Be Succesful and Get Hired with Our Interview Tips

Well done you have got yourself an interview. All the hard work and effort you put into your C.V or application form has paid off. The employer has seen your potential and they want to know more. Enjoy this moment, let it sink in and be proud.

The mere thought of an interview can be nerve-racking. But don’t let that put you off, remember you got yourself to the next stage of the process. So take a deep breath, and let us help coach you on how you can prepare for your interview and get hired!

What is an Interview, why is it so important?

What is an interview?
An interview is an opportunity for the employer to meet a potential employee. This gives an employer an opening to see if you are the right person for the job. It helps the employer to decide if you will fit in with the rest of the team. It also helps them gauge if your skills match the job requirements.

It is not all about the employer, it is your chance to shine and show why you are the right person for the job. Dazzle them with your winning personality and show your ability and skills.

There different types of interviews the main ones you may encounter are competency, panel, one to one or a telephone interview. When you receive your interview invitation, normally you will be informed about the type of interview you are going to have.

Lets Recap:

  • A chance for the employer to meet you face to face
  • Gives you an opportunity to shine

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!!

First things, first we need to prepare. This will make you feel more relaxed as you understand what is expected of you and you can practice questions and answers to feel more confident.

As a starting point, research the job role. Look at the job advertisement and understand what the employer is looking for. Then research that job role and find out everything else that you may be required to do within that role. Planit Plus has an extensive list of careers and job roles complete with an outline of what may be expected of you within that job, what the hours could be and the salary. This background information could provide context for the job you have an interview for and prepare you for questions that may come up. The other advantage is if they mention a responsibility that wasn’t in the job advertisement you won’t be taken by surprise.

The next thing you should research is the questions you may be asked. First, look at the information and find out what type of interview you have as this may determine what type of questions you will be asked. A quick search on Google and you will be able to find specific questions to certain roles, however, we have comprised a list of the most common questions below.

Ok, we have a list of questions but have no idea where to begin on how to answer them. Don’t worry there’s a strategy you can use to help you frame your answers. There is an acronym called S.T.A.R and it will be a template to help you build answers for certain interview questions. You will be able to spot these questions as they usually begin with the following

Tell me about a time when…

Have you ever…

Describe a…

Give an example of…

So let’s break down the acronym and understand how we can apply it to answers that an interviewer may ask.

S. stands for situation

T. stands for task

A. stands for action

R. stands for the result

In addition, S.T.A.R has been updated to S.T.A.R.L with the L standing for learn. This means being able to reflect on the situation and articulate what you learned as a result. Which is a fantastic skill and will impress a potential employer. So don’t forget to add this to your answer. Below you can find an infographic for a quick reference that you can download and use to template your answers.

S.T.A.R Method final

S.T.A.R in Practice

Can you name an occasion in work in which you encountered a difficult problem and what you did to resolve that problem?

Situation: I was working as a retail supervisor in a supermarket during the Christmas season. A customer made an online purchase for a children’s toy. The toy should have been put in reservation shelf, unfortunately, a colleague put it out on the shop floor.

Task: I, therefore, had to inform the customer that this had occurred and to find a solution to satisfy the customer.

Action: I decided before calling the customer that I would try and source the same toy from another store or online. I managed to find the toy and thought it best to send the toy to the customer’s house next day delivery, free of charge and with a token gift card for the inconvenience. I then phoned the customer and informed them of the mistake and apologise. I also let them know the action I took to try and rectify the situation.

Result: The customer was grateful for the action I took to try and solve the problem and not leave them empty-handed. Especially as it was so close to Christmas and was something their child really wanted. The customer phoned my manager at the store to tell them of the great customer service they received.

Learned: looking back the experience helped me work under pressure and I learned to continue to be proactive and that a solution can be found for problems. I gained more confidence in my ability and not to panic in high-stress situations.

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