Interview Preparation

 

An interview is too important to walk out of with regrets you didn’t say the right thing, forgot to say something or didn’t read the tone of the room or the questions. It is a chance to shine and deliver your message, following on from the one you delivered in your CV. Being well prepared for an interview is about being clear about your responses, having your message coherent, and showing off your personality.

Freezing with nerves, gettitng flustered, and being fearful of certain questions also leads to poor performance.

Many people “hope they are OK” or “feel they have done enough” but if they are honest, they haven’t tested themselves on the questions, spoken in a rolepay situation, or trained themselves on their responses. Many find themselves in an interview hearing themselves speak but have never heard the actual response before. This is a sure sign it has not been practiced.

Practicing in front of the mirror is a good start and gets one familiar with a repsonse. Practicing with someone else is more effective.

Preparing responses to what I call monster questions will put you at ease and lessen the dread you feel about. Monster questions are the ones, deep down, you hope will not be asked. They could be perfectly OK for one person to talk about, but could have hidden signfiicance to another.  These include questions such as:

  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Can you explain the gap on your CV?
  • Can you talk to me about your relationship with your old boss?
  • What would your boss say about you behind your back?
  • Why are you moving industry, company, role?
  • I note you didn’t get promoted during this time?

These monster questions can loom large in your head before an interview and sap your energy and flow in the interview.

Competency Interviews

More important now than ever, competency based interviews look for a candidate to link their experiences to defined competencies. These competencies can usually be determined by the job description or the personal specification. In the Civil Service, for example, you will be given very clear competencies on which you will be tested. Preparing for competency interview questions is vital. It is difficult to answer these off the top of your head. Some examples of competencies are:

  • Teamwork
  • Communications and interpersonal skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Results-driven
  • Project Management
  • management and decision making
  • Ethos and values

Competency interview preparation is successful in non-competency based interviews also and it will get you in the mood for the interview.

 

My approach

For interviews, my experience with clients is that practice and roleplay is the most effective interview preparation. Anyone can download the 25 hardest questions from the web and practice those. My experience is that it is not the best way though. Hearing yourself sell your suitability is one of the best things you can do for nerves and to organise your thoughts. It will increase your confidence hugely and we will rely heavily on this. Whether it is a competency based interview or othewise, we prepare scenarios and answers that will provide you with a rock solid base from which to showcase your skills and talents.

Our sessions are challenging but you will see the benefits clearly after working with me.

Preparation as appropriate:

  • Research and background session
  • Analyse job description and personal specification to determine what the employer is looking for
  • Overview/research of your role and competency-based interviews
  • Identify and develop a strategy for each competency using STAR/Par techniques
  • Develop scenarios and examples that are flexible and interchangeable under questioning
  • Roleplay and practice for interview. Practice. Practice. Practice!
  • Dealing with monster questions you fear
  • Recording and analysis of mock interview session
  • Preparation for the day: nerves, Zoom, dress code, impact, tips for success
  • Seeking feedback and using this to your advantage

Price for four sessions €420

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