Interview Tips

You have been selected for an interview that’s great news. Now to study for your interview.

Here we have a few examples of questions you may be asked in an interview. The key to a good interview is practice. Make sure you practice as much as possible and have lots of examples ready as you may need to use more than one for questions. Keep reading over the job description and specification. What is this company looking for? Try to fit it in with your answers and experience.

First question will be along the line of tell us about yourself:

  • Keep it short.
  • Talk about how long you have lived in Carlisle, how long you’ve been studying at Carlisle College, how long you have worked at your current job, a little bit about previous roles or experience.
  • Try to tie in with what they are looking for

Tell us about your current role

  • Ensure what you discuss here is in line with the job description and person specification.
  • How your current role is providing excellent customer service by…..
  • experience of customer care/public related work by

Why do you want to leave your current role?

  • Dont say anything bad about them!!!
  • Just say although you love your current role you feel that you need a new challenge and you think the company is the perfect opportunity for you to expand your existing skills and develop new skills
  • You feel that this role will be great progression for you

Describe yourself/how would you current manager describe you

  • positive words here/ your passionate about what you do, determined/hard working/confident when dealing with new people/ loyal/ focused/ hard working etc 

Why should we hire you?

  • Great opportunity for you to say why you are right for the job
  • Your experience, how does it match this role
  • your personality, how does this match it? Your friendly approachable, able to work under pressure/ customer focused etc etc

They may ask, what are your strengths

  • you need to relate your strengths to the role, such as excellent communication skills, ability to communicate effectively with people from all walks of life, positive, hard working and dedicated etc etc  

What are your weakness

  • You need to give this a positive spin, for example, my weakness is that I can be too critical of myself which means I always want things I create/do to be perfect.

What are you most proud of

  • be honest on this one

Why do you want the job?

  • Why do you? Be positive, read the job description and person specification and pick out the highlights for you. You need to tie in your reasons with the job and person spec.
  • Say you think it will be an interesting role, a new challenge, allow you to continue to develop your skills, allow you to progress in your career, you think this is the next step etc etc

Why do you want to work here?

  • Big them up here, show you have done your research
  • Discuss their mission statement, values and aims, say why you like them, would be proud to be part of an organisation that….. (helps people/is creative/referring to the job you are going for)

What experience do you have

  • Easy question, what experience do you have? This question allows you to shine and allows you to show you are right for the role and you have the experience they want
  • You need to ensure that you highlight the areas that you do now that are similar to their role
  • Provide examples such as, your experience with counter related work, your experience within customer service environment

They will probably ask you about team work, such as gives us an example of when you worked as part of a team/what is your experience of team work

  • Have an example ready for this one, you could say something along the lines of I work in a team on a regular basis my most recent example would be…… I enjoy working as part of a team, working towards the same goal of……..

Provide an example of when something went wrong and how you fixed it/ failed to meet deadline and what did you do.

  • Again, you need to make this a positive thing. So provide an example but then say what you have learnt from the experience and going forward I always know what to do with whatever the example is

Where do you see yourself in 5 years.

  • You can say something like, I see myself doing a job that I am successful in etc etc

What do you do when you make a mistake?

  • Dont say you don’t as it doesn’t show anything.
  • Say if i make a mistake I ensure I always learn from it

Provide an example of when you have gone above and beyond

  • You need an example that shows you created/did something that was really appreciated and useful to whoever it was for

How do you provide excellent customer service

  • Make sure you go big on this one, this will most likely be on the Person Specification as it is important to most companies.

Provide an example of when you have had to use your own initiative  

  • Provide an example of when you have done something that has been really effective for the end user/made a difference/has helped the team 

How do you priorotise your workload

  • I would always say that I discuss with whoever has given me the work to establish when the deadline is, review this and work through each item

Attention to detail and accuracy

  • They may say how do you achieve this, you can say , I am aware how important it is to ensure that accuracy and attention to detail so I re-check everything 2 to 3 times to ensure that I haven’t missed anything

How do you cope with working under pressure?

  • You can say that you are used to working under pressure in your current roles as you are always working to tight deadlines, your priorities can change quickly so working under pressure is an everyday occurrence for me
  • Or you could say that you work well under pressure as you thrive from it etc etc

You may get asked about your manner but they may judge this when they meet and talk to you. They may ask something like; What makes someone approachable/ why is it important to be considered approachable? How do you handle change?

You can say that you welcome it. You understand that change can be a positive thing. Provide an example of when you have had to deal with change and how you have approached that

They will ask if you are flexible

  • Of course you are!!! 
  • You work overtime whenever it is required to ensure tasks are completed 

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