Interview and tests

Your entrance ticket - How to do a good interview

Your entrance ticket to work!

The interview is the entry ticket for the job. You are through the first needle eye, why not prepare yourself well, to strengthen the chances that your job will be yours?

Some go through their career without finding the "dream job". Therefore, be sure to be prepared when the chance to get the perfect position appears. You must convince when presenting your best qualities and experiences. You simply have to be an effective interview object.

Just getting a job interview is a victory in itself! You are qualified, now you distinguish yourself from the other candidates.

Now you have to prepare yourself!

Be efficient, bring out your best features!

Remember that the interview is the best opportunity you have to get an insight into the position and the company, and find out how you can contribute to achieving the company's goals for growth and earnings.

Think through how you will present yourself. To sell themselves to a prospective employer within 45 minutes is enough to make anyone a little nervous. There is a simple way to overcome nervousness on - by exercising the interview situation. Ask someone you trust to interview you, and give you constructive criticism.

In an interview you can encounter anything from 1 to 3-4 people, but do not stress of being in the minority. Remember that these people basically like what they already know about you. How you behave, the way you respond and you are perceived by interviewers, is crucial if you are to be offered the job. They are often as excited as you. They have, hopefully, worked hard to pick out potential candidates and have great expectations.

Some tips:
• Prepare a three-minute presentation of yourself.
• Tell us why you are interested in the position / company.
• Explain why you are the best qualified.
• Read your application and CV again, especially if it has been a while since you wrote them.

Interviewers often start with what you have written when they ask questions.
• Check dates positions, responsibilities and achievements.
• Be aware of your good qualities, and think through what you can improve on.

Prepare to present examples and achievements, and how these experiences can help the company to resolve some of their challenges. Concentrate on the last thing you've done, but do not forget the start of your career if you have worked for some years.

Know the position
Try to imagine a picture of the position, the main duties and responsibilities, as well as what is expected of the position.

Know the company
Search online and find out as much as possible about the company. Perhaps you know someone there? This is a typical question: - What do you know about us?

Some sources:
• Internet
• Magazines
• Annual Reports
• Friends and colleagues

No job interviews are similar, but they have some common features. The interview is a friendly invitation from a recruiter who are curious about what you have to contribute, both personally and professionally. An interview should not be an oral examination or third interrogation.

Remember that recruits want answers to the following:
• Motivation - you seem particularly interested in this position? Do you want and can you do the job?
• Commitment - do you do whatever it takes for the task?
• Chemistry - will you fit in?
• Results - what you have achieved in the past?

Some Tips on Interview Day
• Meet precise, not too early or too late.
• Take notes, resume, application, certificates and diplomas.
• Turn off your mobile phone.
• It is normal to be nervous, and the interviewer knows.
• Say it as it is, it dampens nervousness.
• Show interest and motivation for the position.

Emphasize achievements and goals you have accomplished. Bring out the trust other people have shown you, usually with facts and figures if previous employers are what you are referring to. Answer honestly and directly to questions. Interviewers seek candidates they can trust. If you need to discuss negative experiences, be honest and point to what you have learned, and why you are not going to make the same mistakes again. Answer the question directly. You should not ignore a question by answering something else or by asking a counter question. If you are unsure about a question, ask to have it repeated.

Ask specific questions.
Be positive when you tell why you might, want to leave the job you are in, or previous jobs. Important keywords are "more" and "several." You will have more challenges, more responsibility, more opportunities etc. If you were fired or laid off, stressing what you have learned from this and how the experience has made you even more proficient in what you do.

The first impression
The interview is often the single most important factor that determines whether you get a job, so the first impression is important. A firm handshake is always positive. Dress well and slightly conservative. Then you will give a professional impression. Please check in advance how the staff is dressed there. During the interview you should add focus on being

• Engaged - show that you want your job!
• Offensive - be direct, ask questions
• Smiling - good mood breaks barriers

Give examples of what you have done and why. Practice like role play for practicing some answers before the interview. Answer clearly and concisely, avoid chattering away (easily done when one is nervous). If you are asked to tell about yourself, so limit your answer to two or three minutes and put emphasis on the personal achievement, without bragging.

