At any job interview, the interviewer is aiming to answer three basic questions about the candidate: are they capable of doing the job (technical competency), why they want the job (motivation) and whether they fit into the organisation (alignment). The interviewer also needs to identify which people will assume responsibilities, take initiative and provide fresh ideas.
In order to navigate this labyrinth, interviewers arms themselves with questions that have a clear purpose. Here are a few examples:
• Where do you see yourself in five years? The interviewer is looking for clues about your professional goals and ambitions
• Why should I hire you? To check your level of self-confidence.
• What are your weaknesses? The interviewer is looking to discover how well you know yourself.
• Tell me about yourself. To check your communication skills and see how you present yourself.
• If I was to ask your friends to describe you, what would they say? The intention here is to understand whether you are a people person who can speak openly and honestly about themselves.
• Tell me about the worst boss you’ve had. To understand how much the candidate learned from previous bad experiences with managers.
• Why do you want to work for our organisation? The interviewer wants to know whether the candidate has researched the company or not.
• Tell me about a situation in which you failed. Nobody is perfect, so speak honestly about what you learned from that situation. The interviewer wants to hear from you about how you managed the collateral damage from your mistake.
• Tell me about a project you worked on and that required analytical thinking. The interviewer is asking you this so you can demonstrate your competence.
• What book are you reading at the moment? The interviewer is exploring your intellectual curiosity, your interests and perhaps how you identify with the sector or professional trends.
• Tell me about a situation in which you were forced to tackle an ethical dilemma. The interviewer wants to discover your level of ethical conduct and honesty.
• Why do you want to leave your current position? The interviewer wants to make sure you won’t leave in six months and that you will be happy in your new job.
Acciona Human Resources
If you’re looking for a new job or a change of direction in your professional life, be sure to consider these factors:
1. Self-esteem: it’s important to maintain the right level of self-esteem and a good inner perception of your professional worth.
2. Personal self-knowledge: perform an analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. What are you best at? And worst at? Look for vacancies associated with your strengths.
3. Assessment of the job: no matter how much or how little you have, highlight your experience.
4. Reasons for being unemployed: if you become unemployed, analyse the reasons that led to that situation. Learn from past experience in order to enhance steps to improve in the future.
5. Personal and professional image: look after your image.
6. Professional suitability: if you have a job interview coming up soon, try and match your strengths to the job requirements: skills, knowledge, experience, etc.
7. Jobsearch skills: enhance your skills. Contact your friends, attend forums, take part and continue training yourself. Stay active on the social media.
8. Outgoing personality: an outgoing personality is something that always helps find a job. Always maintain a positive attitude.
9. Time flexibility: it will always be easier to find a job if you have time flexibility. Never reject something you are interested in just because of the hours. If you are the successful candidate, you will always be able to re-organise yourself and find alternatives to reconcile professional and personal life.
10. Adapt yourself to the social media. Create your profile on professional networks such as LinkedIn and create your own network of contacts. (Read: “10 reasons to use Twitter when looking for a job“)
11. Languages: increase your knowledge of languages. You will always be more employable if you know a second or third language. (Read: “Language skills: a huge plus for job hunters“)
12. CV: Create your CV carefully, record a one-minute video summarising your professional experience and send it to your network of contacts. Modern mobile telephones can be used to record videos of a suitable quality.
13. Basic interview techniques: prepare for job interviews. Find out about the company, the vacancy, ask yourself questions and come up with some good answers. Assume the role of interviewer. (Read: “10 tips for a successful job interview“)
14. Networking: look after your networks of contacts and make sure everyone you know knows you are looking for a job.
15. Personal brand: Take care with what you do and the messages you post on the networks. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Remember that your digital profile can be seen by everyone and it is an opportunity to enhance your jobsearch activity.
Laura Alcaraz Escribano
ACCIONA Human Resources
Have you ever heard of a critical incident interview? Within an HR Department, this technique is sometimes used by the people responsible for the recruitment process as it enables them to gather different information from that provided by a traditional job interview based on short and isolated questions.
What are the differences? A critical incident interview uses a structured exploration strategy that provides information on what the candidate did, how they did it and what they felt about a real situation they experienced in the past and that is relevant to the position being applied for.
The interviewer will ask the candidate to explain how they tackled a certain situation in the past.
For example: Tell me about a situation you experienced in the past that involved a conflict of interests within your department and how you prioritised the various objectives.
It is important for the interviewer to reorientate the candidate if they start to recount a situation using a form of speech other than the first person.
For example: Last year, we increased turnover in the department by…
The goal is to identify specific behaviour and attitudes of the candidate that actually happened. This information will enable the suitability of a specific professional for a specific job to be assessed.
1. It identifies specific behaviour that took place in the past: more reliable than any information you may obtain on possible future scenarios, such as: How would you act when faced with a certain problem?
2. It seeks to compare those skills needed for the job with the real skills that the candidate has developed in the past.
3. It tends to eliminate subjective bias: what the candidate did is more important than the perception of how they did it.
It is therefore important to know about this type of technique if you ever find yourself actively seeking employment.
Miguel Ángel Rodríguez Molina
Corporate Training Department
ACCIONA Human Resources
The holiday blues, also known as post-holiday depression, refers to that slump that many people experience when the summer holiday period comes to an end and they have to go back to work. Although there is no clear theory on the phenomenon, the most common symptoms include apathy, tiredness, sadness, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, etc.
Here are a few tips if you suffer from it yourself:
– Plan the return home ahead of time. Return home two or three days before going back to work in order to readjust timetables and start getting back into old routines little by little.
– Sleep properly.
– Resume your work gradually. We recommend trying to take back your responsibilities little by little, take a few days to readapt before resuming your normal workload at full pace.
– Set yourself new challenges. Reflect on your work, setting up projects and new targets to reach will mean you return to work with greater enthusiasm, motivation and involvement.
– Adopt a positive attitude in general, highlighting simple details that help us realise all the good things that surround us, both in- and outside the working environment.
– Take up sport because regular exercise is not only good for your health but also for combating stress.
– Have fun. Reconciliation of work and your personal life. It is important to organise yourself and set aside some time in the day for yourself and the things you like doing. Hobbies also help combat anxiety and stress.
María Corces Reyes
Recruiment Deparment – ACCIONA Human Resources