Before you go in there are a few things to remember.
Your interviewer will usually explain the format for the interview to you. One thing is a given - you will be asked questions.
Listen - if you don't understand the question, ask for it to be repeated.
Don't assume what you will be asked - you may give totally the wrong information
Volunteer information - if asked a closed question like "How big is your caseload" you could answer "150 - 200 files" which is okay - what would be better would be "150-200 files, the majority of which are fast track but I do have a small number of multi track cases too which I am targeted to litigate." The more information you volunteer means the interview will feel more like a conversation and less like an interrogation.
Always try and turn a negative into a positive - if you are asked a question that could result in a negative answer then try and turn this into a positive. For example - "What is the biggest mistake you have ever made?" Nobody is perfect, mistakes do get made but ensure that if you do admit to making a mistake you must also point out what you have done to show you have learned from it and it will not happen again.
Think! Don't say something if it will blatantly prevent you from being offered the job. If your interviewer thinks that you are just looking for a foot in the door, stop-gap job or you are desperate you will not get an offer.
Competency Based Questions - the best indicator of someone's potential performance in a role is to look back at previous examples of work. More and more organisations are now turning to a competency based style of interviewing. These questions are designed for you to give a specific example of your work - not hypothetical or theoretical examples of what you could or would do. The best way to think about answering a competency based question is to remember the word STAR - this stands for:
Example Competency Based Question.
Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer.
I was working with the Acme Company and a customer rang one day to say that the item he had ordered had arrived and it was broken because it was badly packaged - it was the second one he had ordered and both had been damaged (Situation). He needed the item as it was a gift for a wedding on Saturday and it was already Wednesday (Task). I took details of his order and personally went through to the warehouse to get another one. I got it and packaged it myself, ensuring it was not going to get broken. I then contacted our courier company and got them to collect it from me that day. I then rang the customer to say that a replacement was on the way and a courier would be bringing it before 10am the next day (Action). The following morning I received a call from him to say the parcel had arrived and all was okay. He was very satisfied with what I had done and actually wrote to my manager to praise my work (Result!!).
During the interview you could be asked a number of questions and you should be prepared for them - examples of these are below: -
As mentioned, you will be asked if you have any questions. There are questions that are good to ask and questions that should be avoided at all cost.
Questions to avoid are ones that will demonstrate that you just want a job - employers want to know that their job and company is what you want, so don't ask about holiday, salary etc. If you are asked what salary you seek then it is okay to discuss but do not instigate these types of conversation at this stage. Also, remember - you will have been told what the salary is for the role - if you know the role is paying £30,000 maximum don't say you want £35,000. It will only result in you pricing yourself out of the job.
Good questions to ask at interview will demonstrate to the interviewer that you are interested primarily in the role and the company. These include: -
The list is endless - make sure you think of some of your own.
The purpose of this questions is for employers to assess whether you're a good fit for the job and the company, as well as the potential issues there could be too. It’s a chance for them to assess your ability to be self-reflective. Make sure you read the job description thoroughly and choose skills that the employers want that are relative to your personality.
Generally, you would choose soft skills as some of your strengths, however you have to tell a story with these skills, such as how you demonstrate it through past work experience. Soft skills will include things such as; teamwork, communication, time management, ability to perform under pressure etc.
You might also choose to include hard skills in your strengths depending on the job. Hard skills can include ability to speak a variety of foreign languages which can be strong for some candidates.
Determining your weaknesses are usually more difficult as you don't want to make a bad impression of yourself. Remember, NEVER say you have no weakness. Everybody has weaknesses, some of the common ones include: procrastination, impatience, disorganisation, inability to self regulate (causing burnout) etc.
Answering this question might seem difficult but when you follow these short steps below, it is quite simple.
Research the company
Recruiters are interested in how much you know about the company, ultimately your interest in working for them. Make sure you understand the company's background, culture, history as well as their mission statement. All of this can be found within the 'About Us' and 'Careers' pages within their website.
You should also research the company via social media such as their LinkedIn account. Look into what the company posts, who the employees are, read what is current, learn about the benefits and why the people enjoy working there.
Understand the job description
The interviewer wants to make sure that you understand what the role and the duties you will be performing entails. Most people would have reviewed the job description before applying, however go back and understand your role thoroughly.
List your favorite things about the job
This is self explanatory, make sure you write a list of your favorite things about the job in order to feed it back to the employer. You should then make a list of your career objectives and explain how working for this company will help you pursue these long term goals.
How you leave an interview is just as (if not more) important than how you enter the interview - you want your lasting impression to be a good one.
It is quite acceptable to end the interview with a statement like: -
Thanks for your time; I have really enjoyed meeting you. I am going to ring Douglas Scott now and tell them that I would definitely want to come back for second interview
I have really enjoyed the interview. If I was offered the job I would definitely accept
If you do not like the look of the job or the company a good ending to the interview would be: -
Thanks for your time; I look forward to your feedback
As soon as possible after the interview you must contact your Consultant at Douglas Scott with your feedback!