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OECD ((8 OCDE CENTRE DE FORMATION LEARNING CENTRE PREPARE AND SUCCEED YOUR PANEL INTERVIEW FLORENCE LE GOFF 2 Address how yOUcan meet the job requirements . Make sure that both your written applicationform and your speech during the selection panel interview address how you can meet the recruitingmanager'sneeds. . When preparing, keep in mind the requirements for the vacant job mentioned in the job vacancy notice and the competencies for the job family described in your CompetencyGuide. Write an effective application Why is your application form so important? . Remember that your application form is a key document before, during and after the interview: > To get you an interview; > To help you remember the key points that you want to emphasize during the interview; > To help the interviewersof the selection panel focus on your achievementsand to leave them a clear reminder ofwhat you can do, ~ other candidates. . By reading your application, the recruiter will try to evaluate your suitability for the position at hand. > Even if you have a "basic" résumé or a copy of a former application form, you should adapt it every time, taking into accountthe specifie requirements for the vacantjob and the competencies for the job farnily. How to put forward your experience and competencies? "Emp!oyment history" . Start with the most recent job and work backwards in time. Give the year, not the month you changed job. . For eachjob mentioned in that section: > > > > Describe your duties, responsibilities and accomplishments with precision and give relevant exarnples, which have a direct link with your application. Stress special skills/competencies used or developed. Give figures (number of staff managed, size of budget...) Use action verbs to describe you involvement: emphasize your contribution by writing " coordinated research..." rather than " responsible for the coordination of research..." Computer ski!ls . Ifyou don't know the software mentioned in the vacancy, but ifyou are computer literate, mention software you know. It will show you may leam quickly. "Persona!" . There is no personal section, but mention anY,personal activity in which your involvement is worth a comment (a sport in which you excel, community involvement...), especially ifyour career is short, or ifyou lack ofrequired professional experience in management, for example, (management of a team, of a budget). 3 Differentiate yourself, writing your reasons for application · Develop one or two aspects ofyour application: specifie skills or experience, or a career objective, which match the job description and indicate how your contribution can be useful to the Division /Directorate. Ensure that key information stands out . Put headings; use bullet points. (Add one extra sheet ofpaper ifnecessary.) ~ Not too long/concise and focussed. Listen, be positive and give concrete examples Remember that al a PANEL INTER VIEW, you are "selling yourself' to a group · Selection panels are used to emphasise the faimess in the selection procedure: different viewpoints are represented by 3 to 5 people: the recruiting Manager, often chairing the panel; one or two staff members from other Divisions or the former staff member on the job or staff members with a specifie expertise relevant to the job; an HRM adviser or the administrative assistant of the Division or Directorate. ~ Youwillgetquestionsfromeachofthem.Youshouldlookatail ofthemandaddressail of themwhenyouanswera question. · A selection interview is a dialogue between the candidateand panel members: it means you have to listen to panel members and also to talk about yourself and your experience. ~ ~ You have to put forward your competencies, your credentials, your potential and not only your past experience, your skills, your expertise. Be energetic and show enthusiasm. Prepare key ideas you can use to answer questions . Define 4 or 5 key points relevant to the job vacancy you wish to convey to the interviewers: your "competitive advantages". You will keep them in mind during the whole interview and make sure you take the chance to develop them. · Prepare to describe your duties, responsibilities and accomplishments and give relevant examples from your present job, your past jobs or your major achievements in personallife: ~ Select examples, which can be easily understoodby interviewersfor the vacantjob. Simple concrete examples that will enable them to grasp your responsibilitiesand duties, your competencies and experience, even when they are working in a different Directorate or Division. It means your examples are not too specific. Avoid using "professional jargon"; ~ Select examples, which have a direct link with your applicationbecause they give you the opportunity to stress special skills, or experience that are required in the job vacancyor may be useful in the vacantjob. ~ Make your examples very concrete. Give figures (number of staff managéd, size of budget...) Use action verbs to describe you involvement:emphasise your contribution by saying " 1co-ordinated research..." rather than " 1was responsible for the co-ordination of research..." · For each interview, prepare answers to questions which could generally be asked by panel members about work record in you present job, about yourself, about how you will project yourself in the new job. Here are a few examples. Add to this list aIl the questions you are afraid of - and look for an answer! ~ ~ "Tell us about yourself': one classic opening question. Give a few key points about your presentjob, major previous work experience, and any item about your education or life experiencethat may differentiate you from other candidates and match the job requirements. "What did you do in your job: duties, responsibilities;objectives and results..." 4 > > > > > "How would you describe your working relationship with supervisor, colleagues, other agents and " clients"? Can you tell us about one conflictual situation and how you handled it? What are your tive major assets and your three major weaknesses? The Self Assessment Work Sheet for the job family (in your "Competency Guide") may help you to select relevant strengths and "minor strengths". What about your career goals? How do you project yourself within tive years? If you don't get the job, what will you do? What other jobs are you considering? What do you know about our Division? * Research information about the work environment, main issues. . .before the interview: it will show your interest for the job. * What will be the tirst things you will do if you get the job? * Make positive suggestions instead ofwording criticism. * If you are already acting in the job you apply for when you are being interviewed, say what you plan to do further on. Be careful never to criticise the former person who handled the job, even if you don't agree with what have been done previously. Bejlexible and listen to the interviewers. Don't talk too much. Answer the questions accurately, keeping in mind the job requirements. · Listen to the complementary information about the job, given at the beginning ofthe interview by the recruiting Manager, generally chairing the panel. > For example, when answering a question, later on, you refer to the presentation of the job, you can shape your answer more accurately and you can also demonstrate your listening skills. Listen to the questions in order to answer them effectively. · Don't interrupt. Reformulate the question before answering if you are not sure about it ask the interviewer to repeat the question. . Pay particular attention to the words and to the attitude of the interviewer(s), in order to better understand what s/he is looking for and to communicate in terms that are familiar to himlher. . Be selective about what you say and adjust to his/her ftame of reference, especially when a panel member whose language and culture may be different ftom yours interviews you. Don't talk for longer than two minutes without a break. Let panel members ask you a number of questions . Let them decide if they want to hear you more in depth on one issue or shift to another topic. Ask them ifthey want to know more "Did 1 answer your question fully?". Don't let yourself be destabilized by fears of being judged . You may be getting some good hints about what the interviewer is thinking ofyou, or little indication, or two panel members may carry a brief side conversation. Don't pay too much attention to that, and just go on. Be consistent in your answers. . If you want to regain attention, stop speaking! . If a question is difficult, say that you think it is difficult and why. Use this time to work out your response. Don't be aftaid of silence. It is ok to say "let me think" and take a few seconds before answering a question. . Ifyou are asked questions in quick succession, take your time to answer them one by one. It is a good way to show you handle stress under pressure, especially ifthat is important for the job. . Ifyou have to disagree with a panel member, do so politely and give your reasons. Don't get angry. Stick to facts. 5 · When answering personal questions, give true information:The panel members can easily check. Word your answer in order to stress those ofyour attitudes or ofyour strengths that can match some of the job requirements. . Answer in the language used by the interviewer.Ifyou lack practice of the second language, don't be aftaid: do your best to say something, in order to show that you can understand, and that you don't have a "mental block" regarding this language.