Be sure to have a good appearance, be polite and tolerant. Have good eye contact with the interviewer. Reply detailed enough on questions. Let interviews come with proposals on wages. Think about whether you have added yourself bad habits when you are nervous. Some yawn, others fans energetic with the foot under the table. It may be wise to weed out such.

The process in an interview
As a rule, the recruiter opens the interview to tell about the company and the vacancy. During the interview you may be asked tough questions. These are designed to see how you react to pressure and unfamiliar terrain. There are no standard answers to these questions. See standard question in next page.

An interview is an exchange of information. Show interest by asking questions. Prepare some questions about the company and job in advance. An interview usually lasts 45-90 minutes. Sometimes you may be asked to take a personality test and some employers interviews candidates in groups.

The Interviewed is rounded usually with information about the process. How long it will take, how many applicants there are and how many are called for an interview. You will usually get to know when you can expect to hear anything. If it is not mentioned anywhere…, ASK.

Asking questions
Visit the website of the company and familiarize yourself with what it stands for, then you could come up with two or three questions that make the interviewer interested in you. To find out more about the position and the company, and who can help you to understand better what the interviewer is looking for.

• What do you see as its main competitive advantages?
• How does a typical day for this position look like?
• Do you have a training program, and what it contains of?
• How do you see the development of the company in the next five years?

If important information about you is not reached, try to get this told this before you depart. You should also have a clear picture of how a working day would appear to you. Find out the next steps in the hiring process and when it will happen.

Salary question
The question of salary may be sensitive and lead to several rounds of negotiations. Most companies strive to provide a fair offer. They want to bring in new staff at a salary level that makes it attractive to change jobs, but it should be in proportion to the existing salary structure of the company.

The position is the most important element in your decision. No amount of money can make a bad situation or a bad company to a good choice. A good position in a good working environment provides many benefits that cannot be bought for money.

Be flexible. Working conditions are a package of salary, bonuses, titles, development opportunities, skills / training / education, localization and other goods. these may combined and adapted in many different ways. Sometimes it is used great creativity to satisfy both the individual and the company.

If you are asked what kind of salary you are looking for, try to avoid disclosing a concrete figure. This is to avoid under- or overpricing yourself. Try something like this:
"I'm very interested in the position and believe I can contribute to growth. I currently make ... pr. Year and I am open to a competitive offer".

After the interview
If it feels right, you can send an e-mail thanking for a pleasant interview. Depending on what was said in the interview, you can call after approximately 14 days, if you have not heard anything. Do not be discouraged even if you do not get the job. Do not forget that when you have been called for an interview, the employer considers you as qualified for the position! It is also good exercise in going to interview. You may have made a great impression even if you did not get the job.
Interview questions
Candidates who are genuinely keen to help, deliver and create value are more interesting to listen to. You simply makes a better figure and you are often more confident. Conversation is more constructive, productive and precursor easier and smoother. It gives interviewers desperately needed refills, something you will be remembered for.

There is no definitive answer on what a recruiter will ask about in an interview. Below are some questions that are common to be asked, but these will vary from person to person. However, if you get familiar with this type of question, it will give you the opportunity to respond in more relaxed way.

• What made you apply for this vacancy?
• What was it, that got you to respond to our ad?
• What do you know about our company?

During review of the CV you may receive following questions:
• Why did you choose the education you have chosen?
• Which subjects do you like / like less?
• Are you satisfied with your selection or would you have chosen differently if you got "a reboot"?
• How have you structured your life as a student in order to achieve results?
• What results did you achieve during your studies / school? Are you satisfied with them? Is there anything you could have done differently?
• Have you completed your studies? Do you plan on further studies / education? Why?

During review of the work experience you may get the following questions:
• What responsibilities did you have there?
• How big was the department?
• Who did you collaborate with?
• Which tasks did you like / liked less?
• Is there anything you are particularly proud to have contributed to in this position?
• What do you think your manager would say about you, if we asked him?
• Why did you stop there? Who was your leader?

General information about you?
• What do you fill your free time with? How do you organize your life? Family/friends etc.?
• What is the most important you have acquired through education / practice?
• What is usually your contribution in a team? Give me a specific example from once a project did not work. What happened? What did you do to get it to work?
• What characterizes a good working environment for you?
• What characterizes a good leader in your eyes?
• What do you think around the word conflict? Give a specific example from the last time you were in a conflict.
• What would you do differently if you had arrived in a similar situation today?
• Why do you want to terminate your current position?
• What are your plans and ambitions for the future?
• Who have made you, who you are?
• When you know that you are stressed? In what situations is that?
• If I call your superiors in the your last position and ask what personal qualities you can improve, what will the person say?

