So Carmel - thanks for hosting today for us, some of our candidates will know of you from the articles you write for us at the moment for our newsletter. In your experience what are the main questions that are real bug bears for candidates?
The questions that people seem to struggle with most are often the questions which require them to sell themselves in interview, so for instance tell me about yourself or what would you consider your strengths to be ?
They tend to be the ones we get asked about as well when users contact us for info. So what is your key bit of advice for the first of those for example "Tell me about yourself"
Tell me about yourself is usually one of the first questions asked and it is a great opportunity to get an interviewers attention. I would view this as an elevator speech, in other words a hook. It should be a short summary of your skills and qualifications to date that are relevant to the role. It is so important to tailor your answers based on the role that you are applying for. This will allow the interviewer psychologically to envisage you in the role. Always finish the answer with
the reason that you are applying for this role in the answer also.
Hi Avril, I think that it is important to read the situation and respond accordingly. It is important to inject your personality in the interview but I would always remember that it is an interview setting regardless of how casual the interview may seem. Most interviews with have questions based specifically around professional competencies as well.
Hi Degmister, many of the clients that I work with experience the same concerns regarding how long answers should be. This is where preparation comes in, you should spend about 6-7 hours preparing for interview. Be clear on what you want to say and rehearse your answers. I personally find writing out my answers to be a huge help and then saying them out loud. That way you have an opportunity to see if you are getting your message across in a clear, concise and tailored way. I think that interviews can be stressful for people so you owe it to yourself not to be considering your answers for the first time in interview.
@Jobless Jim That's a good question Jobless Jim, it's one we've been queried about a bit recently and covered in an article recently as well
@Denise That's awful Denise, it's tough enough out there at the moment - has anyone else noticed the lack of response after an interview?
Hi Denise, firstly you are entitled to feedback on any interview that you attend and I would always suggest chasing up feedback as it can be a great opportunity for development. Regarding interviews being like a questionnaire, my philosophy is if they are bringing you for interview they see something that they want in your skill set. Employers are not in the habit of wasting their time. Ensure that you are selling your skills in a tailored way and always compensate for a lack of a particular skill with enthusiasm.
@Diana h I don't need to answer that question I'm thinking Diana?
Hi Jim, I recently wrote an article on employers requesting access to facebook in interview. It is a difficult one. I would ensure that your profile is on a private setting and perhaps suggest showing them your Linkedin profile instead as it is a better refection of you in a professional capacity.
Thanks guys - we're delighted to be hosting these events and we look forward to answering those questions candidates find tough in an interview situation.
@Sue One for @Peter Brown there Sue
@Audrey We'll be looking at CVs and cover letters in more detail next time round Audrey so stay tuned
Hi Audrey, Cover letters are a great opportunity to show your personality. I would aim for 3 to 4 paragraphs with one paragraph dedicated to an outline of your skills relevant to the competencies outlined in the job description.
@Chuck @carmel A lot of advertisers use this question at the application stage when candidates are applying for a job, would you recommend the same answer here too?
@Niall A great question for Carmel Niall, one that I'm sure is relevant to a lot of people at the moment
@carmel @Niall Try not to fear this question, it's one you can use to your advantage, to show the interviewer how highly motivated and enthusiastic you are about the position on offer
@Peter Brown, Springboard please do and we will post some information up for you
Hi Niall, thankfully the gap in the CV is not such an issue any longer as due to the nature of the economy many people have been affected by redundancy. My advise would be to not fear this question and be honest. If possible demonstrate that you have used this time to upskill or join groups etc. Also make sure to demonstrate how enthusiastic you are about returning to work.
Hi Dan, where do you see yourself in 5 years time depends very much on the industry that you are working in. For instance very competitive sales driven companies ofter like to hear that you want to be a director or even sitting in the interviewers chair. Other industries want to know that you are invested in them for the long term and that you can see your career developing with them. In the current climate employers want to know that you want their job not just a job, so this is your opportunity to remind them why you want to work for them and that you are wanting to commit.