Making time for interviews

Whilst working full time and having a life outside of work job applications are sometimes a little hit and miss – however once you are attracting interest from hiring managers and have secured interviews you really do need to set aside some time to prepare. I have addressed how to prepare for interviews in a previous blog but the reality of actually putting the work in to ensure you reach success is crucial. Hopefully you will be given some notice ahead of your allotted interview date and as such you should plan ahead how you can spend some time to really work at your technique.

Using the job description you should be able to gain a good idea of the questions you will be asked from the list of required skills. Work through the list and think about some good strong responses, by giving actual examples of when you have used these skills rather than what you would do – the hiring manager will be able to form a good picture of you and how you work. This will no doubt prompt further questions about how you dealt with issues that arose etc and will help the interview flow. It is a good idea to formulate some questions and give them to your partner / colleague or relative to ask you. Answer the questions as you would at interview and be sure to allow your personality to shine through to (not forgetting to smile also), after each question ask your mock interviewer to repeat back to you in their own words what you have told them. By performing this scenario you will get practice at talking out loud about your experiences but also gain a good understanding of how clear you come across. If the responses back to you are unclear – then you need to look at how you are articulating yourself, are you using jargon and terminology which isn’t being understood?

Remember that practice makes perfect so the more you can run through your examples, the better you will be at articulating yourself. Try to keep to a structured format when supplying your responses, set the scene (briefly but concisely) then talk about your actions (remember the interview is about you not your team so “I did..” not “we did..” should be used and then talk through the outcome, what was it you achieved (the benefits).