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JOBS: Your rights: Interviews - Questions, questions.

Byline: Michelle Rushton

YOU'VE spent hours agonising over an application form or creating a dazzling CV and have popped it in the post. So what happens now?

Employers will look through all the applications and CVs and will select a short list of the best candidates who they will then invite to an interview.

Interviews can take on many guises but the most common ones are conducted face-to-face.

Having turned up in your best bib and tucker you should expect to be greeted by your prospective manager, who will put you at ease and lead you to the room where the interview will take place.

The interview will usually start with the interviewer welcoming you and telling you a bit about the company, the position they are looking for and explaining the structure of the interview.

There will normally be two people conducting the interviews -the prospective manager and a relevant specialist, who will ask a number of questions to find out more about your skills, experience, attitude and achievement. The interviewer's aim is to get you to explain,and expand upon, your application form or CV.

Sometimes candidates will be interviewed sequentially by a number of interviewers on different areas of competencies, or you may have a panel interview where you are questioned by several people at the same time.

At the end of the interview, it is standard practise for the candidate to be invited to ask questions about the job and the company. Think about what you want to ask be forehand -it's quite acceptable to bring a list of questions with you.

More and more employers are interviewing candidates by phone these days. The employer will either arrange a mutually convenient time to phone you or will call unannounced.

It's important to come across well on the phone -so make sure you brush up on your telephone manner. Practise your answers over the telephone with a friend or into a tape recorder, and make sure you won't be disturbed. Keep a copy of your CV and your questions close to hand to refer to in case your mind goes blank, and make sure you have enough time -the interview could take up to an hour.

If you are not sure when the employer is going to call,make sure you leave a professional-sounding message on your answerphone.

Questions are often similar to those asked at a first face-to-face interview. However,if you are applying for a sales position, they may ask you to try and sell something to the interviewer.

A relatively new concept is video interviews, which are normally used if you are applying for a job overseas.

Following the interview,employers will take a few days to determine which candidates best meets their criteria and check references from former employers. They will make a short list of suitable candidates and may ask you to come back for a second interview.

You will then be notified by letter or by phone as to whether you have been successful or not.

If you weren't successful, don't be too downhearted.

Play back the interview in your mind and try to think of ways where you could have improved your answers.

Put it down to experience and learn from your mistakes.


CRUNCH TIME: Interviews are usually conducted face-to-face
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 24, 2004
Previous Article:JOBS: Your rights: Redundant questions; With the ECHO's legal expert Justin Madders.
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