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Interview Tips

Top 5 questions to ask in a job interview


It’s the end of the interview and you’re asked “do you have any questions for us?”  This is your chance to stand out from the competition.  If you ask too few questions it will look like you haven’t properly researched the company which gives the impression that you are not really interested in the position.  If you ask too many questions this can be annoying; make sure you have several good questions prepared.


1.       Do you think I am the right person for this role?

If you want this job, it is important to ask this question.  Hopefully there won’t be any concerns, but it is important to show the interviewer your interest and that you are more than capable of meeting the job spec.

2.       What will be my biggest challenge?

Asking this question shows that you like to be prepared to meet the expectations which come with the job.

3.       What are the three most important skills needed to excel in this position?

With every position there is a set amount of skills required to do well. If you need to be highly organised, is this an area you struggle in, if so can you improve?

4.       Does the company offer professional training?

If training and professional development is important to you, make sure this is available in your new role.

5.       What systems do you have in place?

You will need to make sure that their current systems are adequate for you to fulfil your role within the company.  If they aren’t, find out if they are open to new suggestions of systems you have used in the past and know will work well.  This will show that you are proactive and know when to use your initiative.


What not to ask?

Your salary – you should want the job because it will excite and motivate you, yes the salary is important but it shouldn’t be the sole decision.  Wait for them to bring it up.

You should make sure that any questions you do ask has not already been covered. You want to make a good lasting impression, not a poor one which shows you don’t listen.


Good luck!

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Top 5 Tips to Ace Your Interview

For many candidates the interview can be the most daunting part of the recruitment process and can fill them with dread.   Job interviews are stressful by nature and almost everyone gets interview nerves.  Here are our top 5 tips to help you overcome your fears and ace an interview.

1.       Don’t be afraid to show off

The first question you are likely to be asked is “what do you know about the company?” if you say nothing that will not get you off to a flying start.  When researching a company my two stops are the company website and Google.  Use the website to find out who they are, what they are about, their clients and their target audience.  Searching the company on Google will return any blogs, press releases and breaking news about the company – all useful information to start off the interview!

Remember to take a copy of your CV/Resume and the job description to refer back to, it is also worth putting your CV on to a USB stick, and of course prepare your portfolio if one is required.

2.       Practice makes perfect

It’s always a good idea to practice being interviewed before the real deal, to become familiar with questions you are most likely going to be asked.  The more comfortable you are with answering the questions the easier the interview will be.

Interview questions will depend on the job level you are applying for, but there are general questions you are likely to be asked such as ‘What are your strengths/weaknesses, your goals, accomplishments and how you handled a difficult task.’

Practice in plenty of time and you won’t have any problems answering the questions.

3.       Timekeeping

We shouldn’t need to tell you this – make sure you’re on time.  First impressions count and showing up 10 minutes late will do you no favours with your interviewer.

Have a practice run getting to the interview on time, use Google maps for exact directions and have alternative routes should there be any problems.  Take note of the contact number for both the recruiter and the company your interview is with, should there be any problems you can let them know.

4.       Make an effort

Unsure what to wear?  Always go for the smart option.  You don’t need to over-do it, a suit or dress will be appropriate for most companies.  I would advise not to use any heavy aftershave or perfume and be careful on the make-up – you want to make a lasting impression for the right reasons.

5.       Once the interview is over

Always ask for feedback from the interviewer, if you were unsuccessful, take away the experiences learned and improve on your technique for the next time.   If you show your initiative and keenness, the interviewer might consider you for future vacancies at the company.

You should always follow up with a thank you email/phone call for the interviewer’s time, regardless of the outcome.

And, if you can’t remember those top 5 tips then remember these top 3 tips shared by a recruitment consultant:

  1. Don’t swear
  2. Remember to shower
  3. Make sure your zipper is up


Good luck!

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Is your CV working for or against you?

Have you registered your CV with an online job board?  If you have, congratulations!  It’s probably the best way to find a job in this digital era.   The days of ‘situations vacant’ in printed media are quickly becoming ancient history, and the online job board CV database is now the talent spotting ground of choice for employers and recruiters.

Here is the good news:  your resume will most likely be picked up by recruiters who make their money by finding and placing suitable candidates for their clients.  So, all you need to do is to register your CV, sit back and dream of your next job, wait for the phone to ring, no more scouring the net, papers or journals for jobs, no fee to pay the recruitment company, it couldn’t be easier, could it?

Continue reading “Is your CV working for or against you?” »

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5 Reasons You Didn’t Get the Job

Facing rejection from a job application at any stage can be really disappointing, and leave you wondering just where you went wrong.  This can be particularly frustrating for you when you don’t even get any feedback on the reasons behind your lack of success.  Rather than feeling negative, it’s important to try and turn this into an opportunity for reflection and self analysis, and most importantly a chance to improve your future performance.  So here’s 5 reasons you might have failed to land the job?

You didn’t even get an interview

Have you fallen at the first hurdle?  Did you really make sure that your CV was as sharp as it could be?  Did you reveal the uncanny similarities between your skills, experience and qualifications, and those specified in the job description and person specification, or did you leave it to the telepathic powers of the reader?  The big question here is was your application a complete waste of time, and if you didn’t really put in the leg work at this stage, the painful truth is that you probably wasted your postage stamp.  Click here for tips on making your CV the best it can be.

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Top 5 tips to succeed at Telephone Interviews

A telephone interview may be the first stage to getting your next job, and preparation for this all important stage shouldn’t be overlooked.  You may be called by the hiring manager, a HR person or a recruiter, it may be prearranged or out of the blue, either way a bit of preparation and knowing how to handle a telephone interview will go a long way to improving your chances of progressing to the next stage.

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How to overcome pre-interview nerves

What really scares you?  Going to the dentist? Big spiders and creepy crawlies? or perhaps what really puts the frighteners on you is attending an interview.  Do you recognise those tell tale signs, of dry mouth, sweating palms, blank mind and the desperate urge to exit the room as soon as possible?  It’s a familiar tale for many people who dread interviews and suffer terribly from interview nerves.

In this article I hope to offer a few nuggets of advice that may just help get the whole thing under control.  The good news is that a little bit of nervous energy is a good thing, the bad news is that let it get out of control, and it can ruin your chances of securing your next job.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Chances at Interview

You’ve got to the final hurdle, your CV has done the trick and the day of judgement is coming.  Don’t leave this meeting to chance, as there’s plenty you can do to ensure that you perform to the best of your ability at the all important interview stage.

Be There

Number one has to be – turn up.  Now this is not as daft as it at first seems, as turning up at the right place and at the right time is fraught with potential disaster, anxiety inducing delayed trains or missing buses, or perhaps your apparently vindictive Sat Nav might lead you completely astray.  There’s nothing worse than that all knowing voice in the car telling you that “you have reached your destination,” only to find yourself on the wrong side of the motorway with 15 miles to the next intersection.

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Questions you should ask at interview

You’ve probably experienced that classic moment at the end of the interview where your interviewer asks you that final question:  “Do you have any questions for us?”  This can result in an uncomfortable shuffle in the chair and the standard reply, “No, I think you’ve covered everything.”  How much better would the end of your interview be if you could produce a couple of searching and conversation stimulating questions to top off your performance?   Questions which could really make the difference and leave a lasting positive impression in the mind of your interviewer.

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Disclaimer: Any views here do not necessarily reflect the views of OilCareers Ltd. As such we cannot be held responsible for the views expressed here or any actions taken as a consequence.