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Prepare appropriately for your job interview

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If you have been called to an interview – well done! Your CV has clearly impressed the employer. Now is your chance to impress them further and convince them that you are the type of employee they are looking for. Interviewers will want to know three key things:

1) What have you got that they need

2) How will you apply it to the role

3) And why do you want to work with them?

These three core questions can be asked in a variety of ways which we will explore further in next week’s column, but first you need to be very clear about what type of interview you are being called for and prepare appropriately for that particular format.

COMPETENCY

Competency interviews are the most commonly used format where employers identify five to six key characteristics/traits the successful candidate must be able to prove they have by providing examples.
The best approach here is to study the job specification carefully in the job advert, focus on the key competencies they are looking for, prepare examples from previous experience in a structured way and practice your answers out loud.

STRENGTH BASED INTERVIEWS

Strengths-based interviews are on the increase and focus on asking questions to figure out what you enjoy doing in the work context. What potential employers will want to hear is what your key strengths are and how they will benefit their company. You will need to study the job specification carefully to see what strengths they require for the role and then try to match that. Taking online personality and strength tests can help to reflect on what you are best at. Ask those that know you to help out too.

TECHNICAL INTERVIEWS

Technical interviews focus on the area(s) of expertise that are relevant to the job and will require you to prove what you will need to know when you are doing the job. For example, to get an engineering position you may be asked to solve a mechanical problem. Think about what specific tasks are relevant to the new role and practice them especially if it has been a while since you have worked on a task like that.

WHITEBOARD INTERVIEWS

Whiteboard interviews are usually used where analytical skills are required and this is where you will be asked to demonstrate that you can work something out in front of the interview board. It could be on a computer, a whiteboard or a piece of paper. You will definitely need to practice talking this process out with a friend as if you were teaching them how to solve the problem in question ahead of the interview.

PHONE INTERVIEWS

Phone interviews have become popular during COVID-19 because of social distancing and also because you are not at a disadvantage if WiFi isn’t reliable. Before this type of interview, practice with a friend to ensure you have good mobile coverage and make sure there are no distractions around you. It can help to have keywords/points written down to keep you focused when answering as it can be easy to drift off-topic when you are not face-to-face with in interviewer.

SKYPE/ZOOM/MICROSOFT TEAMS

Skype/Zoom/Microsoft Teams interviews are on the increase and you really need to be careful to ensure your best performance. Lighting and positioning of the camera is critical, be careful of your background and dress as if you were at a face-to-face interview. Be very careful of your microphone prior to the interview while waiting to be admitted to the ‘interview meeting’, during it and afterwards. You don’t want to be heard discussing the interviewers in the aftermath. Practice looking into the camera on your device and not the middle of the screen.

PRESENTATION INTERVIEWS

Presentation interviews can really stress some people out because of their fear of public speaking but remember this is a part of the interview that you can really control. Take care to check exactly how long you must talk for, keep any slides/props to a minimum and with simple content, and talk directly to the interviewers not the screen. Rehearse it in front of someone beforehand.

GROUP INTERVIEWS

Group interviews more often than not involve you and other candidates being given a topic often related loosely to the job to discuss. You are generally given some time to read through the content before the discussion starts. The aim here is to have your voice heard, to make a meaningful contribution but also be mindful of the views of others and their space to contribute. Interviewers will be looking for people that are assertive and understanding and that can lead a discussion but not take it over completely!

In next week’s column we will look more specifically at how to answer interview questions.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore and PRO of Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She can be contacted on careerfocusnow@gmail.com.

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Killarney stage to feature in new look Rás Mumhan

Cycling By Sean Moriarty Killarney will play a crucial role in the revival of four-day Kerry Group Rás Mumhan cycle race. The event, one of the biggest road races in Ireland. It has not run since 2019 after Killorglin Cycling Club withdrew from organising it.The organisation of Rás Mumhan was transferred to a committee in […]

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Cycling

By Sean Moriarty

Killarney will play a crucial role in the revival of four-day Kerry Group Rás Mumhan cycle race.

The event, one of the biggest road races in Ireland. It has not run since 2019 after Killorglin Cycling Club withdrew from organising it.
The organisation of Rás Mumhan was transferred to a committee in County Tipperary but they never got the event off the ground as a result of the pandemic.

A new joint effort between four cycling clubs in Kerry has taken over the running of the event under new race director Daithi Creedon and his committee.

It will be the first major Stage Race on the Irish Cycling Calendar and will take place over the four days of Easter weekend from April 15 to April 18.

Killarney Cycling club will run the second leg of the event – a stage from the town to Sneem via Bealach Oisin Pass on Easter Saturday.

The opening leg will be hosted by Tralee Manor West BC and will start and finish in the county town and run via Annascaul and Castlemaine.

Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club is in charge of day three which takes in Knocknagree, Rathmore and Kishkeam.

The final day is in the hands of Currow Cycling Club and they will run the Knocknagoshel to Headley’s Bridge looped stage.

“This year’s route will allow the riders to race every day, with undulating roads and deliberately staying away from big category 1 climbs, this will open up the race for aggressive racing. Stage four will be a spectator friendly stage and will be a great finale to Rás Mumhan,” said Creedon.

“We wish to acknowledge and thank Killorglin Cycling Club for the fantastic work they have carried out in promoting and running this event in the past.”

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Northern lights delight for Aoife and Sinead

By Con Dennehy The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Tyrone hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships. Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was the Spa/Killarney trio of Aoife Walsh, Sinead Moriarty and Niamh Faulds who shot out the Northern […]

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By Con Dennehy

The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Tyrone hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships.

Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was the Spa/Killarney trio of Aoife Walsh, Sinead Moriarty and Niamh Faulds who shot out the Northern lights with a phenomenal display of handball.

In the Ladies ‘Challenger 1 Wall’ competition Aoife Walsh faced a top-class field.

Following quarter and semi-final wins, she went into the final with the favourites tag.

Walsh again produced a sizzling display of handball to outclass her opponent, Emma O’Neill (Tyrone), to clinch the title on a 15-4 scoreline.

There was further joy for the Spa based club when one of their promising new players, Sinead Moriarty, teamed up with Clare Conway (Tyrone) and Carla Corcoran (Tyrone) in the Mixed Grade team competition.

Twelve teams contested this competition with Moriarty key to their success. In the opening rounds the team scored 25-16 and 25-20 to reach the final where they had an impressive 25-22 victory in a classic game that showcased the finer skills of handball.

The other Killarney competitor, Niamh Faulds added to her growing reputation with some impressive games in the “1 Wall’, ‘4 Wall’ and team competitions, winning one game and narrowly loosing out in the other games despite close 25-18, 21-19, 21-17 score-lines.

“This has been a historic and important weekend for women’s handball in Kerry. Winning titles is a massive boost for the sport and something we can build on in the coming weeks and months,” said Jack O’Shea, P.R.O. of the Kerry Handball Board.

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