer and don’t forget to smile!
Towards the end of the interview you may be asked if you have any questions you’d like to ask. Here are a few suggestions:
What time would I start each morning?
Who would I report to?
What induction and further training is offered?
How will my performance be monitored?
How does my role fit within the department?
What opportunities are there to progress within the company?