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how can i make myself interview i have actually managed to get an interview...quite a few people talked to me before when i said it was impossibloe to get a job

(68 Posts)
zippitippitoes Sat 26-Jul-08 16:26:17

....and it is for a quite well paid run a charity's trading company

i have been working for myself so not easy to talk about teams etc

and i have to work hard in my head to make myself feel that i have worthwhile skills to offer

that said they are interviewing me

but i am someone who rambles and waffles

here are some of the person specs they want

a.3 years management experience in retail or mail order

b.managing staff teams skills

d.familiarity with recording purchasing stock control systems literate word excel and powerpoint

f.communication skills

g.eye for design knowledge of print and design processes

h.set budgets and business targets

i. work under pressure

j.hands on approach

k. flexible to work some evening and weekends

i am not optimistic about getting this job but really pleased i have an interview

it would be life changing as it is not only a job but also would mean moving

BreeVanderCampLGJ Sat 26-Jul-08 16:27:43

So what parts of the job spec are a problem ??

zippitippitoes Sat 26-Jul-08 16:34:30

wellthe managing people and team part

there is loads in the job description which is scsrily detailed

but probably mostly i can do if i get myself into the right mindset

there is a lot of co ordinating of volunteers

well i have volunteered myself on committees in the past and eg in the nct was editor of the regional newsletter for a few years and did all the usual stuff relating to that

there is providing reports on marketing, promoting the work of the charity, preparing business plans which i guess i have done

there is a lot of liasing with other people and organisations which i suppose i have done if i can clear it in my head

my least skilled area is exel and powerpoint but that is desirable rather than essential and i am computer literate

and do you shake hands with all the interviewers when you go in or when you leave?

BreeVanderCampLGJ Sat 26-Jul-08 16:39:45

Right that is Powerpoint sorted.

zippitippitoes Sat 26-Jul-08 16:44:18

i am used to applying for clerical type jobs and never hearing anything so i am a bit apprehensive at applying for this one which is a management role and getting offered an interview straight away

my main difficulty is doing myself down i think

zippitippitoes Sat 26-Jul-08 16:45:15

so i have to appear as a confident manager who can represent the charity at all levels and talk well

zippitippitoes Sat 26-Jul-08 16:45:49

and as someone who can negotiate good terms on contracts

Mercy Sat 26-Jul-08 16:50:58

zippi, you obviously must be a suitable candidate because you have been offered an interview!

I don't have any advice atm but just wanted to say I'm so pleased for you.

Would moving be a problem for you? WOuld it be far away?

BreeVanderCampLGJ Sat 26-Jul-08 16:52:00

Managing staff teams might be a problem, have you never managed even on a very loose level ?

You possibly have not had interviews for lesser positions as you may appear over qualified.

BreeVanderCampLGJ Sat 26-Jul-08 16:53:23

Re the waffling, you need to keep saying to yourself cut the chase, pad it out a bit and shut up. grin

zippitippitoes Sat 26-Jul-08 16:54:26

I would love to move there

it looks really nice but expensive

and my bf lives in teddington so much nearer him blush

it would be complicated moving as i have hopuse/s

i know really that this won't happen and i won't get the job but it would be so cool if i did

zippitippitoes Sat 26-Jul-08 16:56:39

i have managed a self build house project

but not really done anything in work

in this job i would manage a part time admin person and an assistant and volunteers

so not an overwhelming task

just trying to work out how i can appear competent and responsible

zippitippitoes Sat 26-Jul-08 19:29:46

yes cut to the chase is the hard bit

i am one of those people who finds it really hard to do that

and then end up forgetting the question

LadyBee Sat 26-Jul-08 21:55:32

Zippi - for the managing people stuff, if you can't come up with a concrete example of when you've done something similar, then have a really good think about what managing people would mean in real terms, and try to come up with similar tasks,
for eg. Managers usually are expected to keep track of their staff's workloads, check in regularly with them to ensure problems are picked up early, do performance appraisals (if the company does them), do the admin relating to things like absences/holidays, recruit new staff if there are vacancies etc. as well as be the general 'go to' person when there are problems.
Try to think about how you'd set up systems for this - would you have a weekly one-to-one? or a team meeting? If you can talk confidently about the practicalities of doing this part of the job, then you can probably convince them you're up to it even without having past experience of it.

Good luck - don't talk yourself out of being able to do this, they obviously think you've got something to offer, they're not interviewing you just for kicks grin

zippitippitoes Sat 26-Jul-08 23:10:06

thank you i am going to work so hard preparing for this interview

zippitippitoes Sun 27-Jul-08 09:36:23

im thinking of downloading a company report people do that before interviews

then i would know the turnover etc

WideWebWitch Sun 27-Jul-08 09:39:03


The job description probably describes the essential competencies required for the job, does it? If so, you need to demonstrate that you have these, actually, hang on, shall I copy and paste a report I wrote recently on competency based interviews?

