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To ask for interview tips?

(18 Posts)
WelshMaenad Thu 04-Oct-12 18:35:07

I have an interview tomorrow, following a good few years out of the workplace doing the mummy thing.

It's a part time support worker role at a residential setting for women/children in crisis. I really, really want this job!

Having not been in a workplace for so long I feel rustler than a rusty thing and am cacking my undercracks big style. I need some MN wisdom.

jkklpu Thu 04-Oct-12 18:51:04

Practise your answers to the obvious questions out loud, eg why do you want this job? What was the biggest challenge in your last <relevant> job and how did you deal with it? Be prepared to talk about what you have done since last employment and how finely honed your organisational skills are after n years managing children, any SN experience?

Prepare a couple of questions to ask them, eg what is the staff:residents ratio and is there mentoring available for new staff? What exactly is the p-t requirement - same times/days each week or varied? Scope to up hours in the future?

Very good luck.

BonaDea Thu 04-Oct-12 18:52:29

Didn't want to read and run, but very sensible advice above. Definitely practice speaking your answers out loud and focus on what you are attracted to in the role and why you think you'll be good at it.

WelshMaenad Thu 04-Oct-12 18:54:24

Thank you!!! I always struggle with the 'any questions for us' and those are really good ideas!

Any suggestions for the classic 'what are your weaknesses?' - I don't think "wine and cream buns" is going to cut the mustard.

gastonthebabyshusher Thu 04-Oct-12 19:01:11

I was interviewing today and one of the questions one candidate asked at the end was, how could I have impressed you more today? Which made me tell her the one concern I had about her previous experience and she then was able to give me more evidence of the skill I needed her to show. I thought it was a good question.

I think that if you think of it as a conversation with someone you are interested in rather than a Q&A you won't go far wrong. Show off your personality and be the kind of person you would want to work with.

Good luck. wink

gastonthebabyshusher Thu 04-Oct-12 19:03:36

As for the weaknesses Q, I always say that I am a "get on an doer" so delegation can be difficult for me. But it's something I know about and consciously work on!

WilsonFrickett Thu 04-Oct-12 19:10:44

Well, what are your weaknesses? tell us and we'll tell you how to phrase them. But don't just make one up!

bumperella Thu 04-Oct-12 19:49:32

They might ask you more scenario-based questions.
Line up answer to stuff like "tell me about a time when you've <insert proof of a skill here>". If the job spec asked for someone with "tenacity" then thinking of past examples of when you've been tenacious could be good.
Or "Sometimes we deal with <insert issue here>. How would you handle <insert tricky situation>".
Also, "what do you think you would find most rewarding in the role?"

If in doubt, commonsense and the right attitude is always a fallback.... every employer wants them, if they're looking for any employee from managing director to a paperboy/girl.

Know your CV inside out and make absolutely sure you can answer questions about it and your covering letter.
Research the company as much as possible, and use their language. So if they say "we deal with famillies with complex issues" then refer to "issues". If they say "tough challenges" then refer to "cahllenges". Within reason and a bit more imaginatively than that, obviously!!!

You sound like you want the role becuase of the role, and not just becuase of the £££ or hours or whatever, so you have to make sure that comes across.

Questions at the end... I think these are tough. I really like getonthebabyshusher one, that's v clever. How about training/path for future progression/time spent with inmates (OK, not the right word!!!) vs time spent on admin/employee turnover rates. Nothing wrong with taking a written list in with you if you're worried you'll forget or freeze; if you don't need it then that's great, if you do then it's better than asking no questions! If the interview involves them asking fairly tough questions, then ask them toughies back. If it's more touchy-feely and gentle, then the same back.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Thu 04-Oct-12 19:57:49

Great advice above!

On a practical level, give yourself plenty of time to get ready. Make sure your clothes are ironed. Go easy on the make up, hair and jewellery. Plan your trip there and make sure you know where you are going.

GOOD LUCK!!! smile Please come back and let us know how it went!

slambang Thu 04-Oct-12 20:10:19

I like the STAR (Situation Task Action Result) model. For each question/ competency/ skill you want to explain you give a real example from your experience in that format.

Eg. Question 'How well do you cope in stressful situations?'
Normal answer: 'I'm a very calm person. I'm good in stressful bla bla..'
STAR answer: 'I'm good at dealing with stress. For example (S)last week an angry customer threatened a member of staff. (T) I needed to remove him from the room and make sure everyone was safe (A) so I did xyz and (R) the customer calmed down and left safely.

Think of a Star for each of the main competencies on the person spec that show your range of skills and experience.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 04-Oct-12 21:21:48


This isn't really an AIBU so we've moved it to 'Going Back to Work'

Best of luck with the interview, WelshMaenad - it sounds like a great job.

WomenatWork Fri 05-Oct-12 13:11:16

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

WelshMaenad Fri 05-Oct-12 14:00:17

Thanks to everyone who responded and gave me tips! I used the mentoring question and the STAR model when I answered the questions - and it must have worked because I've been offered the job!! I am SO excited, this is a fantastic opportunity. Thanks for all your tips and confidence boosting!

jkklpu Fri 05-Oct-12 14:47:28

Brilliant, really well done. grin

slambang Fri 05-Oct-12 15:00:05

Fantastic Welsh!!!!

slambang Fri 05-Oct-12 15:01:03

And erm = WomenatWork have you got permission to advertise? hmm

WilsonFrickett Fri 05-Oct-12 15:04:36

Well done Welsh!

WomenatWork, you do realise this is an international site and not every one here is one of 'us women', don't you? Maybe being less London-mummy-centric might help you build the life you deserve hmm

gastonthebabyshusher Fri 05-Oct-12 19:19:47

Congrats Welsh. What a great way to start a weekend!!! grin

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