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Interview hints and tips

Make your application uniquely ‘you’              
Your job application requires the due attention to highlight how your skills and experience matches the role criteria – so make sure you have set out enough time to ensure you’re putting the best ‘you’ forward. Most roles ask for a covering letter, as it gives the hiring manager the chance to learn more about you, and why you think you’d be perfect for the job. Try to convey the kind of person you are, and be sure to mention any relevant experience or skills that’ll help you stand out from any other applicants. When you think you’re done, take a break, then check through everything again. You’ll be surprised how many things you decide to change.

What to expect at interview 
All permanent and fixed term contract candidates are interviewed by a diverse panel of at least 3 interviewers, there may also be a HR representative present; the HR member would sit in the background and observe.
The panel will ask on average 6-8 questions.

Prepare for the interview
Make sure you’re ready by researching the employer and reading around topics relevant to the role, to show you’re passionate about the work you’ll be doing. Make sure you look at what job description asks for too, and think of examples that prove you can hit the ground running. For example, have you ‘worked to deadlines’, ‘led a team’ or ‘developed a strategy’? Practice talking through the example. How did you tackle the situation? What was the outcome? And if you faced the same challenge today, what would you do differently? Whether you need answers or not, pull together a list of questions about the role – they’ll help you keep the conversation flowing. If your interview is over Zoom or MS Teams, make sure you can access the application ahead of time – either by downloading it or using the online version – and decide where you’ll sit – ideally without any embarrassing photos behind you.

Get ready to interview
First, get your outfit ready the day before your interview. Next, read through your application and the job description again, in case you can think of any further questions to ask. If it’s an early start – don’t rely on anyone else to wake you: set an alarm. And lastly, have as relaxing an evening as you can. On the day, arrive ahead of time, or switch your computer or laptop on well in advance of your time slot. And make sure you’re comfortable before you start.

Virtual interviews
Some recruiting managers may decide to interview applicants virtually, below are some virtual interview pointers;

  • Find a quiet, private, well-lit place, free from potential interruptions
  • Ensure you have a stable internet connection
  • Check that your computer audio is working
  • Test your computer’s webcam in advance of the call
  • Close any unnecessary web browser tabs and applications to improve connection speed
  • Dress professionally as you would in the office
  • Place your phone on silent mode

Newham Dockside parking
Please note that Newham Dockside no longer has visitors parking available.
A space may be available in one of the side-facing bays, on the west & east sides of the building, in which case you may park, however, there is no guarantee that a space will be available as these are on a first come first served basis.
Please do not park in front of entrance doors.
The Travel lodge hotel & regatta centre a short 5 minute walk from Dockside should have parking spaces. However, please be aware they are chargeable.

Nail the interview
Always remember to be your authentic self. This is a chance to tell them why you’d be good in the role. If you don’t understand a question, simply ask the interviewer to repeat it or ask it in a different way. Don’t rush your answers. There’s no time limit. Pause, collect your thoughts and give a concise answer – ideally followed by an example from your experience. Get into the habit of using the STAR technique to answer questions:
Provide some background to a situation you were faced and what you were required to do.
As you have now set the scene, you need to outline what challenges and obstacles you were facing.
You now need to explain the action you took to overcome these challenges.
Demonstrate how your skill set enabled you to reach a successful outcome and what you learnt from the decision which you took.

If there’s a lull in the conversation (and at the end), remember to ask your own questions about the role.