In this section we will explore how to prepare for your interview, the different types of interviews you might go through and look at what questions you might be asked.
Types of interview
The most common types of interview are:
Competency-based - focussing on the skills and personal qualities you need, you’ll have to relate your skills and experience to the job
Technical - usually for technical jobs in areas like IT or engineering, you’ll have to display your technical knowledge of a certain process or skill
Face-to-face - in person
Panel interview - where one person usually leads the interview and other panel members take it in turns to ask you different questions
Telephone or online - this could be the first stage of the interview or the only stage, and you should prepare in the same way as for a face-to-face interview.
Informal chat - in some job areas like the creative industries you’ll have an informal, work-focussed discussion about your experience and career aims, usually somewhere like a restaurant or a café.
Group discussion - in a group with other candidates, you’ll have to show you can get along with people, put your ideas forward and be respectful of others
Information Sourced www.monster.co.uk
Last modified: Wednesday, 23rd June 2020, 4:15 PM
21 Job Interview Tips: How to Make a Great Impression
March 4, 2020
You have your job interview scheduled—congratulations! Now it’s time to prepare, and we’ve got you covered. Below, we provide an overview of how to succeed in an interview along with a detailed discussion surrounding each point.
In the days before your job interview, set aside time to do the following:
1. Start by researching the company and your interviewers. Understanding key information about the company you’re interviewing with can help you go into your interview with confidence. Using the company’s website, social media posts and recent press releases will provide a solid understanding of the company’s goals and how your background makes you a great fit. Review our Complete Guide to Researching a Company.
2. Practice your answers to common interview questions. Prepare your answer to the common question: “Tell me about yourself, and why are you interested in this role with our company?” The idea is to quickly communicate who you are and what value you will bring to the company and the role—it’s your personal elevator pitch. Review our guide to answering Top Interview Questions.
Tip: You should come prepared to discuss your salary expectations. If you’re unsure what salary is appropriate to ask for, visit Indeed's Salary Calculator for a free, personalized pay range based on your location, industry and experience.
3. Reread the job description. You may want to print it out and begin underlining specific skills the employer is looking for. Think about examples from your past and current work that align with these requirements.
4. Use the STAR method in answering questions. Prepare to be asked about times in the past when you used a specific skill and use the STAR method to tell stories with a clear Situation, Task, Action and Result.
5. Recruit a friend to practice answering questions. Actually practicing your answers out loud is an incredibly effective way to prepare. Say them to yourself or ask a friend to help run through questions and answers. You’ll find you gain confidence as you get used to saying the words.
6. Prepare a list of references. Your interviewers might require you to submit a list of references before or after your interview. Having a reference list prepared ahead of time can help you quickly complete this step to move forward in the hiring process.
7. Be prepared with examples of your work. During the interview, you will likely be asked about specific work you’ve completed in relation to the position. After reviewing the job description, think of work you’ve done in past jobs, clubs or volunteer positions that show you have experience and success doing the work they require.
8. Prepare smart questions for your interviewers. Interviews are a two-way street. Employers expect you to ask questions: they want to know that you’re thinking seriously about what it would be like to work there. Here are some questions you may want to consider asking your interviewers:
Source: - Indeed.com
Last Modified: - Wednesday, 23rd June 2020
You are certain to be asked specific questions about your potential employer, so make sure you have done your homework on the company. Nothing is more disappointing than when a candidate oozes enthusiasm and then doesn’t even know basic details about the company
Use online searches to source information (Always ensure the are genuine and reliable)
Industry resources – Get background information and knowledge of the industry, so you can impress at the interview
This is the bit that most people forget to give enough time to, so don’t get caught out. Just like when you go into an exam, feel confident that you can field any questions they throw at you and feel good about yourself as this will shine through.
Have a mock interview with a friend using the common questions
Be sure you know the date, time and venue of the interview
If you look good, you will feel good so, remember preparing the night before will avoid any stress
If you are asked to bring certificates or references get them ready well in advance to avoid having to chase on the morning of the big day
Sit down with your CV and make notes, just as if you were preparing for an exam. Study your work record and what you have achieved. How do you see yourself? What have you done? What ambitions do you have? Make notes and prepare, rehearse sound bites about yourself. Do this out loud even if it feels weird.
Try to relate specific areas of your CV back to the job description. It will make it clear to the interviewer why they should hire you.
Remember: One of the most common questions is “Tell me about yourself” prepare a balanced answer to the question, not a life history. Keep it business like and don’t stray into personal feelings or family relationships. Avoid anything to do with politics or religion. Interviewers use this question to learn about your personal qualities not your achievements; they already have those from your CV.
Everyone has nerves, but by approaching those in the right way and taking note of some key things you can make sure you are not a bag of nerves on the big day.
You should already know your CV like the back of your hand but there is no harm in giving it one last read so you can immediately answer any questions about your past employment and education. There is no way you can prepare for every question they through at you, but if you have thought about possible responses then you are less likely to be tongue tied during the interview.
Getting good night’s sleep before the interview is important, so you feel free. Prepare everything, then take a bath or shower before heading off to sleep.
