Ace Your Interview: 5 Top Tips!

 

 

First of all, if you’ve been shortlisted for interviews, Congratulations! Making it to the interview stage means you’ve already made a good impression on your potential future employer(s).

 

1. Positive Attitude

‘Be positive, patient and persistent.’

We are far too often our own harshest critics and this is not the mindset to enter your interview with. If you’ve got the interview, you’ve already impressed! You’ll be just as intelligent and capable as everyone else on the interview list, all you’ve got to do is prove it. Employers are looking for candidates who not only fit the competencies required but also a personality that fits the company culture. Greet your interviewers with a smile, be friendly and relax in the knowledge that good interviewers only want to bring out the best in you.

 

2. Self Awareness

Tell me about yourself…

What motivates/inspires you?

What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses?

You are the topic of this interview. You must be prepared to talk about yourself. You are absolutely guaranteed to be asked a question or two about yourself, so no excuses not to prepare. Don’t undersell yourself or your achievements. Practise with friends or make an appointment with us in the UCD Career Development Centre to perfect your answers. Also, be sure to know your own CV/application inside out, you could get asked about anything that’s in there.

 

3. STAR Technique

The STAR technique is a widely used approach to answering competency based questions in a clear and effective manner. The ‘STAR’ approach to structuring your answers: Situation (set the scene), Task (what you set out to achieve), Action (what YOU did to achieve it), Result (the outcome). When discussing work experience, focus on your own contribution and what you’ve achieved rather than just listing the tasks required.

 

4. Know the Organisation & Job Description

Do your research. What will be expected of you in this role? Do you know anyone already working in the organisation that you could reach out to? Has the organisation been in the news recently or had any interesting developments? Additionally, if you know who will sit on the panel, do your research on their roles and backgrounds also.

 

5. Take Notes

Every interview is a learning experience. As soon as possible after the interview, it’s a good idea to take note of the questions you were asked and your thoughts on the experience. These could come in really handy if you get called back for a second interview or for other interviews in the future!

 

‘Fail to prepare, Prepare to fail’. You’ve already gotten the opportunity to interview, so you don’t want to let yourself down by failing to prepare.

Take some confidence from the fact that you’ve been asked to interview. The interviewer already believes that you can do the job. You’ve just got to believe in yourself and most importantly, BE YOURSELF.

 

 

 

How do I choose the right career?

 

How do I choose the right career?

You can now find a massive amount of career information online – some great, and some not so great! We’re here, at the UCD Career Development Centre, to point you towards the best and most reliable resources to help you plan your career!

If you’re not sure what you want to do yet, that’s OK, but you can get started by identifying your skills and strengths, values, interests and what might suit your personality.

How? Let me introduce you to ‘Profiling for Success, a fantastic resource on the UCD Careers website which can be used to guide you. Log in using the following – Client code: tflhe, Access code: ucd, Password: ucd4 .

Profiling for Success contains 7 different assessments, also know as psychometric tests. Why do I need a psychometric test? Well maybe you’ve been asking yourself some of the questions below…

 

What motivates me?

Money? Flexible work hours? Opportunities to travel? The ‘Values Based Indicator of Motivation’ assessment will help you to identify those things that matter to you most. And in turn, you can look at careers that satisfy these motivations.

 

How can I find a career that matches my interests?

Ever heard the saying ‘The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life’? Finding a career that matches your personal interests would be a wonderful advantage and you can start by using the ‘Careers Interest Inventory’ to find out more.

 

What is my work style? What can I bring to an organisation?

Are you a natural organiser? An advisor? A leader? A negotiator? An investigator? You can find out by taking the ‘Type Dynamics Indicator’ assessment. Understanding your individual style will help you to refine your career focus.

 

What am I good at?

Do you find you work best with numbers or with words? Do you have an analytical, problem solving mind?  Take the ‘Reasoning Skills’ assessments to give you a better idea!

 

How do I learn most effectively?

Do you learn best from reading? Observing? On the job, hands-on, learning? Understanding your learning style can significantly improve your chances of success. So what are you waiting for? Take the ‘Learning Styles Indicator’ assessment asap!

 

Hopefully we’ve sparked your curiosity and more importantly, we hope ‘Profiling for Success‘ helps to guide you in right direction!

Have a great week!

 

 

INTERVIEWS & ASSESSMENT CENTRES

Interviews and Assessment Centres allow an employer to assess you as a potential employee and try to decide if you’re a good match for the organisation. They also provide an important opportunity for you to find out if you want to work with the employer… prepare well so that you’re confident, knowledgeable and ready to impress!

 

Tips from UCD Career Development Centre

INTERVIEW PREPARATION TIPS:

 

ASSESSMENT CENTRE PREPARATION TIPS:

  • Use the ‘Profiling for Success’ abstract, numerical and verbal reasoning tests to help you prepare for assessment centres. These are available to you through links from ucd.ie/careers/students/onlineresources/.

 

FOR BOTH INTERVIEWS & ASSESSMENT CENTRES:

 

APPLYING FOR JOBS

APPLYING FOR JOBS
Find out how to develop effective applications and how to prepare successfully for interviews and assessment centres.
  • Keep an eye on careersconnect.ucd.ie for:
    • Relevant Careers workshops and seminars and employer presentations
    • Jobs and Vacancies
  • Look at the Winning Job Applications section of our Career Zone self-study online module available via UCD Career Development Centre website
  • Take the ‘Profiling for Success’ psychometric tests available to you through links from www.ucd.ie/careers/students/onlineresources. Use the abstract, numerical and verbal reasoning tests to help you prepare for assessments which are part of the recruitment process for many graduate positions.
  • Google yourself!
    94% of recruiters use, or plan to use social media for recruiting. Most employers will, at the very least, search for your name in Google. Before applying for jobs: check everywhere they’ll find you on Social media – your ‘Digital Footprint’– you might be surprised what shows up!
    • Clean up your social media profiles
    • Use consistent messaging across all profiles
    • Create professional profiles e.g. LinkedIn
  • Make an appointment on careersconnect.ucd.ie with a Career & Skills Consultant at the UCD Career Development Centre for advice.

Assessment Centres

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Employers use a variety of methods to select the best graduates at assessment centres – knowing what to expect and being well prepared will increase your chances of success.

Tips from UCD Career Development Centre

ACTIONS:

1. See the following for some great advice to help you prepare for assessment centres:

2. Use the ‘Profiling for Success’ abstract, numerical and verbal reasoning tests to help you prepare for assessment centres. These are available to you through links from our Online Resources

3. Keep an eye on careersconnect.ucd.ie for relevant Careers workshops, seminars and employer presentations.

4. Like us on Facebook and follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.