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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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Shock at the death of “wonderful community activist”

There was a great sense of shock over the weekend when new of the death of Yvonne Quill, a Tidy Towns champion and wonderful community activist, became known. Yvonne, from […]

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There was a great sense of shock over the weekend when new of the death of Yvonne Quill, a Tidy Towns champion and wonderful community activist, became known.

Yvonne, from Barleymount and formerly of the Cafe, College Street, passed away following a short illness on Friday. Requiem Mass takes place this morning (Monday) at 11am in The Prince of Peace Church, Fossa, followed by burial in Aghadoe Lawn Cemetery.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce President Niall Kelleher said she will be very fondly remembered as an incredibly dedicated woman, a strong personality who led by example and spearheaded the town’s Tidy Towns committee with such passion for over 25 years.

He recalled that her proudest day was when, as chairperson of the Killarney Looking Good Committee, she inspired Killarney to the prestigious overall national award in 2011 which had proved so elusive prior to that.

“Yvonne led by example and she never asked anyone to do something she wouldn’t do herself. You would seldom see her without the yellow bib, playing her part and showing us all what needed to be done to give Killarney the edge,” Mr Kelleher said.

“While winning the overall prize was something special, Killarney has never been far from the top and it has won a gold medal almost every year which is testament to Yvonne’s great ability to organise, her steely determination and her unrivalled ability to rally the troops,” he added.

The Chamber President also remembered her as a great businesswoman, a master baker and confectioner whose café on College Street was a must-visit for a whole generation of Killarney people and visitors.

“Yvonne Quill has left a great legacy in her home town. We thank her for what she has done, we’ll remember her incredible work ethic and we’ll ensure her name will live on in Killarney by continuing the commitment to the Tidy Towns initiative.”

Johnny McGuire, a member of the executive of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, who worked alongside Yvonne at the helm of the Tidy Towns committee, said she was a born leader who inspired the whole community and always led by example.

“Killarney would never have won the All-Ireland Tidy Towns award without her. She was the inspirational captain of the winning team. Yvonne worked night and day and, when it came to Tidy Towns, there was no downtime for her,” Mr McGuire said.

“Her commitment to the cause brought her into every school and every housing estate in Killarney. Working closely with the late Fr Michael Murphy, her great friend, Kathleen Foley, and others, they really put Killarney in contention for the top awards every year. The name Yvonne Quill was known and respected in Tidy Towns circles throughout the entire country – she really was a legend and everything she turned her hand to,
she succeeded. Killarney will miss her,” he added.

She will be deeply missed by her husband John, children Peter, Sandra and Sean, her son-in-law Peter, daughter-in-law Mairéad, grandchildren Anna, Jake, Ted, Abby and Luke, sister Angela Mulvey, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and extended family, friends, neighbours and the community.

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Jim awarded for life-long service to the community

By Michelle Crean Listry local Jim O’Shea was honoured last week as members of the community council presented him with an award for his life-long service to the community. Jim […]

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By Michelle Crean

Listry local Jim O’Shea was honoured last week as members of the community council presented him with an award for his life-long service to the community.

Jim received the O’Shea Award for 2022 at a meeting of Directors of Listry Community Council held on September 21.

Jim has been involved in Athletics from a very early age both as a competitor and administrator.

He was very much involved with Community Games in Milltown/Listry as organiser and coach. He was also involved with the Farranfore Maine Valley Athletic Club since its foundation.

Over the years Jim has competed in athletic events, mainly high jump and long jump, both in Ireland and abroad.

Recently he travelled to Derby in the UK in the British Masters Championship and won Gold in the 100 metres and Long Jump and finished second in the High Jump.

Jim, who is a very modest man, was actively involved with Listry Community Council as a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels and for his commitment to keeping our community litter free by organising a number of litter picking days each year.

Always interested in fitness, Jim often came along to the Listry Seniors Social day and led the group in gentle exercises.

“Jim is a very worthy recipient of the O’Shea Award 2022 and we thank him for a lifetime of service to others,” Tony Darmody, Chairman, said.

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