GrainCorp interview preparation guide

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1 interview preparation guide At we celebrate our people and we work together as part of a high performing team to deliver on what we promise. We re focused on developing a skilled workforce and encouraging diversity of both people and thinking. It s great for you, and it s great for our customers. This interview guide has been created to support you to do the best you can in your interview and to assist you to grow and develop for future interviews. We provide opportunities for broad exposure to a range of business areas which will enhance your skills and experience. Before the interview Preparing yourself for an interview is key to the success of your performance. Interviews can make you nervous but if you prepare yourself well, you ll feel more relaxed and as a result perform at your best. The Recruitment Team is always available to assist you prepare for your interview as well so please don t hesitate to get in touch. Research the company Review s website to find out more about the organization www. If there is time, you could also call the receptionist and ask for company brochures. Get yourself acquainted with the history of, our values, our current position in the market, potential plans for growth, the services we provide etc. This will show us that you ve done your research and that you re genuinely interested in the position. Format of interviews Graincorp utilises a combination of competency and behavioral based interview techniques aligned to our core values. s values help define our organisational culture by providing a common understanding of how we do things at and how we should behave towards each other, our customers and other stakeholders. Everyone at is responsible for professional and ethical business conduct and is accountable for ensuring their decisions and actions are consistent with our values. Our values are outlined below:

2 Behavioural Based Questions What are they? Behavioural interviews are a common style of interview. A behavioural interview consists of questions that require you to reflect on your past experiences and present specific real-life examples to demonstrate your skills. Why do employers use them? Research suggests that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour and performance. We prefer to hear evidence of how you used your skills in the past so that we can make an informed prediction as to how you will perform in the role for which you are applying. What do behavioural questions sound like? Behavioural questions will generally begin with the following phrases: Tell me about a time when... Give me an example of... Describe a situation when you... You can see that all of the above phrases prompt you to tell a story about a time when you have used a particular skill. The most common mistakes people make are: Failing to be specific and telling the interviewer what you would do, rather than what you have done. Not talking about their particular role/action/tasks - but speaking generally about the group/team/organisation. Not taking the time to prepare interesting examples. Imagine how many times a graduate recruiter has heard a teamwork example about a group assignment Not giving enough detail and making assumptions that the interviewer is following your example How do I prepare for behavioural interviews and avoid these mistakes? The good news is that you can easily prepare for behavioural interviews by following these steps. (i) Review the key selection criteria. (That's the skills we have listed as essential or desirable for the job.) You can use a position description if you have one, the job ad or sometimes the Organisation s website. Common skills or competencies that are tested include: Teamwork ;

3 Communication/Interpersonal; Leadership; Client service; Problem solving; Time / task management; Goal setting. (i) Prepare examples Using the skills as your guide, think of examples from your past experience that demonstrate each skill. Try to think of a different example for each skill so that you have a variety of responses prepared for the interview. Most of your examples will come from Uni or work, but don't be afraid to draw on volunteer work, participation in sporting teams or community activities if they provide a good demonstration of your skills. Keep the examples recent and relevant Use the STAR model (see below) to prepare your responses. (ii) Practice responding to questions This will help you become confident in using your examples. A large part of your success is in the delivery of your response. Use the examples below and visit the Careers Resource Centre Examples of Behavioural questions: Time / task management Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritise your tasks. Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively. Communication Tell me about a time when you had to use your communication skills to influence someone's opinion. Give me an example of a time when you had to deliver a difficult message to an individual or team. Teamwork Give me an example of a time when you have been part of a successful team. Tell me about a time when you have had to work with a difficult team member.

4 Problem Solving Describe a situation in which you recognised a potential problem as an opportunity. Tell me about a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures. STAR model Careers and Employment recommend preparing your examples using the STAR structure - Situation, Task, Action, Result. This structure allows you to provide a concise, well-structured response and helps you avoid drifting off-track if nerves get the better of you! Think about your strengths Often you will asked about your strengths. It s important to realise that in an interview you need to be able to sell yourself. Not everyone feels comfortable talking about themselves in a positive light. It s something that needs to be done tactfully and the purpose of it is to demonstrate to us why you re the best person for the job. The best way to tackle this question is in 3 ways: (i) Start by talking about your strengths from a technical point of view e.g. skills and experience that are relevant to the specific role. (ii) Talk a little about generic skills that are transferable e.g. communication skills and the ability to work in a team (iii) Finish off by giving a little bit of an insight into your personality By answering this question in 3 steps you re showing the client that you re a well rounded individual who not only brings to the role experience, but excellent positive attributes as well. Think about your weaknesses Probably one of the most common, yet trickiest, questions to handle in an interview is talking about your weaknesses. Think of this as an area you may need to improve on. This question, if answered well, can act in your favour. Most importantly don t ever say I don t know or I don t have any. If you re going to an interview, you need to be prepared for this question. Be careful that whatever you say doesn t jeopardise you for the role. The best way to answer this question is by acknowledging that you have a weakness and that you re doing something to improve it. By answering the question in this manner, it puts a positive spin to what is usually a negative point. It also shows that you are willing to take the initiative to improving your skills.