Do a trial run of the journey so you know how long it takes; where there is available parking (Make sure you have change).
If you are made to wait in reception before you are taken into the interview room, use this time to have a few deep breaths and think about some small talk you can have with the interviewer. Most people do not realise that the interview effectively starts here. Commenting on the nice décor in the office or the recent weather helps break the ice and put you at ease.
Even if you are not feeling confident make sure you act confident. Always try to use appropriate body language, such as making a positive handshake, looking at your interviewer in the eye and sitting up straight in your chair.
It begins even before you say your first work. They will be sizing you up as you walk across the room to shake hands. Be conscious of how you look and what you are doing and try not to overlook the verbal and nonverbal signals you are sending out in the rush to parade your carefully prepared answers before them.
Do not slouch in your chair, whether reception or in the interview. This screams I don’t care and should be reserved for lazy Sundays on the sofa. Walk and sit straight.
Always make eye contact with the person speaking to you. Avoid glancing nervously around the room; this is a classic sign of something to hide. Don’t fidget, play around with your hair or pen or even bite your nails. Don’t jiggle knees; tap your leg or anything else. It drives people crazy. Always be aware of how you are sitting, moving and the general impression you are giving out. Smile – it will make you all feel better.
Pace yourself, speak clearly. There’s a trick here. You will be revved up as you on in, so you will naturally speak more quickly than normal, if you concentrate on pronouncing your words individual you will actually be speaking at a normal pace.
Don’t worry, relax and be you. The job interview is as much for you to see if you like the company as it is for them to see if they like you.
Information Sourced www.monster.co.uk
Competency based interviews use questions often used to evaluate a candidate's competence, particularly when it is hard to select on the basis of technical merit: Increasingly, companies are using competency based interviews as part of the selection process for experienced recruitment, as it can give valuable insights into an individual's preferred style of working and help predict behaviours in future situations.
Most interviewers will give you an opportunity to ask questions after they’ve finished grilling you, so be prepared to make the most of it. Try to concentrate on issues that are important to you and combine an interest in the company with an interest in the job.
With a wide variety of interview styles and structures, there’s every possibility that everything you want or need to know about the job will have been covered over the course of the interview. There is always more information available though and if you don’t have at least five questions to ask the interviewer, you’ll come across as passive rather than curious and interested.
Regarding role specific questions to ask, look through the job description to see if there are any areas that you would like more information about. Here are some good examples of the questions you could ask about the role:
Good Interview should have given you an insight into what it’s like to work for a company, but it’s good to get answers straight from the horse’s mouth in case you’ve misinterpreted anything. These questions are a good place to start:
To show your interest and knowledge of the industry the company operates in, it’s also a good idea to have a question ready regarding a current event or issue in the market. For example, "How do you think the recent merger between your two main competitors will affect the future of the industry?"
How well your interviewer reacts and answers your questions gives you a great insight into the company. The interview isn’t just for them to see if you’re the right fit for the organisation - if you’re confident about your skills and ability to do the job, you should also be making sure they’re the right fit for you.
Generally, it’s not a good idea to ask about pay or benefits, as this can make you seem more interested in what the organisation can do for you, rather than what you can do for them.
information sourced www.monster.co.uk
It is very frustrating when you have been to an interview, especially if it is a job you really want. But then you hear nothing.
You need to know the process, so at the end of the interview ask the question. What are the next steps, and when can you expect to hear from you”? You might find out they have another 6 people to see, or are going on holiday and won’t make their decision until they return. If you have this information this will stop you worrying.
Be proactive and follow up on any interviews, as a strategic part of your job search. It shows enthusiasm and desire for the position but don't make it seem as though you are desperate.
It is always a good idea to write a thank you e-mail to each person who interviewed you, also if you promised to provide additional information then make sure you do.
Even if you feel confident that you will get the job offer, continue looking at other opportunities. It’s never wise to place too much importance on one job or interview.
Tell yourself there will be other opportunities.
information sourced www.monster.co.uk
It’s not unusual when recruiting for senior roles, or where presentations are going to be part of the job, to ask candidates to make a presentation as part of their interview. This is an excellent opportunity to show your potential employers what you can do, away from the formal interview questions and answers procedure.
The most important thing is to know who you’re going to be speaking to. This will inevitably influence what you say and how you pitch your presentation. Find out how many people will be on the panel, their status, their expertise, any knowledge levels you can safely assume, and whether they know each other.
This information is vital in helping you pull together the right amount of material, pitching it at the right level, and ensuring you have enough supporting materials to hand. Once you’ve established these details, you can get to work on the all-important structure.
You should always have one clear message that runs through your presentation, and limit yourself to three sections: introduction, development of your argument, and summary. Any more than that and your presentation will lose focus.
Develop a powerful introduction and close, as these are the times when your audience will be most attentive. Ensure that your ideas are clear and come in a logical sequence, using sentences that are short and to the point. When calculating how much time to devote to each section, allow 10-15% for your opening, the same for your conclusion, and the rest for the main content.
Keep your opening punchy and have a memorable ending that will leave your audience on an upbeat note. Speak slowly and with purpose; avoid rambling or making digressions. Make regular eye contact with members of your audience, rather than allowing your gaze to drift vaguely round the room or over their heads.
