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Get the best out of an interview

Remember that all selection processes are competitive and a bit like an audition...

You’ll be assessed against other candidates so make sure you give your best. Here’s how.

Do your homework

You want to show you've gone the extra mile so take the time to research us ahead of your interview:

  • Look at what our past and future plans are, what products we offer and who our competitors are
  • Avoid simply repeating what our website says
  • Prepare answers to some of the most commonly asked interview questions
  • Think about the fact that you will be asked questions relevant to the experiences/ skills listed on your CV so re read your CV
  • Find out where the location for your interview is. We will generally send this information across, however it is worthwhile getting an understanding before the day

Interview questions

Being able to prepare for some of the standard interview questions, that way you will not only impress your interviewer, but will also make it a less stressful experience for you on the day.

We've provided some of the more common questions below and given you some tips on how to put together your response. And don't forget - practice makes perfect.

1. Tell me about yourself

Try and keep your answer to about five minutes (if you can). Describe your strengths first and then give the interviewer some of the highlights of your life and career so far. Be positive about the skills and experience you have gained. Keep in mind the position you're being interviewed for and our company culture.

2. What were your responsibilities?

Be specific and positive about what you did. Focus mainly on the responsibilities which match the ones requested for the job you're being interviewed for. Be honest and give as much detail as you can.

3. What challenges and problems did you face? How did you handle them?

Prepare two or three specific examples if you can, making sure they're relevant to the position you're applying for.

4. What have you learned from your mistakes?

Don't be afraid to admit to mistakes. Everyone makes them, it's just what you did as a result that matters. Here you need to turn a negative situation into a positive one.

5. What did you dislike about your previous role?

Do not be too negative about your last job. Instead, use this as an opportunity to talk about yourself and what you're looking for in this new role.

6. What has been your greatest achievement in your career?

Use an example that showcases the skills needed for the role that you are interviewing for. Try to structure your response by describing the situation, what the task was, the action you took and what happened as a result. Use facts and figures if you have them, so the interviewer can get a clear picture of how your actions made an impact.

7. What is your biggest weakness?

Perhaps one of the most dreaded interview questions. But one that with some preparation can make you stand out from the other applicants.

Be honest and avoid the clichéd answers like being a workaholic - you won't score any points with that one. Instead try turning a negative into a positive, or alternatively, you could show the interviewer how you have overcome your weaknesses.

8. What is your biggest strength?

This is your chance to highlight how well your strengths directly match you to the job you're applying for and remember that you may have listed some of these on your CV so expand on any information that the interviewer may already have.

9. What motivates you?

With this question the interviewer is looking to see if you're a good fit for the role and for Police Mutual.

10. Tell me about a time when you’ve worked as part of a team.

This question is looking to see if you work well with others. Draw from your own personal experiences and always ensure that you show what skills you used within any examples given.

11. What attracted you to this job?

The interviewer needs to know that you're the right person for the job and that you're going to fit in well. Where you can, back up your answer with facts and use the research you have done on Police Mutual.

12. Why should we hire you?

Give concrete examples to reinforce why your skills and achievements make you the best person for the job. Be positive and let them know what you can bring to the company to really make a difference.

13. Do you have any questions for me?

Yes you do. You want to make sure that this is the right job and company for you. Prepare your questions in advance, so you don't feel on the spot. Examples of what you may like to ask are:

  • How would you describe a typical day/week in this position?
  • What is the company's management style.
  • How many people work in the department?
  • What are the prospects for growth and advancement?
  • If I'm offered the job, how soon would you like me to start?
  • When can I expect to hear from you?
  • Are there any other questions I can answer for you?

The day of the interview

The day's finally arrived. Don't worry if you're a bag of nerves, it only shows how much this job matters to you. Now's your opportunity to put all that preparation into action and show us what makes you the best person for this job.

Dress smart

  • Bring along any supporting information
  • Be waiting for your interviewer in reception about 15 minutes before your interview time
  • Be positive, friendly, polite and confident at all times
  • Use positive body language and lots of eye contact
  • Show you have done your research and don't be afraid to refer to your notes
  • Listen carefully to the questions and if you're unsure of how to respond, ask for clarification
  • Don't forget to match your skills to our needs and sell your achievements
  • Smile

Always seek Feedback

Whether the interview was a success or not, always ask for feedback.  Feedback helps raise our level of self-awareness and consciousness about our own behaviours and how we are seen by others. This will help you prepare for next time – whether that’s building on the strengths you have or thinking about how to avoid any negative perception

We look forward to seeing you - Good Luck!