Here are a few questions we were sent over the last few weeks-
What things should I remember when on a job interview?
It really depends what sort of interview it is, but more and more companies are catching candidates out with the ‘competency or behavioural style interview’. You can get a good overview of what this means with this article on ‘what can I do to prepare for my interview’ In the meantime, if there is a particular company you are waiting to interview with try to find out what type of interview it is so you can prepare in advance. This is a useful article on the biggest interview mistakes.
I have an interview tomorrow for a receptionist position. How can I prepare so I am successful? I don’t have any receptionist experience but I’ve previously worked in retail for a few months and in a busy office. I’m also a graduate in Business Management.
If you are in a situation where you don’t have specific experience relevant to the role, don’t worry, there is a way you can make yourself stand out. Instead of focusing on the specific tasks which you may not have experience of, focus on explaining how your behaviour shows you are capable of performing well in the new role. For this example you may not have experience as an emergency dept receptionist, but you probably do have experience of showing the sort of skills which would be required to do this job e.g. staying calm, taking relevant details, being polite and helpful, keeping accurate records, being trustworthy and conscientious. Think of examples which prove how well you perform relevant tasks and your interviewers will be able to see beyond what you haven’t done, and see how suitable your personal skills are.
How do I answer “So tell me about yourself” question at a job interview?
I don’t really know what to say when am asked “can tell me about yourself?” I know interviewers hear a lot of “hard worker” and “eager to learn” etc, so what can I talk about that will make me stand out from the crowd and show that I’m serious about the job?
There is plenty you can do in this situation. firstly, it’s a good idea to find out what your interviewer might be looking for- you can work it out from the job advert or the job description is they have one. Some companies even have a person specification document which will make it even easier to tell them things about yourself which are relevant to what they are looking for. With this example, you can draw on your office cleaning experience to make a good case for why you’d be a good fit for a new role. For instance, if you come into the office after hours to clean by yourself this shows that you are responsible and can be trusted to meet standards without needing to be supervised. Use personal examples as these paint a much better picture. For instance, you might want to say, I’m a really hard worker, but back this up with an example of something you have done in your current job which proves it. If you don’t feel you have strong work experience you need to make a compelling case with what you have done- there will be more to it than they might think one you look a little harder! This article should help you avoid a few of the most common interview mistakes.
What should I wear for an interview?
I’m applying for a job(s) working with outside. I know they say “wear the outfit for the job you want” but since it’s mainly outside based, it isn’t the kind of job you wear heels to daily. So, I’m not sure what to wear at the interviews.
Outfit wise, you are right, you probably don’t need to invest in a power suit, but you can still look smart e.g. with an ironed shirt, clean flat shoes etc. People do judge on first impression so you may not look a good fit with polished nails and a highly tailored outfit. But you still need to show you can dress up nicely as this will be taken as evidence of your professionalism.
This article might help you prepare for the interview itself. When it comes to the awkward pay discussion- it might not come up if there is a salary already published with the advert. If it does, do say what you have written above about caring for the animals etc- BUT, pay is still important as you have to live! You could take what you earned at your last job (roughly!) and say that this is what you were on before so you would be looking for a little more than that ideally as you are looking to progress your career.