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How to nail your interview

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Well done, you have got through the application process, passed the online tests and have beaten numerous other students in securing an interview. This may be on the phone or face to face.  You now need to pass the interview in order to move onto the next part of the recruitment process. So can you prepare? Can you improve your chances? 

InterviewThe answer to these questions is a resounding YES.  Most student interviews are competency based which means they will test you on a series of competencies that the firm sees as being relevant and important to the job for which you are applying. You need to identify the possible competencies before you interview. Key competencies could include leadership, teamwork, communication, drive, influencing, organisation, problem solving, flexibility, resilience and creativity. 

The next step is to prepare answers to all the possible competency questions you may get and learn them, so that you have lots of possible options to draw from in the interview. This will also make you come across as more confident. You need to ensure that you prepare different examples from a range of your own personal experiences. These can be drawn from your academic studies, school activities, sport, music, drama, young enterprise, volunteering, work experience, duke of Edinburgh etc.

In fact anything that you have done or been involved with that may provide an example of the competency in question. Example questions may be: 

  • Give an example when you have worked under pressure?
  • Provide an example of when you have worked effectively as part of a team?
  • Describe a time when you have had to deal with a difficult situation 
Once you have prepared the answers you also need to prepare answers to the threeof the most common questions, which are: 

  • “Tell me about yourself?”
  •  “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
  •  “Why do you want to work for us?” 
Make sure you keep your answers to no more than 2mins in length – do not ramble. Interviewers do not want your life story! Do not bore them. Try and structure your answer in 3 or 4 points maximum so you impart the most important facts, without lost of padding. 

Finally, make sure you research the company – examine their website in detail to ensure you know what they do and some of the latest news about them. Also read the papers and know what’s going on in the world. 

If you want more help, then attend our Interview Skills Workshop in October, run by experts at The Student Ladder, and ensure it’s you they select.

Go here for registration…Spaces are limited.

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