Here at CNA our headhunters want the best for all of their candidates. Feedback is always given swiftly and all candidates are dealt with using the upmost integrity through all stages of the hiring process. If you have secured an interview then please read out interview tips below:
Plan To Succeed In Your Next Interview
If you’re counting down the days till your next job interview, these helpful hints will help you get in the right mood so you can leave a lasting impression on the interviewers.
- Do your research
Fail to plan, and you plan to fail. You are certain to be asked specific questions about the company, so make sure you’ve done your homework on things like their last year’s profits and latest product launches. Also take a look at the latest developments in the industry so you can converse with confidence.
- Practice your answers
Although there is no set format that every job interview will follow, there are some questions that you can almost guarantee will crop up. You should prepare answers to questions about your personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as being able to explain why you would be the best person for the job. At CNA we recommend that you use the S.T.A.R approach to answer your question whenever you can.
The acronym STAR stands for
It is a universally recognised communication technique designed to enable you to provide a meaningful and complete answer to questions asking for examples. At the same time, it has the advantage of being simple enough to be applied easily.
Many interviewers will have been trained in using the STAR structure. Even if they have not, they will recognise its value when they see it. The information will be given to them in a structured manner and, as a result, they will become more receptive to the messages you are trying to communicate.
Step 1 – Situation
Describe the situation that you were confronted with or the task that needed to be accomplished. With the STAR approach you need to set the context. Make it concise and informative, concentrating solely on what is useful to the story. For example, if the question is asking you to describe a situation where you had to deal with a difficult person, explain how you came to meet that person and why they were being difficult.
Step 2 – Task
Set out what you had to achive because of the situation. The plan you put in place to achive the results that needed to be accomplished, give an example of the task you planned and tie that into the action you then took.
Step 3 – Action
This is the most important section of the STAR approach as it is where you will need to demonstrate and highlight the skills and personal attributes that the question is testing. Now that you have set the context of your story, you need to explain what you did. In doing so, you will need to remember the following:
- Be personal, i.e. talk about you, not the rest of the team.
- Go into some detail. Do not assume that they will guess what you mean.
- Steer clear of technical information, unless it is crucial to your story.
- Explain what you did, how you did it, and why you did it.
- What you did and how you did it
Step 4 – Result
You need to explain the outcome, what was the result, how it affected your company/group, facts and figures will help support the result you want to show.
The interviewers will want to know how you reacted to the situation. This is where you can start selling some important skills. For example, you may want to describe how you used the team to achieve a particular objective and how you used your communication skills to keep everyone updated on progress etc.
Why you did it
For example; when discussing a situation where you had to deal with conflict, many candidates would simply say: “I told my colleague to calm down and explained to him what the problem was”. However, it would not provide a good idea of what drove you to act in this manner. How did you ask him to calm down? How did you explain the nature of the problem? By highlighting the reasons behind your action, you would make a greater impact. For example:
- Look the part
Appearances shouldn’t matter, but the plain fact is that you are often judged before you’ve even uttered a word. Make sure your shoes are polished, your clothes fit correctly and that your accessories are subtle. Dressing one level above the job you’re applying for shows a desire to succeed.
- Stay calm
Good preparation is the key to staying in control. Plan your route, allowing extra time for any unexpected delays, and get everything you need to take with you ready the night before. Remember to speak clearly, smile and remember that your interviewers are just normal people, and the may be nervous too!.
- Ask questions
You should always have some questions for your interviewer to demonstrate your interest in the position. Prepare a minimum of five questions, some which will give you more information about the job, and some which delve deeper into the culture and goals of the company.