Interviews, Assessments and Selection

Interviews

So, you have piqued the employer’s interest and got yourself an interview. Good job! Now’s the time to really impress them.

  • Make sure you know your CV inside out and are able to refer to it. You should also be able to refer to the job description and any company research you have done.
  • Allow for delays and make sure to arrive early.
  • Smile, and shake hands when you meet your interview panel.
  • In competency based questions, make sure to use the STARE technique:

S- Situation (What was it?)

T – Task (What did you need to do?)

A – Action (What did you do?)

R – Result (What was the result?)

E – Evaluate (What did you learn from this?)

  • If you feel you need it, you can take notes. Just make sure the interviewer/s know that you will be doing this. If you are going to do this, use a small notepad or post-its and ensure they don’t dominate the conversation.

While the interviewers want you to be relaxed, you should never forget that it is an interview and everything you say and do could influence whether or not you get the job, so always remain professional. Take your time when answering questions. If you need the question repeated just ask.

The end of the interview can be just as nerve-wracking as the start. You have finished demonstrating how brilliant you are, and how perfect you are for the role, you have one final opportunity to show you are the suitable candidate. Having done your research on the company and the role, use this opportunity to ask questions to show your interest. However, if all of your questions have been answered during interview, don’t ask pointless ones! Appropriate ones are:

  • What does a typical day look like?
  • Who/How many people would I be working directly with?
  • What is your favourite thing about working here?
  • What are the next steps in the interview process?
  • What are the department/organisation’s goals?
  • Is there a career progression programme/policy?
  • How much support is made available to individuals for professional development – professional courses, seminars and training?

If you are asked a question you do not know how to answer, ask the interviewer to clarify what they are asking. Going further into the question may help you answer it. If there is a silence following a question you have answered, don’t be tempted to fill it, be succinct in your responses.

After your interview, send a follow up email thanking the interviewer for their time. If you do not hear from the company within the stated time, do not be afraid to give them a follow up call. If unsuccessful, ALWAYS ask for feedback.

Assessment centres and psychometric testing

In addition to applications and interviews, you may be required to attend an assessment centre. Assessment centres can be 1-2 days of further recruitment procedures, to assess your ability and personality, either after your interview or including your interview.

The assessment will involve a series of competencies, one of which may be psychometric tests (you may also be asked to carry out psychometric tests remotely). These are a series of timed exercises testing such things as your verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning.

For lots more information, practice psychometric tests, and further information and advice on assessment days, please go to The CORE ‘Interviews and Assessments’ Section.

Online recruitment and selection

Online recruitment via LinkedIn and other social media and websites, has almost entirely replaced traditional job advertising. In the same way, the various stages of selection by companies are now often carried out online. Psychometric tests and quizzes are often completed by candidates through company apps, where the business can track all your decisions and thought processes digitally, to ascertain if you are the right fit for their company roles. For more support and practice tests please go to the CORE.

It may be that you do not even travel to the organisation for your interview, instead having an interview via video calling using technology such as Skype. There are benefits to this, such as saving you and the company additional costs and time. However, it can make the interview feel less personal and there is always the danger of technology failing you. Book a practice Skype interview with one of the Careers Consultants in the Career Development team, by going to The CORE Events and Appointments tab.

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Last edited: 02/03/2017 12:10:00