In light of the many challenges being faced today by unemployed, underemployed or for persons seeking to make a career change, we have prepared the following interview resources to assist you in taking the next step.
BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
- Know yourself- Take time for introspection personally and professionally.
- Know what you want- your goals, interests, characteristics, qualifications, experience and skills, strengths and weaknesses.
- Research the position thoroughly using all appropriate channels.
- Research the organization and look at their structure and processes.
- Identify references and notify them that they are potential referees for your application.
- Ensure that the required documents are on hand (e.g. academic documents, extra copies of resume and cover letter, Birth Certificate, form of National Identification etc.)
- Ensure that you have appropriate attire for the interview.
- Prepare answers to potential interview questions in the field in which you are applying.
- Practice speaking out in front of a mirror or with a friend, consider voice pitch, observe body posture, eye contact etc.
- Practice, practice, practice!
ON THE DAY OF THE INTERVIEW
- Be on time (i.e. arrive at your location at least thirty minutes ahead of time)
- Be polite and professional to everyone you meet.
- Switch off cell phone and remove headphone before entering the interview room.
- Upon entering the room, introduce yourself and wait to be seated and for any other instructions.
- Sit upright and place your documents at your side.
- Answer clearly, keep eye contact with interviewer(s).
- Avoid fidgeting, playing with instruments, slouching, gazing, biting nails etc.
- Listen attentively to questions, don’t be too quick to answer what you think you hear and ask to repeat if needed.
- Show enthusiasm and be honest.
- Prepare to ask questions at the end of your interview.
- Exit as quietly as possible after interview, remembering to thank the interviewer for the opportunity.
If attending a virtual interview remember the following:
- Follow the guidelines discussed above.
- Confirm time and time zone.
- Familiarise yourself with platform you are required to use (i.e. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet etc.)
- Test your technology for speed and adaptability and have an alternate source of internet in case of any disruptions (e.g. using your mobile as a hotspot).
- Wear professional attire.
- Create a professional space (avoid distracting pictures or objects on walls, or choose a professional background feature within the platform being interviewed etc.)
- Use professional body language and be mindful of your facial expressions as this will be in focus.
In your preparation for the job interview, here is a list of common interview questions that you should be aware of:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why are you leaving your current job?
- What salary are you expecting?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What are your strengths?
- What do you consider to be the ideal working environment?
- Why should we hire you?
- Tell me about a time you had to deal with conflict and what was the outcome?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- How well do you work within a team?
- What interests you about this job?
- What attracted you to our company?
HOW TO RESPOND TO BEHAVIOURAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Behavioural interview questions ask candidates to give examples of specific situations where they had to use certain skills or explain how they navigated certain types of scenarios. (E.g. “Tell me about a time when…”) Interviewers like these questions because it can help them get a more realistic sense of how you work.
The STAR technique is a useful approach in responding to behavioural interview questions as it guides you in providing the following:
- Situation: Set the scene and give the necessary details of your example.
- Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.
- Action: Explain exactly what steps you took to address it.
- Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.
SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Where are you in the hiring process? What are our next steps?
What are the prospects for growth and advancement?
What are two or three significant things that you would want me to accomplish in my first few months?
What would you like done differently by the next person who fills this position?
How can I most quickly become a strong contributor within the organisation?
How will my performance be evaluated, and at what time intervals?
How would you define or describe your own management style?
What are some of your longer-term objectives?
What’s “on the front burner” with this position? What would I spend my first thirty days focused on?
What is going best for your organisation right now? How does this position/department tie into that?
What is your ultimate dream for this organisation?
- If I do not hear from you within (give a time period), will it be okay to call you?
For More Information
Persons seeking assistance with employment opportunities or wishing to access further information on the National Employment Service, can visit the National Employment Service Unit at:
- Duke Place, Level 1, 50-54 Duke Street, Port of Spain
Or can call/email using the following:
- Telephone: 299-0300 Ext. 2016 | 2023| 2173 or 2186
For a complete listing of office locations and telephone numbers, click: https://labour.gov.tt/services/national-employment-service