Week 59 
 
Welcome to the Fifty ninth WISH bulletin. 
 
Hi there, welcome to the fifty ninth bulletin. As you are aware we're finishing WISH at the end of June. Over the final few bulletins we will be reviewing the best bits of the bulletins issued over the last year. As many people have been starting to achieve interviews recently, and as the jobs market is improving, we thought we would consolidate the interview questions we've covered.  
 
Here are 20 of the most popular interview questions you may get asked -  
 
Tell me about yourself 
 
This will normally be the first question you’ll get asked in an interview. Here, the interviewer is looking to get a sense of what you’re like as a person and get an overview of your experience and work history. 
 
Keep it short and to the point, making sure you focus on the elements you really want to talk about. Be careful not to simply regurgitate the work history on your CV. It’s important to be bright, positive and relaxed to make sure you make a great first impression. There is nothing wrong with mentioning some personal stuff, but keep it to a minimum, particularly family-related stuff.  
 
What are your weaknesses? 
 
The biggest mistake you can make with this question is to say that you don’t have any weaknesses. The interviewer is looking to employ a human and not a robot, so avoid this answer as you risk looking arrogant. Same goes for dressing down a positive as a negative, e.g. “I’m a perfectionist” or “I work too hard”. The interviewer is likely to see straight through this! 
 
Use this question as an opportunity to identify something you would like to improve on. Identify a weakness, but then suggest ways in which you can resolve it. Employers are much more likely to respond to an answer like this as it shows that you are willing to invest time into your own professional development and are not complacent.  
 
Why should we choose you for this job? 
 
This question is a difficult one as it is basically asking you to blow your own trumpet and say why you are better than the other candidates. However, there is a tactical way to do this so don’t just dive straight in. 
 
This question gives you the perfect opportunity to show why you are suited to the job. Bear in mind that it’s likely that other candidates have the same or similar qualifications as you, so here you need to show what makes you different, and what skills you can bring to the role that maybe others can’t. Make sure you know the job description inside out and cover your suitability for the criteria in detail.  
 
What are your hobbies outside of work? 
 
Employers will often ask questions about your personal life to get an insight into your personality and see how you’d fit in with the team. Although this question is relatively informal, make sure your answer is sensible. 
 
If you’re part of a sports team or community group, this is a great thing to mention as it shows that you can work in a team or enjoy helping others. If you enjoy reading industry blogs or watching webinars on the weekend, it’s great to mention this too. But, if you don’t do these things, don’t lie. Cycling, watching the cricket or trying out new recipes are all good enough answers! 
 
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? 
 
This is one of the most typical interview questions, so it’s important that you’ve thought about your answer. For this question, the interviewer is looking for an answer that shows you have goals and are ambitious. Be honest but realistic. 
 
Avoid talking about money, or about starting up your own business as these are not the intentions your potential employers will be looking for you to have. Instead, put your ambitions into context within your role and the company, his will show the interviewer that you are committed and driven. 
 
Why are you leaving your current position? 
The worst thing to do when faced with this question is to speak about your current employer or colleagues in a negative way. This will make you look unprofessional and alluding to rifts between you and your manager or colleagues will make you appear difficult to work with. 
Instead, focus on what appeals to you about the role you’re applying for and why you’re looking to explore new opportunities. Your answer should reflect your aims for positive personal development. 
 
What are your main strengths? 
 
For this question, don’t fall into the trap of reeling off a list of generic qualities. Instead, focus on 3 or 4 key strengths that make you suited to the role. Give examples from your previous experience for each strength to demonstrate your capabilities to the interviewer. 
 
Why do you want to work here? 
 
This question gives you the perfect opportunity to show that you have thoroughly researched the company you’re applying to. This is your chance to show that you have a good understanding of the role and what is required of you, explaining how this job aligns with your personal career goals. 
 
When answering this question, it’s important to focus on the employer and explain what you can do for them, and not the other way around.  
 
What motivates you? 
 
