This day came way too quickly! I felt slightly unprepared even though we had been through group exercises and a lecture on common interview questions.
A common opening question is “Tell me about yourself”, this allows the interviewers to get to know you better, it’s also putting you on the spot and seeing how you react. They’re giving you complete control and it’s up to us to take full advantage of it, major don’t do – tell them your life story. Keep your answer pertinent and try not to go off topic. A good answer to this is usually 2/3 minutes long and briefly covering your education, interest in the field, work history and experience. Unfortunately I went off topic but brought it back (I hope) towards the end once it was pointed out that I had gone slightly off topic… damn my rambling!
“Why should you get this job?” This is to provoke a personal sales pitch, it’s our chance to tell them why we’re best for the role! Do not mess this up! “I really need money…”
Salary expectations where definitely a major conversation amongst the class before our mock interviews because now that most of us are actually looking paid placements, we weren’t sure what to expect and none of us wanted to sell ourselves short or be unrealistic. A few friends and I decided roughly 16,000 a year would be good for a student on placement.
“Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?” You have to show that you are thinking about your future, your ambition to progress in the industry. It’s import to tailer your answer to the position and company you are applying for, most of us will be applying for entry level positions therefore we should explain what role we eventually want to work towards in their company or in general. Most importantly we were told to show passion for the industry, if you’re excited then it’ll come across and hopefully excited the interviewers. Fitting your career gaols around the organisations objectives and ambitions. It’s also important to sell yourself! Exploit your strengths.
“What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Nobody’s perfect and interviewers/employers know that. You have to be honest with this answer. The best answer is to address one of your weaknesses, give practical examples then follow up with how you are improving and addressing this. This means that your weakness will soon become a strength.
I personally feel like my strengths are in communication skills, I’m very much a people person and love socialising. After the interview was over we got feedback the following week. This is one of my problems, I never exploited my software skills and actual work skills. I talked too much on the topic of a good crew, a good team working environment. It was also mentioned about me going off topic in the beginning and how I speak too quickly. It’s definitely a learning curve and I’m so grateful that we had this opportunity, not only for the mock interview but for also getting a change to meet Paula from NI Screens and Ross from Black North.