Interview tips!

Welcome back. It’s 2009 and you have exams to look forward to!

If you are really lucky some of you may have already been contacted over the Christmas break by employers inviting you for interview in January.

Yes it’s exam period, so you are going to have to do some serious multi-tasking to make sure you are prepared for both your interviews and your exams.

  • Most employers are understanding if you have an exam on the day they invite you for interview and will offer you an alternative date.
  • However, this is the real world, so an employer may not be THAT flexible about when they can interview you. After all if you can’t make it, I’m sure they will find someone else who can!

Preparation tips!

You may only get 1 or 2 days notice so prepare ahead of time.

Watch the interview videos & clips on our website

Etiquette – don’t make a fool of yourself before you even speak!

  • It’s all about respect and behaving in a professional manner at all times with all staff you encounter.
  • Don’t arrive late – it just shouts incompetent!  If circumstances conspire against you, make sure you ring to give your apologies in good time.
  • Practise shaking hands – no-one likes a limp wet handshake.
  • Don’t chew gum, turn your phone off and pack your iPod away!

Research the company – you probably will get asked why you have applied to them.  So why did you? A nice fat pay packet is not necessarily the best answer!

  • What makes them stand out from their competitors?
  • Who are their clients – show that you understand their needs

Research the role you applied for, if it’s an internship and you are not sure what exactly you will be doing, you still need to prepare.

  • Show that you understand the nature of the business and the different roles involved.  If you have a clear interest in say… marketing  or audit, make sure you know what they involve in that company.
  • Show commercial awareness – what issues might the company face as a result of changes in the economy or legislation?

Competencies – yep they’re going to come up. Think about the job what do YOU think would be important skills to have to do that job?

  • You can usually find more information and hints on the company website
  • There are some good standard competencies – teamwork, verbal communication, written communication, negotiation, problem solving, numeracy or analytical ability, organisation, leadership etc
  • Really examine your past experiences for good examples of the above.  Examples can come from: education, employment, society work, volunteering or even your personal life and hobbies.

Weird & wacky questions

  • Not so common as you might think but not an urban myth either.
  • What kind of biscuit are you? Who is your favourite historical figure? You can’t second guess these, there is no right or wrong – just have a good reason and be prepared to argue your case.

There is loads more advice on our website to get you up to speed.

It may be possible to practise your interview technique – we have limited availability, but if we can’t fit you in we can suggest alternatives.

Above all don’t panic, an interview is a two way process –  they need to make a good impression on you too!

Coming soon… tips for Assessment Centres & Psychometic Tests.

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