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AIBU to ask you to give me some interview tips, hints and killer questions to ask at the end?

(60 Posts)
GrumbleBumble Mon 12-Feb-18 14:30:34

I have an interview on Friday for a job I really want but I'm rubbish at interviews and "selling myself" so please help me to nail it this time. It's a similar role to my current one, administration for new UK office of a US based maker/seller of a technical product.

titsandbits Mon 12-Feb-18 14:33:26

The one that got me my current job was, 'Is there anything I could do from now until I start the role to give me the best possible start?' I could read books so it really showed I was invested.

Sparklesocks Mon 12-Feb-18 15:19:14

I like ones that show I’ve thought about the role, and also give them an opportunity to tell you what working there is really like. E.G..

‘What would you say is the most challenging aspect of this role?’

‘What do you enjoy most about working here?’

'Can you tell me about the team and how they work together?'

Also the end is a good time to add in anything you might not have had the opportunity to say/didn’t fit any of the questions, like ‘I wanted to mention I saw the X campaign on the site and thought it looked really interesting’ or ‘I noticed there is a lot of Y on the job spec which is great as I’m really interested in developing my experience of that area’ etc.

With admin I would say it’s always good to be enthusiastic and show you’re ready to muck in as a team player etc as the remit can be quite wide.

Good luck!

BigHoof Mon 12-Feb-18 16:07:16

If they ask you about your weaknesses, be honest! But make sure you let them know how you are striving to improve it. Please don't spout the old "I'm a perfectionist" line that doesn't fool anyone because it's not a weakness at all!

For example:

"My Excel skills are a bit rusty but I'm planning on doing an online course to brush up"

"I prefer working on my own instead of in teams. However, this normally means that I get work done more quickly but I appreciate that I don't get so many valuable ideas/feedback that way so I now make an effort to work with others as much as possible to leave my comfort zone"

"I'm not the best report writer. However, I try to look at examples of others' work as much as possible and I've really started to improve, which I will continue to do with practice."

I much prefer real weaknesses so I know what I'd be working with if I gave them the job, instead of the typical "I find it difficult not to take work home" hmm

Sidalee7 Mon 12-Feb-18 16:46:21

When giving an answer to a standard interview question such as "tell me about a difficult situation and how you resolved it" make sure you layout the situation, what you did to resolve it, and the end result. If they have a score list you have to provide all those examples to get a high score. Good luck!
Also a question I have used that goes down well is "What qualities do you think the right candidate would bring to this job?"

ClaudiaWankleman Mon 12-Feb-18 16:50:58

I find side stepping the ‘biggest weakness’ question to be a good strategy. Twice I have got the job saying ‘I should make more time to cook healthily and go to the gym, but I let these things go in favour of socialising/ studying/ spending time with my family’. The interviewer probably does exactly the same thing so they won’t be able to criticise you too heavily for that!

I also once asked the interviewer (fairly senior to me) how they had got to the position they had been in. It started an interesting discussion about where I could end up. It must’ve gone down well because I got the job.

DGRossetti Mon 12-Feb-18 16:54:33

Sounds like you need an emergency questions app ...

GrumbleBumble Mon 12-Feb-18 17:37:22

Thanks for the pointers everyone I'll give you all a virtual glass of fizz if I get it!

Would something like "I find interviews to be my biggest weakness, I often leave at the end feeling that I haven't done myself justice" work for the weakness question?

Patodp Mon 12-Feb-18 17:43:10

Your weaknesses should probably be directly related to your work. Not job searching or general life.

Patodp Mon 12-Feb-18 17:45:57

If they ask you for experiences of working in a team it's such a common mistake to start saying "I this, I that,"
Remember it's "WE".
Our objective was _ so we _
My specific role was _ so I_
Then finish on a We__

thesandwich Mon 12-Feb-18 17:46:31

Have a look at the STAR technique

BigHoof Mon 12-Feb-18 17:51:43

Your weaknesses should probably be directly related to your work. Not job searching or general life.

^This. I couldn't care less if you don't go to the gym or are rubbish at interviews. I want to know what you might need extra support with/training on if I gave you the job.

Fluffyears Mon 12-Feb-18 17:53:29

I usually turn the question and say ‘what do you enjoy about working here/this role?’

Autumnchill Mon 12-Feb-18 17:59:54

Would something like "I find interviews to be my biggest weakness, I often leave at the end feeling that I haven't done myself justice" work for the weakness question?

I wouldn't. I would think that you've been for a lot of interviews and all the interviewers have seen something that they've not gone for.

Good luck! I'm reading this with interesting as going to find myself in the same boat soon after nearly 20 years!

GrumbleBumble Mon 12-Feb-18 18:25:33

So if "what is your weakness" actually means "what is your weakness with regard to this job specification" (sorted in this case as there software package in the desired, not the essential skills that I haven't used for about 8 years so will need to refresh my skills on that) are there any other interview staples that don't mean exactly what they say?

CherryMaDeary Mon 12-Feb-18 18:28:27


Autumnchill Mon 12-Feb-18 18:39:17

It's not what is your weakness to this job specification but in general but you give a good example, there is a software that think you could benefit from more training on but it's how you answer it. You are better saying that you identified a weakness (IT skills) but you've done XYZ to resolve this. It shows that you can look at yourself and improve on it but it also refers to a past event so one that doesn't need working on now so it's a positive.

Arkengarthdale Mon 12-Feb-18 18:49:52

I've said in the past that sometimes I lack confidence but I only use that if I feel the interview is going well and I'm enjoying it. People have commented that I don't seem to lack confidence, to which I reply Thanks! I've been working on it and I'm glad it seems to be paying off.

Or something like I'm rubbish at art or design. Don't ask me to come up with a new logo, but my admin skills are such that I would be able to create letterheads and corporate stationery with a new logo someone arty has made. Being arty is not in the job description for admin, so you're not doing yourself down, and it gives you a chance to promote your actual admin skills.

GrumbleBumble Mon 12-Feb-18 18:56:18

Autumn but IT skills are not my weakness. I'm proficient with all the other software packages and have in my "jack of all trades, master of none" admin career been the on house IT liaison person so in general IT is one of my strengths. There happens to be a package in the desirable list that I would be rusty on but as I have good general IT skills and have temped in the past I'm actually pretty good at picking up new packages.

GrumbleBumble Mon 12-Feb-18 18:57:49

in house typing on a phone while cooking dinner is obviously my real weakness!

DoreenDonut Mon 12-Feb-18 19:04:27

My favourite killer question is

What can you tell me about the role that isn't covered by the job description.

I got groans and ooohs from the panel when I asked that, but got an honest answer (and I got the job!)

KatyaZamolodchikova Mon 12-Feb-18 19:05:49

My favourite questions to ask are what the interviewer(s) likes about their job/the organisation. What are the biggest challenges in the role/organisation? What would my first three months in the role be like if I were successful?

These are all questions I want the answers to, but also show insight and forward thinking.

If I were you I’d totally talk about the desireable software as a weakness, as it shows you’ve read the JD well. It’s relevant. And you have a plan to resolve it.

DoreenDonut Mon 12-Feb-18 19:05:50

And yes, if I were interviewing I would be specifically interested in your perceived weakness relating to the job description so I would say saying about the software would be fine.

nonevernotever Mon 12-Feb-18 19:07:57

And that's your weakness answer Op - you're rusty on that particular it package but confident it won't take you long to come up to speed cos your general it skills are good.

nonevernotever Mon 12-Feb-18 19:08:52

Oops -other people type faster than me

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