Hi Chuck, yes the salary question is another question that needs to be addressed in the right manner, in the current climate employers can have a very specific figure in mind. You dont want to undersell yourself but you also do not want to price yourself out of the market. I would suggest answering the salary question like this " this is a role that I really want and if you were to make me a fair offer I would be more than happy to accept" You are in a much better place to negotiate when they are ready to offer you the role.
Hi Derek, Yes there is a special approach to competency based interviews, some people use the STAR method, I use SAR. Basically what this means is consider your answer in terms of Situation, Action, Result. Focus on the Action and the Result specifically. Always build up an example bank in your head prior to interview and know what examples you will use based on the competencies highlighted in the job description
Seem to have gone out of sync there guys - apologies - the question Carmel is on at the moment is from @Derek and is - Is there a special approach to take for competency based interviews?
Hi Brian, I always advocate showing your personality but I think it is very important to read the situation and follow their cues.
Hi Reggie, I am sorry to hear that happened. I would be honest if you can, so if perhaps your skill set was outsourced or you were the last one in are all possible reasons. Again, I would focus on the positive and a possible answer could be that while I really enjoyed working at x and I learnt a great deal, I am so excited as I would love an opportunity to work for a company like your
Hi Emma, a good question to ask at the end of an interview is " what sort of people do well here?" It is a great question as it demonstrates to the employer that you are already considering what it will take for you to excel in the role, it also gives you great information. So if you are called for a second round interview and they have told you in the first interview what sort of people do well, use this information to your benefit and include it in your answers.
@Emma @carmel Great answer to that question, I always feel candidates miss a great opportunity when they reply with "No".
Hi Sean, preparation is key if you suffer from nerves in interview. Know what you want to say and how you want to say it. Practice your answers out loud. A good tool to build confidence before interview is to write out 10 reasons why you are right for this role. This will help to remind you why you are there and remember they are calling you for interview because they see something that they like in you. Remember to breathe in interview and if you need to think about an answer, do so. Take a sip of water and say something like " that's a great question", just take your time and don't forget to show your personality.
We'll be finishing up shortly now folks - so last chance to ask Carmel anything you're keen to know about answering interview questions
Looking at the poll results and after speaking to people on twitter this morning the most popular question we all hate in an interview is...What is your biggest weakness?
Hi Paulie, this question goes back to a need for an employer to find out if you are the right fit for the company. Be careful when answering this question as we all have a certain type of person that we don't get on with but the interview is not the place to bring this up. I would suggest something like I pride my self on my ability to adapt and to get on with people in most settings, and allow the interviewer to probe further if they want to.
Just regarding the weakness question, it is important to understand why they ask the question. It is to get an understanding of your level of self awareness. someone who is self aware will ask for help. Choose an obvious weakness for example, " my weakness for this role would be that I have not used that particular IT system, however, I have used several that are similar and I know that if I was lucky enough to get this role that I would be up to speed in no time" Always remember to turn a negative into a positive!
Hi Sean, no you would not be able to get through interview like that. What I am suggesting is to prepare sufficiently so that you are confident and not to feel pressured into answering questions quickly.
Great advice from @carmel, "Always remember to turn a negative into a positive!"
@Unemployed Elevator pitches are very topical at the moment
Hi unemployed, the key to an elevator speech is again preparation, it is your hook and it is an opportunity to make an employer sit up and take notice.
Write out your answer and ensure that you are tailoring it to the role that you are applying for. Look at several job descriptions for the type of role that you are applying for how do they describe the key competencies of someone in that role.
Hi Matt, I always advocate addressing why you are applying for this role in the tell me about yourself question which usually comes up at the start of the interview. What makes you different is another way of asking what are your strengths. Choose 3 relevant to the role and give examples
Hi Sean, by sufficiently, I mean that you prepare to the point that you feel confident talking around questions such as tell me about yourself, what are your strengths etc. I would not mention time keeping as there is nothing to gain by that. Good luck on friday
Hi Unemployed, yes elevator speeches can be daunting but the good news is once you get it right, you can pretty much use it again and again and it is a great confidence building tool. Good luck with it.
A good one coming guys - has this happened to anyone else?
too much information Alan :)
Hi Ronan, I am not suggesting that people are dishonest and by choosing an obvious weakness from your CV, employers will admire your honesty. It is also a great opportunity for an employer to discuss any concerns around a skills gap. I feel that this is a better approach than giving a stale answer, such as " I am a perfectionist". It is also important to show an employer that while you have a weakness, which we all do that you are willing to work on this. That is why i suggest turning a negative into a positive
@carmel I have to say I think employers value honesty in this answer rather than the cliche and from interviewing myself the "perfectionist" answer never goes down well. I'd agree with Carmel, highlighting a deficit in skills somewhere (we're not all perfect) tends to work well
@Ronan Just make sure your weakness isn't one of the required duties of the role available, you don't want to talk yourself out of the running
Hi Joe, yes it is difficult when you want a role and you feel that an employer might think that you are over qualified. I would suggest bringing this up yourself, so for instance when explaining why you are applying for the role in the tell me about yourself question, I would ensure that they understand your justification for following this route. This gives them an opportunity to question you around any concerns that they have regarding it not being enough of a challenge or you leaving.
Thanks again for your time Carmel - we hope you enjoyed it folks!
You are welcome and thank you everyone for your questions. Good luck!