There’s no right or wrong answer for this question as everyone’s answer will be different. In this instance, the interviewer is looking to find out what makes you tick, and what you really value. Therefore, your answer needs to reflect this. Whatever your answer is, make sure you say why. 
 
Be careful saying that money is what motivates you. Although it might be honest, it can lead your employer to worry about you leaving the company at the first sign of an opportunity with a bigger salary. 
 
Do you prefer working by yourself or working in a team? 
 
This question is a tricky one as both are hugely important. Show that you are aware of the benefits of both and that you understand that you need to be comfortable working in either scenario. Perhaps give examples of roles where you have done both very effectively.  
 
It’s fine to have a preference, as many of us will prefer one to the other, but the key is to make sure you demonstrate that you can do both. 
 
What are your salary expectations? 
 
Usually you will have a good idea about the salary on offer so answering this shouldn’t be too difficult. Suggest a range of pay you would be happy with, but do not name a specific amount. 
 
Do your research into the industry and what other companies pay their employees for the same role to inform your answer before the interview. 
 
Tell me about an achievement you are proud of? 
 
This question is extremely popular with employers, so you need to make sure that you have an answer ready. The interviewer is looking for a work-related or academic answer, so it is best to avoid talking about your personal life unless you can relate it to work. 
 
Although you may have several accomplishments you are proud of, you’re best to choose one that you can speak about in detail. Explain what the situation was, the challenges you faced, how you dealt with it and the outcome in a concise and confident manner. Show enthusiasm and speak proudly about your achievements to invoke a positive response from the interviewer. 
 
Tell me about a challenging situation and how you overcame it 
 
For this question, the interviewer is testing your ability to be resilient and cope under pressure. Your answer should focus on a work-related issue, explain clearly the measures you took to overcome the problem. 
 
This question gives you the opportunity to demonstrate how you can use your initiative and act with integrity. Don’t fall into the trap of criticising your company or colleagues and trying to present yourself in a superior light. This will come across as unprofessional and arrogant. 
 
What do you know about the company? 
 
Research, research, research! In order to answer this question well, you must show an understanding and awareness of what the company does. This includes the different service areas it offers, who their main clients are, and a good idea about the size of the company. You should also research the history of the business, find out when it was started and what the company has achieved. 
 
It doesn’t matter how competent and qualified you are for the role, turning up to the interview unprepared for this question can completely ruining your chances of getting the job. 
 
What would your colleagues say are your best qualities? 
 
The interviewer is looking to assess your relationships with your colleagues and how you engage with other team members. They’re looking to see if you’ll be a good match for their team. Avoid giving vague or over the top claims, this will dent the credibility of your answer. 
Instead, prepare for this question prior to the interview. Ask your existing colleagues what they would say about you and think about examples you can use to back their comments up.  
 
Qualities that your future employers would want to see include; being positive, hard-working, dependable and easy to get along with. 
If you have already left your position and do not feel comfortable contacting your old co-workers, think back to previous appraisals and use the positive feedback you received to form your answer. 
 
What experience can you bring to this job from your previous role? 
 
When it comes to this question you’ll need to explain how your previous experience translates into this role and how it will enhance your performance. This should be easy to answer if you’re applying for a job which is similar to your existing role, as a lot of your previous experience should correspond directly. Ensure that you have specific examples you can use in your answer and talk about how you’d apply what you have learnt from previous roles. 
 
The difficulty comes if you’re switching from one industry to another, or if you’re starting a new career path. If this is the case, focus on transferable skills that you can bring to the role such as being self-motivated, working in a team, time management skills, using your initiative and great communication skills. 
 
What makes a good team leader/manager? 
 
This is a difficult question as most people will have different ideas about what makes a good manager. If you’re applying for a managerial role, or if you might progress into one, you’ll need to show a good understanding of the most important qualities to manage people effectively. 
 
Setting realistic goals, giving constructive feedback and providing support to team members to help them build their skillset are all good examples of excellent management qualities. 
 
What do you consider to be your biggest failure? 
 
The key with this question is to see it as a positive and as an opportunity to discuss your personal growth. The biggest mistake you can make with your answer is to say that you haven’t had any failures. This will come across defensive and will damage your credibility. 
 