Try to learn your presentation by heart. It will save you having to fumble around with prompt cards or PowerPoint slides and will give an excellent impression of your confidence and professionalism. However you choose to present, practice your presentation beforehand, testing it on friends or family if you have the chance.
Most of us have experienced ‘death by PowerPoint’ at some time - that sinking feeling that comes from seeing ‘slide 1 of 60’ up there on the screen, or staring at densely-packed slides as the presenter reads the text out word-for-word.
Have mercy on your audience and improve your chances at the same time. Maximum content should be a headline and perhaps three or four bullets per slide with graphs and diagrams where appropriate. It should be there to help emphasise what you’re saying, not to take the focus away.
Don’t start the slides before you have first addressed your audience. They don’t want to be distracted by what’s on the screen while you introduce yourself and what you’re going to say. As you progress through your presentation, give your audience time to digest what’s on each slide before you begin talking again.
Flashy animations may show your technical expertise, but can cause major problems in distracting your audience and confusing you when it comes to pressing the button in the right places.
Avoid glancing down at the screen for prompts – if you’ve learnt your presentation properly, you won’t need them – and talk to your audience, not your laptop. Always make sure any projection equipment is working properly and try to get set up and ready to go before you are asked to begin.
Dealing with questions gives you the opportunity to further demonstrate your knowledge of your subject. Let your audience know in advance that you will be willing to take questions at the end so they don’t disrupt the flow of you presentation.
Take your time to answer, be ready to defend yourself and don’t argue with a questioner. If you do come up against a conflict of opinions, don’t try to win the battle - search for a good compromise position. Inviting other questions or views from the other members of the audience may help you diffuse a potentially prickly situation.
Answer the question you have been asked, not the one you fancy answering. Repeat each question as you receive it and give yourself a moment to consider what is actually being asked. If it is a loaded question that’s inviting you to say something you’d rather not, diffuse it by reinterpreting it in a less pointed way, or ask your questioners to expand on what they mean.
Finally, enjoy it. It’s a great chance to shine!
information sourced www.monster.co.uk
Being interviewed for a role with your existing organisation can seem like a breeze. You know the people. You understand the organisation, and you have a successful track record that should speak for itself – right?
This can lead to a false sense of security, a lack of proper preparation and underperformance on the day.
You need to prepare for an internal interview just as thoroughly as you would for an external one and you need to sell yourself just as hard.
Never forget that the panel will have to justify their decision to hire based on hard documented evidence collected in the interview itself. Past successes and good references are helpful but they don’t replace a strong performance on the day.
To succeed at the internal interview you should:
Arrange to speak informally with the hiring manager to find out more about the job requirements (even if this is your current boss). Talk to as many potential colleagues as possible. Contact the previous postholder to ask about the real challenges and upsides of the job. And take soundings from others doing similar roles in similar organisations. Most people are happy to share views and you will come across as well organised and motivated.
This will enable you to flesh out the vacancy information so you can tailor your interview more closely to the job.
Find out more about the individuals who will be on your panel. Consider their professional background and current agenda to understand more about who would be their ideal candidate.
Decide on the key areas of experience, competencies and personal qualities most likely to be of interest to the panel. For each, you need to prepare detailed examples of where you have demonstrated these. Be prepared to talk about your achievements, any challenges overcome and specific successes. You may find it helpful to review previous performance appraisals. Colleagues can often remind you of where you have added value.
Think about what you have to offer that may not be shared by other candidates. Imagine you were on the panel – why would you hire you ? You may have previous professional experience which would be of particular relevance to the role for example.
It is important to remind the panel of roles you have held in other organisations and to draw their attention to achievements outside work. Panels don’t tend to read the CVs of internal candidates in as much detail as external ones and can miss vital evidence..
If you are competing with external candidates, don’t forget to point out that you already understand the department/organisation well and can draw on existing networks. This will mean you can adapt to the new role faster.
Even though your interviewers will try their utmost to be objective and to base their decision purely on the interview, they are bound to have expectations of you before you even enter the room – either because they have worked with you or heard about you from others. You may be known to have a particular approach to work or believed to be strong or weak in different areas. It is important to be aware of your reputation within the organisation (earned or unearned) so that you can play to your strengths and challenge any preconceptions, and knowing your true strengths and weaknesses shows self awareness.
Internal candidates often forget to explain why they want the job and can be seen to lack enthusiasm. If you are applying for a promotion, or are reapplying for a post in your department’s new structure, you may think it is obvious why you have applied, but no-one wants to hire someone who has applied only because they think they should. Think through what attracts you to this role and how it will help your career development and be prepared to articulate this in the interview. Just before you go in, remind yourself why you really want the job and that enthusiasm and focus will come across in the interview.
You may feel uncomfortable about ‘blowing your own trumpet’ in front of colleagues. But failure to do so could cost you the job. So don’t be shy about saying exactly why you think you are suited to the job and providing evidence of your achievements. Use the close of the interview, when the panel asks you if you have any further questions or comments, to sum this up and to restate how interested you are in the post.
information sourced www.monster.co.uk