Got an interview! whoo hoo!!!!

(39 Posts)
Robotgirl Sat 20-Feb-16 21:02:05

Hi all
Due to the fucking ridiculous council cuts, my job is on the line. Probably going to be made redundant at the end of March.
I sweated blood applying for another role (I really really want it and am a single mum & really really need it!)
Any amazing generic interview tips & tricks? Interview on Tuesday

OddSocksHighHeels Sat 20-Feb-16 22:10:21

I'm not very good at interviews but I also have an interview on Tuesday so I'll gate crash for advice if you don't mind?

Well done at getting the interview and good luck with it!

ignoringthechoc Sat 20-Feb-16 22:31:17

A bit obvious but go through the job description point by point and write down 2 examples of why you meet that point, keep them true examples as they will jump into your mind quicker, then make a trigger for yourself
. Ie : JD 1) to eñsure a swift response to anti social behaviour. (Your example : when tenant x breached her tenancy, I followed procedure by bla blah blah..) now tenant x may have had a red front door/ blue hair, whatever makes you think of them when that question is asked will quickly bring that example to mind.
Know although I know exactly what I mean, I may not be expressing it well so I hope you get the idea. Once you have your examples in mind, practise saying them out loud A LOT! Fix them in your mind so you are confident they will be ready when you need them, then dress smartly, maintain eye contact and smile. Best of luck x

Robotgirl Sat 20-Feb-16 22:35:29

Good luck too, Oddsocks!

Robotgirl Sat 20-Feb-16 22:37:56

Ignoringthechoc
Errrrr, do I know you? Your examples are totally relevant to the kind of work I am in! Ha. Thanks for the advice-yes, examples examples examples.
Thank you wink

OddSocksHighHeels Sat 20-Feb-16 22:50:39

Examples are always good, I struggle to think of them on the spot.

I like the idea of linking something from the example (like the door colour) to the example. That's great.

How weird that the example suits your job robot!

ignoringthechoc Sat 20-Feb-16 23:03:22

No I know nothing about council work, just googled housing officer jd as didnt want to use my own job as an example! But it does show that this method works for any job, im not an interview expert but am convinced that with a days notice I could do a decent interview for any job. I get a big bit of paper, write each jd/person spec point on it, then the full example, then spend time whitling it down to a few lines with just the trigger as a heading.
Just the confidence that you get from doing this kind of organised prep means you go in with a different attitude. In my last interview I remember thinking I would be surprised if anyone had a better interview and awaiting the phonecall (which came within 3 hours) with a qiuet calm. I know I sound like a cocky mare but if you are applying for jobs you have experience in and put in the time needed to get that across then you will be confident.
fingers crossed for you x

Robotgirl Sat 20-Feb-16 23:07:23

Thanks odd socks & ignoringthechoc
Job isn't a housing officer role but not far away...
Great advice ignoringthechoc.
Going to get on it!

OddSocksHighHeels Sat 20-Feb-16 23:18:17

Apologies for the hijack robot but ignoring I sent out a speculative enquiry with CV and got an interview but the job isn't, as far as I can see, advertised anywhere. Should I look at similar job specs in other companies or is the better way to do it?

Robotgirl Sat 20-Feb-16 23:21:03

Hijack away, Oddsocks
It's tough out there! Tips & tricks always helpful & welcome wink

blueshoes Sat 20-Feb-16 23:45:06

Whatever you do, do not diss your current or any previous employers or managers. As far as possible, keep everything positive.

BanningTheWordNaice Sat 20-Feb-16 23:48:05

I've seen the star technique quoted on here a lot and think it's pretty good. www.theguardian.com/careers/careers-blog/star-technique-competency-based-interview

Robotgirl Sat 20-Feb-16 23:58:59

Thanks blueshoes & Banning
Have had a brief look at the STAR technique - will look properly tomorrow-looks great
Thanks so much everyone
It's been ages since I had an interview
Always more scary when you really want the job....

InandOutofLove Sun 21-Feb-16 07:16:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsJamin Sun 21-Feb-16 07:40:30

At the end of the interview when they ask if you have any questions, ask something about the role that shows your interest in it (not about something that would make you not want it, iyswim). Then the last question should be "Do you have any reservations about hiring me?" It sounds risky but if they do have any issue then you have the opportunity to address it right then and there, eg if they say they don't think you have enough experience in X or Y, you can give them some examples of when you did that well. I do this in interviews and it always gets a good response from interviewers as it makes you sound confident in your ability to do the job rather than being worried that your lack of capability will be exposed. Good luck!

PeppermintPatty1 Sun 21-Feb-16 08:17:48

Be prepared for standard questions as you'd be surprised how often people stumble over these. There will generally be an opener such as tell us about yourself or key achievements you are most proud of. Keep it relevant to the post you are applying for. Be clear why you want that post and not just because of risk of redundancy (although that's important you want to make it sound like you are genuinely interested in the job and not desperate!). The advice above on the job description is good. Can you have an informal visit or discussion with someone before the interview? A lot of employers use values based interviews now. They are often looking to employ people who will uphold their philosophy (often things like treating others with respect, taking responsibility for your actions) and this as important to some employers to have the right sort of person as it is to have the right skills and knowledge. For me, I'd prefer a person with the right attitude. I can train you to the job! Read up what you can about the department. Good luck and let us know how you get on!

blueshoes Sun 21-Feb-16 09:38:50

MrsJamin, as a frequent interviewer, I have not come across the question "do you have any reservations about hiring me" but think it is a bold and good one. Too many candidates try to fudge areas where they have a little but not enough experience but this question would allow the interviewer to be honest and the candidate to address it.

