Jon Gregory's blog

'Standard' interview questions

"What might be some fairly typical interview questions that could crop up fairly regularly at interviews that I could prepare for?"

Sheila was right, there are questions that crop up time and time again. Basic ‘standard’ questions to prepare for are as follows:

Spinning your job-search web

"I'm just about to start a job-hunt as it's a new year. What's the best way I can run my search campaign using an online presence? I've been told I need a blog to be effective, is that right?"

This was an email question from Benny. Variations on this theme crop up regularly so I thought I'd run through the basics of what makes for a suitable online presence when you're looking for a job. Sadly, it's all too easy to waste time on a grail-hunt because someone somewhere says you need something you haven't yet got.

No job lined up yet?

“Help me, I haven’t got a job lined up and I’m beginning to panic! I’m nearing the end of my time at Uni and I’ve just realised how short a time it is until my exams finish. What can I do to find work?”

First thing? Stop panicking, it doesn’t do any good! Matthew G was maxed out with uni work and had left off thinking about job applications. Suddenly, the end was in sight. What could he do now? Luckily, there's a fast way to get moving.

To stand out: think, "I make things happen."

“Everywhere I look the advice is the same, ‘Make yourself stand out from the crowd’. Doesn’t everyone start with that intention anyway, so how on Earth can I do that when I don’t even know the people I’ll be up against?”

Dianne had a couple of valid points there, during a CV / application training session. Firstly, you don’t know who you’ll be up against, but always assume they’ll be at least as good as you. Secondly, yes everyone does perhaps have that intention, but not that many people actually know how to stand out.

Don't withdraw too soon ...

"I'm part way through selection with a national retailer. I've been through various tests and one interview already and the next stage is an assessment day. I like retail but I don't think this employer is for me. I'm wondering how best to pull out of the running and withdraw my application. Can you offer any advice?"

That query was from a slightly disenchanted Shona, via email, and it's quite an interesting one. My advice was that, even if you truly loathe the organisation, rarely is it a good idea to pull out of a selection process.


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