ASK ABBIE – JOB INTERVIEW TIPS

Job interviews are something I always get super nervous about. However, I find that if I write the below down in a note book and keep referring to these I can go into the interview a little more relaxed and also get a good nights sleep the night before without worrying.

I hope you find the below tips useful and good luck with your interview 🙂 

Job interviews are something I always get super nervous about. However, I find that if I write the below down in a note book and keep referring to these I can go into the interview a little more relaxed and also get a good nights sleep the night before without worrying.

I hope you find the below tips useful and good luck with your interview 🙂 

1. Research the company

Find out what year the company started and who the founder was. Also find out how many staff work for them now and what their work ethics and mottos are. The question your interviewer may ask might be ‘What do you know about the company?’. They don’t need you to recite the whole company timeline but the above points will be enough. They will also ask ‘Why do you want to work here?’ Make sure you think about why, is it for a better work life balance, have you relocated, have you been recommended by a friend, are you passionate about the type of company or the brand?  

2. Review your CV

Make sure you take time to look over your CV and remember the timeline of your previous jobs and the roles/skills you gained in each job. The interviewer may ask you to talk you through your CV and it’s great if you can talk them through it in the correct order as they are reading it. 

3. Think about your personal life

I always try to have 3 hobbies or interests in mind that I can talk about if needed. Sometimes the interviewer will ask what you do out of work or what your hobbies are and it’s great to have something interesting to say. Rather than only saying ‘I enjoy walking’ follow that up with where you like to walk or what the longest/most challenging walk you ever did. Doing this can also then spark a conversation with the interviewers and puts you at ease. 

4. Your strengths and weaknesses 

Think of two strengths and two weaknesses. For the strengths, think of skills you can bring to the job role and a reason why they should employ you. For the weaknesses, think of things you are not so confident with and what you are doing now to overcome them. For example, my weakness is public speaking, however I am trying to overcome this by putting myself forward when these opportunities arise even though they make me feel uncomfortable. This shows that you acknowledge the weaknesses and you are working on them positively. 

5. Competency questions 

Here comes the main part of the interview, this is the time to talk about your previous customer service experience and skills. I would spend most of your time planning and preparing for this part of the interview.

An exercise I do is answer some competency questions in the STAR method; Situation, Task, Action, Review. A good way to make sure you answer the question fully is to make sure you touch on the below points in your answer. 

  • This was the situation 
  • This is why the situation was happening 
  • This is what tasks I needed to do to resolve the situation 
  • This is what action I took
  • These are the resources and skills I used 
  • This is how I went above and beyond for the customer 
  • This is how the customer felt afterwards 
  • This is how we then reviewed and changed the process in the company going forward to avoid this happening again
  • Sometimes it’s also good to say how you would have done this differently next time, but only do this once or twice throughout all the questions. 

Now that you have an idea of how to structure your answers, have a go at answering the below questions in the above format. This will give you lots of options for your competency questions and you’ll find you can tweak the answers to fit most questions that you will get asked. 

  • Tell me about a time when you…
  • Went above and beyond for a customer?
  • Had a strict time limit? Deadline?
  • Had to meet a target?
  • Worked as part of a team? Managed a team? 
  • Had to use multiple internal resources/teams? 
  • Have come up with a new way of working? 
  • Handled a customer complaint? Unhappy customer? 
  • You have received bad feedback? Constructive criticism? 

If your not going into a customer focused role, it may be a good idea to google ‘example ___ interview questions’ but remember to always answer with the STAR method. 

Now thats the main part of the interview done and prepared for, and breathe! You should feel a lot more prepared and relaxed heading into your competency based interview knowing you have covered most of the basic questions you could get asked. 

6. The last tip - The dreaded group interviews

Group interviews are now a huge part of modern recruitment days and the interviewers always ask some weird and quirky questions, some of these can really stump you and can put you on the spot making you even more nervous that you already were. They are designed to break the ice but if you are a shy person, like I have been in the past, it can make you feel a little embarrassed. Try to think of some funny and interesting answers to the below to help prepare yourself for this scenario: 

  • Where is the best place you’ve travelled to? 
  • An interesting fact about yourself 
  • What’s your favourite film, song, artist, TV show?
  • Two truths about yourself and a lie 

When it comes to the group activities, each company will do something differently but the main focus is to see how well you work in a group. Some examples I’ve experienced over the last 10 years have been: Create an advert for a product as part of a team, Solve a puzzle, List these items in priority when your on a deserted island, build a tower out of blocks, the list goes on and on. 

Key things to do in these scenarios are:

  • Spreading the work evenly throughout the team
  • Asking more quiet team members for input
  • Getting everyone involved
  • Sharing and not being greedy
  • Having fun and being a bit lighthearted 
  • Being polite and respectful 

I hope you have found the above useful and feel a lot more relaxed heading into your interview. Thanks for reading x 

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