Some tips on preparing and performing in interviews

The interview season is upon us. Hopefully with support from your careers service on applications and cvs during the winter term you have secured an interview in the spring term. Here are our top tips for interview prep:

* Be confident, but not over confident. There should be enough anxiety in the way you feel about the forthcoming interview to create motivation. However, too much may make you over obsessive about memorising facts about the organisation rather than focusing on why you want to work for them.

* Be prepared to have a proper conversation. There is a perception that an interview is purely a Q & A session – like a verbal version of an exam where you tell the interviewer what they want to hear. It is not. Most intelligent interviewers will expect a discusssion. They will also expect you as a sign of maturity to ask for clarification and ask questions back that are sensitive and relevant.

* Have examples. Try to prepare examples that illustrate the competancies they are looking for. Perhaps one example per competency. A good tip here is to structure the example around Situation, Task, Action and Result (STAR). Focus your energies around the Action part of STAR remember to include verbs. Another tip is to avoid memorising your examples word for word. There is no point because you know the example already. It does not matter if you change the words, it’s the content that matters. Also, where possible pick an example based on an activity that you enjoyed.

One or two tips on performance:

* Smile & Enthusiam. When you meet with the employer its important that they know you are pleased to meet them. Employers will not just judge you on what you say, they will also draw conclusion from the impression you leave them. The employer will be asking themselves questions such as did they show enthusiam and are they the right fit in terms of mind set for my organisation?

* Ask questions. You may also be assessed on questions you ask the employer. Did you ask sensible intelligent questions? Did you pose questions beyond frequently asked questions on our website? Are you interested in the responses to your questions?

For further tips on preparation for interview click on the following link: http://www.city.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/148531/Preparing-for-an-Interview-New-2012-13.pdf

Marlon Gray

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