The last twisting question!
As final question you may get: "Which specific value do you put onto your work?"

Awareness of own value creation is something most people can (and should) do something about. It is not always easy to express this value in dollars and cents, but one should challenge themselves and try anyway. If you cannot express it in money, so come at least to the conclusion that you are supposed to deliver!

Good luck with the interview!
Interview forms
Different interview forms..

First interview is often intended as a pure screening process. The real test will meet first in the next rounds. In this interview, the recruits want to explore your experience and get a picture of what kind of person you are. You present yourself and answer questions about education and experience.

This is often called biographical interview. How many rounds of interviews a business takes will vary. Most often, the companies have several interviews where the HR department recruits, regardless of line organization or to positions of many applicants.

Second interview
Coming after the first interview, you will meet the real test in the second-time interview. Generally, this is an in-depth interview where one focuses on your skills.

Often there are also professionals from the company in addition to employees from the personnel department present during the interview.

Third interview
There are not too many businesses running three rounds of interviews, but for those who do the third time will be the final itself.

Here, people from management being present, and it may only be a few candidates to choose from. It is common to talk about expectations for salary and workload in this round.

This applies high level positions.

Other interview forms
In addition to the usual interview conversation, there is a wealth of other interview forms. All have the same purpose, namely to find out how you react in different situations, how to think and how to solve tasks together with others.

In short, they help the interviewers to form a picture of you as a person.

Telephone interview
The first step in the recruitment process is often a telephone interview. It is important to treat this as seriously as a personal interview face to face. Choose a quiet place where you will not be disturbed, and have notes regarding the position and company, in addition to your own resume in front of you.

Telephone interview is often the first opportunity to give a good first impression, and it should take advantage of. Do not be afraid to ask for an appointment, have your calendar available so you can suggest dates for an interview that suits you.

Group Tasks / drills
Some companies want to take advantage of group interview, both to save money and to observe you in a social context. This is especially important in jobs where your social skills will be crucial for the performance of the job.

The most common is that several candidates interviewed simultaneously, or that the group get a common task to be solved jointly. To succeed in a group interview, be sure that you get off your opinions, while you must make sure to give others in the group space to express their views.

Quit your own post in that you want input from others on what you have just said.

Case Interview
Here you should solve concrete case in front of one or more interviewers. Through interviews general knowledge, business sense and creativity can get tested.

A typical case assignment might be: "A small local newspaper struggling with declining circulation and falling profitability. Suggest measures to reverse the negative trend. "It is clear that there is no definitive answer to such a question. Then all newspapers in Norway have been a goldmine, but the important thing here, is how you reason to find an answer. In addition, the company will see what kind of questions you ask during the task and how you present your answer.

Another example is typical "brain teasers": "How many diapers are sold in over a year in Norway?».

The aim of such interview is primarily to see how you analyze the problem and reasoning.

Assessment Centre
It is a place where they make a more thorough analysis of you, your personality and your skills.

The company by using such a tool, has the ability to measure the candidates on several more parameters than what a traditional interview presents. Such assessment centers can be vary and it is difficult to give an adequate definition.

Usually this assessment takes over a half to two days and is a form of package solution that includes ability tests, personality tests, group exercises and business case. Shared here is that candidates are being monitored by several observers while solving puzzles.

Here the observer will see how to work in teams, how good you are to cooperate, if you take the initiative and you are good to perform the tasks.

Personality Tests
It has become prevalent to combine interview with a personality test. There is a wealth of tests on the market and the quality varies.

The point of a personality test is to measure your personality in relation to different personality scales. It acts as a guide on your personality, but it should not act as a complete analysis of how you are as a person.

You are entitled to get a review of personality test, and most interviewers also want this to start a conversation around your personality.

Aptitude and proficiency tests
Aptitude tests have become a common supplement for interviews regarding recruitment of managers, specialists and trainees.

