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Interview Skills. Careers Advisory Service. Outline. Why interview? Before the interview (the three P’s) Types of interviews During the interview & exercise After the interview Other types of selection Sources of help. Why do employers interview? .

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interview skills

Interview Skills

Careers Advisory Service

© Careers Advisory Service

outline
Outline
  • Why interview?
  • Before the interview (the three P’s)
  • Types of interviews
  • During the interview & exercise
  • After the interview
  • Other types of selection
  • Sources of help

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

why do employers interview
Why do employers interview?

1. Will you be able to do the job well?

2. Are you really motivated to do the job?

3. Will you fit into the organisation

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

the three p s for interviews
The three ‘P’s for interviews
  • Preparation
  • Practicalities
  • Presentation

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

preparation
Preparation
  • Research the employer/sector/job
  • Study job description and candidate specification
  • Consider why you want this job
  • What can you offer / your Unique Selling Points?
  • Prepare responses to questions
  • Prepare your own questions

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

practicalities
Practicalities
  • Confirm your attendance
  • Check exact location
  • Plan journey
  • Organise clothes
  • Organise documentation

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

presentation on the day
Presentation - on the day
  • Arrive a little earlier
  • Look the part
  • Make sure your mobile phone is off!
  • First impressions: body language & mannerisms
  • Be polite to all those you encounter
  • Be positive / act naturally
  • Be attentive, listen carefully
  • Answer questions fully but succinctly

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

on the day avoid
On the day – avoid …
  • Being too familiar / over-confident
  • Being negative
  • Criticising others
  • Asking about salary and conditions

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

types of interviews
First / second interview

One-to-one

Panel interview

Formal and ‘informal’

Telephone interview

Case study interview

Web-cam interview

Types of interviews

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

one to one interviews
One-to-one interviews
  • May be a sifting exercise or a ‘first interview’
  • Often focuses on information from CV and application form
  • May be a telephone interview

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

telephone interviews
Telephone interviews
  • Initial screening process
  • Treat it as a formal interview
  • Usually pre-arranged
  • Choose suitable location/environment
  • Have documents ready
  • Listen carefully
  • Sound the part

Video / web cam interviews …..?

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

panel interviews
Panel interviews
  • Often used for graduate jobs
  • Usually 2-4 members, 1 acting as the chair
  • Not all members may be experienced interviewers / know the post well
  • Panel interviews usually fairer than 1-2-1 interviews
  • HR representative may be present to ensure fair play

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

competency based interviewing
Competency based interviewing

Seeks evidence for the skills the employer is looking for:

  • Team working
  • Leadership skills
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Analytical thinking
  • Taking initiative
  • Business awareness

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

how to handle competency questions star model
How to handle Competency Questions – STAR Model
  • S = Situation.
    • Describe the situation, “Tell me about a time when….”
    • Be clear & concise
  • T = Task
    • “What was your role?”
  • A = Action
    • “What did you do? How did you do it?”
    • Be specific (use “I”)
  • R = Result
    • “What happened? What did you learn?
    • Highlight the benefits to the employer

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

typical competency based questions
Typical ‘competency based’ questions

E.g.

‘Tell us about a time when you worked in a team’

‘Talk me through a situation when you exceeded what was expected of you’

‘Think back to a time when …. What did you do and how did you do it?

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

behaviourally based interviewing source westlb

Situation

Action

Result

Behaviourally based interviewing(Source: WestLB)
  • Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision when you were under pressure?

A broad, behavioural question

  • Why were you under pressure?
  • How did you go about making your decision?
  • What action did you take?

Probe

Narrow

  • What was the outcome?
  • What did you learn from that experience?

Confirm

Summariseor test understanding

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

working in pairs take 5 minutes each to practise some typical interview questions
Working in pairs take 5 minutes each topractise some typical interview questions.
  • Tell me about your degree course at Imperial and why you have chosen it.
  • Could you give me an example of when you were in a team, what your role was, how you approached it and what was the outcome?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

tricky questions
Tricky Questions
  • What would you say has been your greatest achievement / failure?
  • Why should we take you above everyone else?
  • How would your best friend describe you?
  • How do you react to criticism?
  • What makes you angry?
  • What is your greatest weakness?

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

any questions for us
Any questions for us?
  • What would be the key objectives in the first sixth months of the job?
  • How will my performance be measured?
  • What is the general progression of graduate trainees after their training?
  • What training/support can I expect?
  • What happens next?

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

after the interview
After the interview
  • Take stock
    • What went well?
    • What did not go well?
    • What could you have done better?
  • Unsuccessful?
    • Seek feedback from the employer
    • Move on! Do more reading and research. Study ‘interview’ videos.

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

other types of selection
Other types of selection
  • Group discussion
  • Case study
  • Presentation
  • In-tray or e-tray exercise
  • Written exercise
  • Psychometric assessment

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

group discussion
Group discussion
  • May ask you to discuss current business and current affairs topic or hypothetical work-related problem
  • Used to assess your inter-personal skills (verbal communication, team-working, listening, facilitating, leadership, understanding, persuasiveness, negotiation, confidence)

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

case study interview
Case study interview
  • Used by consultancy & law firms
  • Analysis of a business problem
  • Evaluated on:
    • How you analyse
    • How you identify key issues
    • How you pursue and develop your thinking
  • “The process not necessarily the result”

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

resources to help you
Resources to help you
  • Streamed DVD 'Making an Impact: the graduate job interview video' 
  • Reference books e.g. “Great answers to tough interview questions”, “The Perfect Interview”, “Preparing for interviews” and others.
  • www.imperial.ac.uk/careers
  • www.prospects.ac.uk
  • Case study interviews, DVD (Bain)
  • 20 min ‘quick query’ session
  • 40 min. appointments to discuss interview techniques
  • Group Mock interview session to put things into practice

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service

slide25
Thank you.

Careers Advisory Service

© Imperial College London Careers Advisory Service