Free Resources for
Students and Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in China - by Paul Sparks
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Lesson 7 - Job Interviews
Lesson Activities: The students will discuss, then use role plays to learn about job interview techniques.
General Job Interview Advice: Before your interview find out everything you can about the company (for example read their annual report), read through your application form again, thinking about the questions they might ask you. You should also prepare some questions to ask them.
To do well at the interview you will need to convince the interviewer you are qualified to do the job. You will also need to show that you are sufficiently motivated to get the job done well and that you will fit in with the company and the team in which you will work.
should dress smartly for the interview and should leave home earlier than
you need to on the day of the interview - you may be delayed by traffic
or for other reasons. Be polite to all employees of the company. At the
interview itself you must be positive about yourself and your abilities
- but do not waffle.
may want to ask an interviewer
Panel interviews: Most people hate these sort of interviews. To do well you will need to identify the important figures on the panel and which role each person has. The chairperson is easy to identify as they will generally make the introductions. You will also need to identify the person whom you will be working for directly - make sure you give them plenty of eye contact.
you are talking to the panel, remember that you are talking to all of them
and not just the person who posed a particular question - your answer has
to be the correct one for each panel member! If there is one particular
panel member who everyone else seems to agree with, you should make sure
you impress him or her.
you are being interviewed it is very important that you give out the right
signals. You should always look interested - so do not slouch in your chair.
Never lie to anyone in an interview, your body language and tone of voice
or the words you use will probably give you away - classic body language
giveaways include scratching your nose and not looking directly at the
other person when you are speaking to them.
Factors that can stop you getting the job:
you may be asked:
attending an interview you should think about your responses to the following
questions. Your answers may depend on the job or company in question, so
you should go through your responses just before each interview.
Think carefully about this question. Talk about the positive aspects which have attracted you to applying for this position. Do not mention the negative aspects of your current job or the job in question.
Their advertisement for the job may help you a little bit, but you should also think of the other qualities that may be required. These may include leadership ability, supervisory skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, problem solving, analytical skills, etc.
This is your chance to shine. Tell them about your achievements in your previous position(s) which are relevant to the new position you are applying for.
Emphasise the positive reasons why you want to join their company, but avoid aspects such as more money or shorter hours.
This is your chance to impress the interviewer with your knowledge of their company. Give them a run down of their products or services, sales figures, news, company figures, customers, etc.
Again, your research into the company should aid you in answering this question.
Do not mention money. Talk about opportunities for personal growth, new challenges, etc.
Say that you are the sort of person who aims to succeed at everything you do and that you are very determined and will do whatever it takes to get the job done.
The answer to this question will be based on your previous experience and achievements which relate to the company. At the end you could add that you think there is a good fit between you and the job, and do ask the interviewer for their opinion.
Depending on the position you are applying for you may want to sound fairly ambitious, but do not look as if you are after the interviewer's position.
Likes: stress things such as a new challenge or the opportunity to bring fresh experience to the company. Dislikes: Imply there is nothing to dislike about the job, which is why you are so interested.
Remember where you are! If the company interviewing you is a small to medium sized company say that you enjoy a close atmosphere with a good team spirit. At a large company say that you enjoy the stability of working for a large and established company.
If you are considering other jobs, say yes, but do not give too many details away - it will weaken your negotiating position later. If you do not have any other job offers at the moment just say that you are looking.
Pick your best attributes and achievements from your career, education etc.
You should pick an achievement which is related to their needs.
Your answer should be along the following lines: "I always think that it is important to get feedback on how I am performing so that I can improve any areas which my manager/supervisor highlights. Do you have regular staff appraisals and a staff development plan?"
Some jobs mean that you have to work very closely with other people whilst other jobs mean that you are largely working on your own, so you need to say that you are happy in both situations.
Our suggestions are career growth, opportunity to learn new skills, good co-workers, etc.
Hopefully you can say "Yes", and say that you have to find out what motivates a person and give them recognition for a job well done. You should always give them encouragement and help them when required.
Your answer depend on the sort of job you are doing. If you will be working as part of a team you will need to show that you can work in the best interests of the team and not just for your own benefit.
You need to say that you can. You could ask how much pressure the job involves.
You would be prepared to work the necessary hours to get the job done on time.
Here you can say that you are prepared to work with anyone.
Link in your goals with the company who is interviewing you.
Your hobbies and interests can tell an employer a lot about you, including whether you are sociable, and whether you can take on 'leadership' roles. So you should think about which interests will paint the right picture of you given the position you are discussing.
"No, I do not think so!" is the answer you should give and then state the reason why you are not too young. If you have a lot of experience gained in a short time, say so.