These tests can give a good indication of how you think when you solve and how you acquire new knowledge. An aptitude test may be a test of numerical understanding, logical thinking or verbal abilities. In addition, there are several skill tests which check, for example, your language skills. There are also many companies that want to test IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence).

A tip would be to search online for various tests. It will not necessarily help in the actual performance, but you will often feel a little more confident and less nervous when you have taken such tests in advance and know what goes on.
Tests are widely used by recruitment companies and large organizations. The variation in the tests used is however very large - the type of them, what they intend to measure and their quality.

The reason you as jobseeker can be asked to fill out a test, is to increase the likelihood that you will be the right person for the job - and the job should be just for you. Fewest recruitment mistakes will be made if you use a structured interview in combination with relevant and good aptitude and personality tests as someone who is considered qualified for the position.

We usually distinguished tests measuring respectively typical and maximum performance. Examples of tests that measure candidates' typical performance may be interest and personality tests. Candidates maximum performance can be measured through aptitude and skills tests.

If the company you have applied for want you to take a test, you have a right to know why they use the current test, explains the test's validity and reliability, what the test is intended to measure and who gets access to test results. You also have the right to obtain feedback on the results of the tests you have undergone. Good test ethics dictate that you should have the opportunity to comment and discuss the results of the test with those responsible for the recruitment, before making decisions about who is further or not. This should give you as a test taker opportunity to correct and / or verify the interpretation that the test administrator has done.

It should also be said that not all people are equally conscious of their responsibilities when they use work psychological tests in recruitment. However, you are entitled to gain insight into the test result.

Personality Tests
Many employers find that two people with relatively similar formal background and experience works and performs differently in an organization. The reason may be personality, which seems to affect including job satisfaction, stress management and work performance. This probably explains the background that today has become very common to use personality tests when recruiting for permanent positions.

Personality includes both how we relate to the outside world but also how we are perceived by others. Personality refers to tendencies in how we act, think and feel.

Personality should be understood as general behavior patterns and tendencies, rather as a basis for specific person description. Research in personality and vocational psychology suggests that personality is of importance to vocational interests and career choices. In addition, a number of studies have shown that different personality traits predict job efficiency in various occupations and positions.

Over the past 30 years it has achieved a broad consensus on how the personality psychological terrain is described. Primarily it consists of consensus that there are five major personality traits that best describes your personality. These five factors are respectively the degree of emotional stability, extraversion, openness to new ideas, compassion and conscientiousness. Many of the serious personality tests measure consequently these five personality traits.

Ability and skill tests
Candidates maximum performance can be measured through the ability and skill tests. Some of these tests measure "narrow capabilities", as for example of how fast and accurate typing on a typewriter, while others carry more signs of having to measure numeracy or general intelligence. The variation in the tests are, however, very great, both with regard to the type of tests that are used, what they intend to measure and the test quality. There are many studies that have examined the extent to which various tests can predict how people will perform in working place.

From such studies, we know that some types of tests are not appropriate to use to predict future job performance, such as for example astrology and graphology (handwriting analysis). Tests that intends to measure cognitive skills are generally divided into skill tests (e.g. how skilled you are to write fast on a typewriter), even tests (how good spatial abilities (spatial) you have) and tests that measure general intelligence.

Somewhat simplified, we can say that how well you do it on skill tests are conditional on how much you have trained on the appropriate skill, ability of test results is a combination of exercise and how easily one takes in new things, while tests measuring general intelligence measures your potential to learn new things. Our ability and skill to take tests have usually a big advantage if you have relevant education or training, while general intelligence should be nearly independent of what you have learned earlier in life.

It is important to emphasize that consistently tests should only be used as a supplement to other selection methods, such as job interviews, evaluation of education and experience, and reference checks. Often candidate is very focused on the test results, and forget a little that this is just one of many elements included in the decision-making by those who will recruit a new employee.

There is much that is not captured by IQ tests that are of great importance for whether a person will thrive and function well in a job; e.g. that one is motivated for the job and sociable, wise and has a good intention behind their actions. On average, there are those who score high on IQ tests and are more than capable of delivering employment compared with those who score low on IQ tests are therefore used to pick out the candidates with the highest precision and that are faster in solving practical and theoretical tasks.

These individuals will usually also have less need for training to familiarize themselves with a new job. Sensible use of good, documented tests may therefore be an appropriate supplement when you hire a new employee.