You have an interview coming up and you're not sure what to prepare for it, everyone is telling you to just be yourself and you'll be fine but you feel you need more.
Firstly, well done for making it onto the shortlist! Your application thus far has been successful enough to make it to interview stage.
I have conducted hundreds of social care interviews over the past 5 years and interviewed candidates for other roles many times in my career. My clients sometimes ask for help or coaching for upcoming interviews so I am happy to share these three tips to help take the guess work out of interview preparation.
1. Start with the Job Description
Go through the job description thoroughly. Look for skills or competencies listed. For each skill or competency, jot down examples from previous work in the STAR format.
S=situation (what was happening),
T=task (what needed to happen),
A=action (what did you do, the skill you used) and
R=result (what was the outcome).
If there are any terms you do not understand on the job description, look them up to prepare yourself.
If there's anything you want to know from the job description, make a note and ask at the end of the interview.
2. Research the Organisation
Know about the organisation. Websites are an excellent source of information for this. Knowing a little about the history, values and mission statement of the organisation is good. It will show you're interested and have done your research. You could also ask people that you know and trust about their experience working in the organisation.
3. Relevant Legislation
Be aware of any legislation that you will need to comply with for the role. Including GDPR and the Child Care Act, his could be knowing a little about regulations for the operation of designated centres for older persons, children or persons with disabilities.
Having an awareness of regulatory bodies that are relevant to the role is also important. For social care roles, this could include HIQA, CORU and/or the Mental Health Commission.
Apart from knowing your own work history and skills, preparation in these three areas will assist you to do well in an interview. Don't worry if you're not successful first time around, sometimes interviewers have a lot of candidates but few positions available, take each interview as a learning experience.