BreeVanderCampLGJ Sun 27-Jul-08 09:39:05

I always do that.

Also google any recent press releases.

zippitippitoes Sun 27-Jul-08 09:41:20

ooh yes www that would be lovely

so should i download from companies house or ukdata

WideWebWitch Sun 27-Jul-08 09:42:21

Yes, do get a company report.

Here's a bit:

The interviewer will be looking for specific examples of what you did in particular situations.
You can choose to use relevant examples from your current job, a previous role, or a situation outside of work altogether and it is likely that you will be asked to discuss the example in some detail.
It is also likely that the interviewers will then follow with a number of questions, possibly clarifying a specific area. They will be interested in the outcome of the situation, what results were achieved and whether there was anything you learned from the experience, etc etc.
When talking about these experiences it may be helpful to use the STAR format. It is a simple and effective way of organising your thoughts:
S - Situation
T - Task
A - Action you took
R - Result
This should help you to put your experiences into a meaningful context, helping you decide what qualities your examples can show and to express them effectively. Also, focus on your own role and try to resist the temptation to talk in terms of ‘we’ and ‘us’.
Competency interviews are designed to show the interviewer how you can fulfil the job in question. The prime concern is to find out as much as possible about your qualities. You can bring notes with you to your interview and will be encouraged to take time to consider your answers before giving them. You may also jump back to previous questions if you remember a point you feel is relevant.

WideWebWitch Sun 27-Jul-08 09:43:42

What should I expect in the interview?

Common categories and examples of areas which Competency Based Interview may cover are:
1. Organisational awareness
2. Communication
3. Employer and/or Client/Customer focus
4. Professional relationships
5. Teamwork/Management
6. Time Management

And, for supervisory or management roles:

7. Strategic thinking
8. Leadership ability
9. Innovation

Competencies in more detail:
Please see below for examples of the type of questions which may be asked around each of the common competencies:

Organisational awareness
• Describe the structure of your company and give an example of how you work within this culture to achieve a personal / professional goal?
• Describe how you perceive our company - how you would adapt to this culture?

• How do you keep your colleagues and managers informed about difficult issues that directly affect them?
• Give an example of a difficult or sensitive situation that required you to use excellent communication skills?
• Give an example of how you have developed your communication skills

Employer and/or Client/Customer focus
• Give an example of how you provided a service or customer experience beyond expectations. How did you identify this need? What was the reaction?

Professional relationships
• Describe how you develop and maintain professional relationships

• Describe a situation in which you were a member of a team. What did you do to make a positive contribution to the team?
• Describe a situation where there was conflict within the team and how you managed to resolved it.

Time management
• How do you plan your time and prioritise?
• Give a specific example of a time when you failed to complete a task or project on time
• How did this outcome affect your company?
• What could you have done differently?
• How has that experience affected the way you deal with deadlines now?

And for managerial/supervisory roles:

Strategic thinking
• Describe your most challenging assignment or project and what you changed to adapt to that scenario?
• How did you go about assessing your own performance within this assignment or project?

Leadership ability
• Describe how you led a team (comprising trainees, juniors and seniors) through a difficult process. How did you improve their work?
• Describe a situation where you had to take charge either with your own team.

• Describe something you have done that was new for your company that improved the performance of your team or the value of the work done
• Have you done anything innovative that would be of direct interest to your employers or clients/customers and that enhanced awareness of your company?

zippitippitoes Sun 27-Jul-08 09:47:45

some hard questions for me there

WideWebWitch Sun 27-Jul-08 09:47:59

So, Zippi, you need to think of examples that show you have the required competencies in each of these areas:

a.3 years management experience in retail or mail order
You've had your own website and shop haven't you?

b.managing staff teams
Have you ever had anyone working for you? If not, agree with poster who said you need to think about how you would manage any team. Also think about how you would describe your management style if asked. skills
So understanding about costs and profit and margin, which I'm sure you did.

d.familiarity with recording purchasing stock control systems
So think about how you kept control of your stock for your onlines business. And how you would do so for their business literate word excel and powerpoint
easy peasy

f.communication skills
should be fine

g.eye for design knowledge of print and design processes
Don't know if you've got this but talk about any stuff you did for your busines

h.set budgets and business targets
Again, go back to what your budgets were for your own business. And think about how you work out targets

i. work under pressure
don't know about what pressure you've dealt with but think of examples

j.hands on approach

k. flexible to work some evening and weekends

WideWebWitch Sun 27-Jul-08 09:48:50

But ignore the list I posted and look at what they're looking for in their job desc and person spec, those are the most important things.

WideWebWitch Sun 27-Jul-08 09:49:44

And practice and practice, so look through the cv you sent them and think about what questions you'd ask yourself.

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