5 Examples Speaking in front of large crowds isn t something I d feel confident about. I would like to improve my skill in this area so I do try to speak up in team meetings more often. Although I m quite computer literate, I would like to improve my skills in PowerPoint. I ve enrolled in a course that will allow me to improve in this area. I don t particularly enjoy filing but I realise it s an important part of the role. So what I do is I allocate a certain part for the day to complete this task. Think about your achievements It s very important to have specific examples of professional career achievements as you may be faced with questions relating to professional moments that you re proud of. This question gives you the opportunity to highlight any awards or highlights of your career. Prepare questions that you will ask the interviewer You will nearly always be asked if you have any questions. The research you ve done into the company may naturally throw up some general questions. Think about questions relating to your role; enquire about the next stage in the interview process. Dress to impress Present yourself in professional business attire with clean and closed shoes. If wearing jewellery, keep it simple. Presentation plays an important part in creating a positive and lasting impression, so make sure you look your best. During the interview This is your chance to make a positive impression. You have 60 minutes or less to show us why you re the best person for the job. In order to make a good impression, here s a list of tips to remember. Don t ever be late for an interview. At the same time don t be too early. Always double check the address of where you re going and allow plenty of time to get there so you re not running late. It s best to be 5-10 minutes early. Make sure you turn your mobile phone off. When you meet the interviewer, shake their hand firmly, look them in the eye and thank them for their time. Display genuine enthusiasm and friendliness. Once seated, sit up straight with your hands in your lap or on the table. Don t fidget. When answering questions, maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Even if you re nervous, don t look around the room.

6 If the interviewer asks you a question that you don t understand, ask them to repeat it or rephrase it for you. There s no shame in doing this and doesn t make you look silly. You want to be sure that you understand the question and answer it properly. If the interviewer asks you a question but you don t know what to say, ask for a moment to think about it. Don t ever rush into giving a response if you re not completely sure of what you re going to say. Have a good think about what the employer is trying to assess and then respond. If you answer a question but feel that you ve answered it poorly, don t let your confidence go down. Remember that it s only one question and it will not determine whether or not you get the job. Show the interviewer that you can pick yourself up and do better at the next questions (Remember that this will show how you will cope in a real situation). Don t answer just YES or NO to questions. Be very specific and detailed in your response. Where possible give examples or draw parallels. Don t ever bring up money unless the interviewer does. If they ask what salary you re looking for and you don t feel comfortable discussing money, say something along the lines of I d be happy to accept your best offer and happy to negotiate accordingly. During the interview remain positive and motivated. Don t ever talk about previous employers in a negative light. Don t ever put yourself down or talk about yourself in a negative manner. The interviewer may end up remembering one negative thing you said and forget the 10 positive things you mentioned. Avoid using colloquial language. Do not swear. When you are asked Have you got any questions?, the worst answer you can give is no. Think hard about what parts of the job are important to you. Are there training opportunities? What are the opportunities for career progression? Ask a few questions about the company culture, philosophy or future of the organisation. This shows the interviewer that your interest in genuine. You also want to find out as much information you can about the job so that you can determine whether it s the right role for you. Upon the conclusion of the interview, thank the interviewer for their time. End on a positive note by shaking hands, smiling and expressing you enthusiasm for the role. Remember if at the end of the day the interviewer is faced with a decision between two candidates with similar experience, they ll lean towards the person who displayed a genuine enthusiasm for the job. There s no better compliment to a potential employer than someone wanting to join their organisation.

7 Common questions and how to answer them: What job would you like to have in five years time? It s a mistake if you haven t thought about this question and how to answer it. Your answers tell someone which career direction you would like to take, how you plan and achieve goals, and what you are doing now to reach your goals. It can also show if the organisation will be able to give you what you want, even if it is in different departments. Why do you want to work here? You have to do your homework here. What are the good points about the company and how will they bring the good points out in you? How do you work under pressure? Think of an example in your current job, explain how the situation come up and how dealt with it. It s always good to mention what you learnt from an experience. Why do you want to leave your current job? Do you want fresh challenges? More opportunity for growth? Would you like to learn new skills? With regard to the company, did you feel that your position was not secure? Was there nowhere else for you to go in the department? Does the company you are applying for a job with have a better reputation? Try not to be negative about the job or the company? What specifically do you have to offer us? Start your answer by matching the job description and then meet it point-by-point with your skills. It s important that you paint a picture of yourself as a problem solver, someone who can take direction and who is a team player, and of course someone who is not only interested in their personal success, but the success of the company. What is you greatest weakness? This question might tempt you into saying negative things about yourself don t do it. Always turn your weaknesses into positives, and keep your answer general. Try to think of things like a lack of knowledge in a certain area as an opportunity for development.

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