Preparation is the key to making a real impression
Do job interviews put you in a cold sweat? Preparation is the key, says Jacky Simmonds, Tui Travel group’s HR director. Research the company well, understand who you will meet and coherently be ready to explain your past experience and your aspirations. You need to stand out and make an impression.
Interviewers can ask tough questions. Answer them with examples, achievements, awards or contracts you’ve won and focus on areas relevant to the job. Some questions you may be faced with include :
Tell us about a time you’ve worked with a difficult colleague
Rather than concentrating on their bad traits or why you didn’t get on, you need to focus how you overcame the situation and what you learnt from it, Jacky Simmonds suggests. Perhaps you have a colleague who is consistently undermining you with a big personality. Show how you solved this.
How do you think you would add value to this company?
This isn’t an invitation to boast – you are being asked to match your strengths to qualities needed to do the job. Be specific: Why are you suited to the job as opposed to any other? Match your skills to the employer.
What is your biggest weakness?
Frame your answer so as to give it a positive spin. Strengths and weaknesses can be different sides of the same coin, so a way to approach this is to think about how you overcome the potential downside of your greatest strength. For example, if you’re a natural team worker, is it difficult for you to cope with conflict or assume leadership abilities? How do you cope?
If I spoke to your boss, what would they say about you?
When an interviewer asks you this, they are looking for evidence that you have sought feedback from a manager. You should use this as a way of showing how you acted on that feedback to improve your performance.
Give an example of a time when you showed initiative
Avoid giving an example of an idea you had but never put into action. Employers need thinkers but they also want “doers”.
What is the future of the travel and tourism industry?
Here the interviewer is looking for passion and insight. With a question like this you have permission to be creative and have a bit of fun, Jacky Simmonds concludes.
[pictured: Panel at the Adventure Travel Show, London]