Interview tips

"Be Who You Are And Say What You Feel Because Those Who Mind Don't Matter And Those Who Matter Don't Mind." - Dr Seuss

The interview process may be the most difficult part of being hired. However, please understand that interviews are vitally important to us, as an employer, because they give us the opportunity to get to know you and learn about your personality and skill sets. The interview process gives us insight into who you are in ways that cannot be accomplished via a job application and CV.

There are three primary types of interviews we use:
  1. General Interviews

    A general interview is more like a casual discussion we use to get to know you better. We tend to use open-ended questions that allow you to present yourself in the best possible light. For example, we might ask you to describe what it was like to work in a particular job listed on your resume. Our goal is to see you identify skills used on that job and how they are transferable to Nuttersons.

  2. Technical Interview

    A technical interview will be required when the job you are applying for requires specific technical skills. Let's just say, for example, that you're applying for a position requiring JavaScript coding. We need you to demonstrate you are capable, above and beyond what you listed on your CV. We will ask questions and pose problems that will enable you to demonstrate your skills.

  3. Competency Interviews

    The competency interview is just as its name implies. We use this interview as a means of looking for evidence that you indeed have the skills and abilities to perform in the position for which you are applying. This interview includes dealing with some real-life examples that highlight your experience in a number of appropriate situations.

    The types of questions we might ask in a competency interview can be summed up in the following examples:
    • We may ask you to tell us of a particularly stressful situation you dealt with in the past, including the pressure you were under and how you handled it. We may ask for any solutions you came up with to the problem at hand.

    • We may ask you to describe a past scenario in which you faced conflict with another team member, a customer, or a vendor. Will want to know how you handled the conflict and how it turned out.

    • We may ask you about a past situation in which you were called on to create an innovative solution to a pressing problem. We will want to know what your solution was, how and why you used it, and whether or not it worked.

Preparing for your interview

If you don't want your interview to be a disaster, avoid the temptation of walking in unprepared. Believe us when we say that your incredible personality alone will not be enough to win you the job. You need to be well prepared so you demonstrate confidence and competence.

What can you do to be prepared? Here are a couple of suggestions:
  • Research - Take the time to do a little search on Nuttersons. Visit our website, learn what we do, and become as familiar as you can with the job you are applying for.

  • Review - The night before your interview, review your CV as though you were the HR manager. Look for obvious areas that may spark a question or two from the interview, and work out an honest and thorough answer.

  • Travel - Review your travel arrangements at least 24 hours in advance of your interview. If you will be travelling by air or rail, confirm your booking to make sure you'll arrive on time. If travelling by car, give yourself extra time in the event of traffic issues.

  • Test - If the position you will be applying for requires special skills that you will be tested on, prepare by doing some practice tests before hand. If you need to revise the skills listed on your CV, this is the time to do so.

  • Rehearse - Have a friend or family member rehearse the interview with you by asking some typical questions. However, do not memorise your answers word-for-word, as they will sound unnatural to the interviewer. Instead, come up with a general idea of how you want to answer.

During your interview

Always remember that the interview process is an opportunity for you to directly connect with your prospective new employer. Make the most of that connection by presenting yourself in a good light. Here are a few suggestions:
  • First Impressions - It has been said that the first impression you make is the most important one. So be sure to arrive on time, greet the interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake, present a pleasant attitude throughout your meeting, and show enthusiasm and self-confidence.

  • Sell Yourself - You are just one of many candidates applying for the same job. So do your best to sell yourself in terms of the skills and qualities you bring to the table. It helps to research our company and industry ahead of time, so you can sell yourself directly in relation to what we are all about.

  • Sell the Job - In addition to selling yourself, do your best to sell the job. In other words, convince the interviewer that you want this particular job, with our company, for very particular reasons. If the interviewer gets the impression that any job will do for you, he may just let you go look elsewhere.

  • Speak Clearly - It is very easy to panic during a job interview, thereby speaking too quickly and falling over your own words. Do your best to slow down, pronounce your words, and choose both your words and sentences wisely. Also, be sure to make eye contact every now and again.

  • Ask Questions - Almost every interviewer will give job candidates the opportunity to ask questions before concluding the interview. The purpose here is to see if you are truly interested in the position. However, don't ask unintelligent questions just for the sake of asking. If you have no questions, be honest and say so.

After the interview

Once your interview is complete, there is little else you can do to convince the hiring manager you are the right candidate. However, if you don't close out the interview properly, you can undo any positive vibe you've managed to generate. Here are a few tips for after the interview:
  • Show Your Appreciation - It is important to show your appreciation for the opportunity to present yourself. This does not mean you're buying flowers or offering the interviewer lunch, but it does mean saying your goodbyes with a firm handshake and polite 'thank you'.

  • Ask for Feedback - If the interviewer does not mention offering feedback, make sure you request it. Receiving feedback gives you the opportunity to improve your presentation should you not get the position you have applied for. What's more, your willingness to accept feedback may push you over the top with the interviewer.

  • Follow-Up - About 7 to 10 days after your interview, be sure to follow-up with a phone call. Do not make an annoyance of yourself, but do inquire as to how the hiring process is going and whether or not the company has any further interest in you.
The interview process is a scary one for many people, but it doesn't have to be. If you absorb the tips we've offered here, your interview with Nuttersons will likely be easier than you think.

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