Free Resources for
Students and Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in China - by Paul Sparks
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General Job Interview
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.
You 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.
Questions you may want to
ask an interviewer
Group tests are used by an employer to see how you react in a group. They will want to see if you help or hinder the group reach its objectives. An observer will be watching to see how you take criticism, whether you take on leadership roles and involve less communicative group members. If you chair the meeting the observer will be checking on how you plan and keep control of the meeting. If you are leading a group activity the observer will be interested in seeing how good you are at delegating tasks and how much of the work you keep for yourself.
When 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.
Job interview body
Factors that can stop
you getting the job
Interview questions you
may be asked
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.