Interview Skills

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Thinking about the type of questions you are likely to be asked in an interview can make a big impact on how you perform during the interview. Prior preparation is key to ensuring that you present yourself at your best.

During an interview, you will be asked questions about yourself, your skills, experience and suitability for the position. Your CV is the basis for these questions so make sure you know exactly what you’ve stated on your CV and be able to back up any statements with examples. Below are some tips to preparing for and answering interview questions.

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  • Plan ahead by preparing answers to the questions you will most likely to be asked.
  • Be prepared to elaborate on your answers if necessary.
  • Be honest with the interview panel. If you don’t know the answer, don’t try to talk around the topic.
  • If you don’t understand the question, ask the interview panel for clarification.
  • Plan ahead by preparing answers to any unexplained gaps in your CV.
  • If you were made redundant/ fired from a previous position, plan appropriate answers to interview questions on the circumstances.
  • Ask questions to show you have done research on the company and the position. Ask about the business, job, training and career progression etc.
  • Show enthusiasm in the interview to demonstrate the passion and energy you could bring to the job and company.
  • Sell yourself. In the competition for jobs, modesty and understatement will not lead to numerous job offers. Be assertive, confident and don’t be afraid to highlight your competencies.
  • Make eye contact with the interview panel.
  • Avoid distractions. If you have a habit of fidgeting with jewellery etc., leave it at home.
  • Practice. Ask a trusted friend or colleague to host a mock interview to give you an opportunity to answer questions aloud.
  • Dress well.
  • Arrive for the interview a little early to give yourself time to collect your thoughts. Running late will only cause you stress, which will not help in the interview.

Further tips on preparing for interview, including sample interview questions, are available on the following websites:

Effective Interview Skills: http://www.careersportal.ie/pdfs/effective_interview_skills.pdf

GradIreland: http://gradireland.com/careers-advice/interviews-and-tests/interview-questions

RecruitIreland: http://www.recruitireland.com/careercentre/interviewadvice/Common-Interview-Questions-and/4678