Choose an answer that you can draw positives from and explain what you learnt from this failure. It’s important to be accountable for your own mistakes, so avoid blaming your failure on anyone else. Instead, explain why you failed, and how you used this failure as a springboard for success. 
 
How do you deal with pressure at work? 
 
A good way to approach this question is to explain the measures you put in place to prevent an issue from spiralling into a stressful situation. For example, balancing projects effectively and keeping to a tight time schedule. Give an example of when you were faced with a difficult situation and how you kept a cool head. 
 
The interviewer will be looking for you to demonstrate that you are able to work well under pressure and stay focused on the task in hand. Getting overwhelmed by stress can be counter-productive, especially when working in a team. Employers will look to avoid hiring candidates who crack under pressure. Being honest and seeking help when needed is a key skill though, and far more preferable to trying to finish an unrealistic job on your own. 
 
Why is there a gap in your work history? 
 
As awkward as it may be, if you have a significant gap in your work history you need to have an answer prepared as it’s likely that the interviewer will ask you about it. Whether you took some time out to travel, to start a family, or if you were let go from a previous job and took some time to find a new one, ensure that you speak about it in a positive way. Explain what the break taught you and how it contributed to your personal growth. 
 
Don't lie about gaps in your history or dates with a company, your potential employer can check up on this and you won’t get away with it. 
 
The most important thing with this question is to practice answering it with a smile on your face, a confident and honest explanation and full ownership of it. If you seem vague or appearing to be hiding stuff, it will generate some doubt and possible suspicion. 
 
Horsham Wellbeing Hub 
 
Horsham's new Wellbeing Centre in Horsham town will officially be opening on Saturday 19 June.  
 
The Hub will offer support to residents and those working in the Horsham District aged 18+. The main focus of the hub will be to engage with the community and provide FREE support and services for those that want to improve their general health and wellbeing. 
 
Here is the link for more information on the launch - Horsham Wellbeing Hub Launch Saturday 19th June 10am - 4pm 
 
There will be a number of events following the launch, click here to see more details.  
 
Need to give your Jobserching a bit of a kick!?? 
 
Restarting your jobsearching with a revitalised perspective can be very effective. There is nothing wrong in wiping the slate clean and starting again. Imagine you've just started looking for work, and re-start with all the good lessons you've learned. Really give your approach a thorough review and scrub-up, we can all use it sometimes; humans are really good at getting in to bad habits.  
 
Here are a couple of site that have some excellent suggestions. My personal favourite is the new Indeed guide - indeed.com/job-hunting-tips 
 
Here is a website that gives some simple and short ideas how to give this a kick start. We all, at times need to draw a line and reflect and renew how we do things. it is very easy to keep trying the same methods but some small changes can be very beneficial to not just your chances but also your confidence and motivation.  
 
Whether it's networking, job type or strategies, this link gives some great suggestions - 5-ways-to-kick-start-your-job-search 
 
Local new vacancies  
From now on the new vacancies will be uploaded as a pdf, so you can download and save them yourself -  
here are the links for the most recent uploads - click here 
 
And finally, WISH will be finishing at the end of June, so we'll not be taking on any more people from now, however Horsham District Council will continue with employment support after that via the fabulous new team now in place.  
 
All the information you need can be accessed via this link - horsham employment support 
 
We are doing more online and telephone 1-2-1s, so if you're an existing WISH participant please do get in touch with Richard if you would like some specific support via the email below.  
 
See you soon we hope and please take good care.  
 
Richard and Mel 
 
Richard Brooks FIEP - Director. 
Mobile - 07783 222956 
Office - 01403 627766 
Email - richard.brooks@setas.org.uk 
Specialist Employment, Training and Advice Services 
 
Mel Simmonds 
Mobile – 07855 634679 
Email – simmondsmel@icloud.com 
 
 
SETAS Ltd. Bailey House, 4-10 Barttelot Road, Horsham, RH12 1DQ 
 
https://www.setas.org.uk/ 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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