A slightly less bold question, if the OP is not as confident, is to ask the interviewer what are the qualities that the interviewer is looking for in the ideal candidate or what as the immediate tasks or skills which the interviewer would like the person to focus on to hit the ground running.

No one has ever asked me these questions, BTW. Although they are questions I would like to answer as an interviewer because it shows that the candidate is trying to make the role work rather than expect the employer to adapt to them.

blueshoes Sun 21-Feb-16 09:49:49

OP, one frequent question I get as a candidate right at the start is for the interviewer to ask me to walk them through my CV. Maybe it is just that my CV has quite a few different experiences and employers in it old gimmer

The reason why people ask it is probably because they only read your CV say 5 minutes before the interview or in the lift going to the meeting room. That is my suspicion. Therefore, this is a good question to prepare for as it comes at the start and if you answer confidently, this will set you you will feel better and more relaxed for the rest of the interview.

Keep it brief (no more than 2-3 minutes) but draw out what made you leave one role and take another. I think best not to say things like money but rather opportunities to grow and develop skills. One of the roles I took was a work-life balance role but you can spin that by saying you felt that notwithstanding added home responsibilities you still wanted to do a good job for your employer and therefore whilst the children were little you felt this was the best balance but you are now ready to gear up again etc.

I agree with the other poster that risk of redundancy is not the main reason for giving the interviewer as to why you applied. You may not even need to mention it and if you do, it is right at the last of your reasons. They ideally want a candidate with a pull factor rather than push. If a candidate wants a role, the implication is that they will try harder.

MakewayforNoddy Sun 21-Feb-16 12:34:41

Having had several interviews in the last few weeks I totally agree re the "take us through your CV" opener. The first time I was asked this I really struggled trying to cover 20+ years' worth of jobs and ended up rambling... Your answer should take roughly two minutes. It is worth writing down key highlights of your career that match what they are looking for and simply not mentioning/glossing over anything not very relevant. And practise saying it out loud - YY! Really helps you to iron out stumbles and any negativity that might creep in.

The other one I have been asked a few times now is at the very end when they say - "here's your opportunity to pitch for the job and tell us why we should give it to you". I have found this harder to answer than the more specific good teamwork/example of something going wrong and how you coped/piece of work you are proud of type questions etc as it is so generic. Plus coming at the end you almost relax thinking it's all over and then have to pull something amazing out of the bag. So definitely worth prepping those two.

Good luck!

Robotgirl Sun 21-Feb-16 13:55:52

Thanks so much for all your amazing advice everyone.
Lots of things I hadn't even thought about (hope you've found this useful too Oddsocks!) wink
Really appreciate your input. Going to start on my notes, prompts, STAR examples & 'hire me' pitch now thanks

Robotgirl Tue 23-Feb-16 18:10:09

So what's everyone's thoughts ...
Interview was ok but missed some glaringly obvious answers & examples sadand kicked myself on the bus after a few times. And was spectacularly nervous.
Was told after they are letting people know by Thursday & then I got a missed call from them 2 hrs after the interview ... But I don't have VM on my phone... And now I'm really confused. Is it more likely to be a positive if they call after 2 hrs? It is IME but I haven't had an interview for about a hundred years.... grin

MakewayforNoddy Tue 23-Feb-16 19:08:54

Well done for getting through it! Try not to kick yourself too hard - I have never come out of an interview thinking there was nothing I could have done better.

Re the missed call - that sounds very positive I must say. When I was recruiting we generally called the successful candidate later that same day or the next. We never called the unsuccessful ones, just sent a regret email a few days later. And my recent experience as an interviewee bears that out too. So, bit early to celebrate but I think you can definitely be cautiously hopeful. Good luck and let us know!

ignoringthechoc Tue 23-Feb-16 19:16:05

I really hope its good news, I would have thought a call that quick is because they want you. Also the ones where you don't think you did so well are the ones that surprise you.

hope they call you in the morning and put you out of your misery! Best wishes x

Robotgirl Tue 23-Feb-16 19:30:51

Thanks Noddy & Choc
Putting me out of my misery is a great way to put it! I feel exhausted!
Application was enormous, interview was good (great questions) but I had to do my 'me pitch' at the beginning which threw me off a bit....and I felt really anxious confused
Just want to know!
Everyone apart from my friend who interviews within the NHS has said sounds positive. She says she rings everyone asap whether good or bad news....

PeppermintPatty1 Tue 23-Feb-16 20:52:50

What questions did they ask? You will always analyse how you think it went and focus on the negatives! It's human nature.

I think it's difficult to say whether it's good news or not. I tend to phone the definite 'no' candidates quite soon but things might also depend on what their approach to references is. Some places will allow you to conditionally offer a post and then follow up the references in which case I phone quickly. Other places make you get a reference before making a job offer which could delay the phone call. It's agony to wait I know!

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