Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Interviews – The Other Side of the Table

by Eloise Peabody-Rolf



Earlier in the year, I helped in the interview process for the new Community Court members, and I found it really interesting to experience what it’s like to be on the other side of the table.
As you know from my previous blogs, I have been involved with the Community Court for about a year now, and went through this interview process myself.  As the Community Court is focused on being peer led, it seemed an ideal way to get the peers involved in another aspect of the process right from the start.  So a peer was invited to join each interview panel , along with two Hampshire Constabulary representatives.
I hope having someone closer to their age in the room with them, who they know have gone through the process already, certainly seemed to relax some of the interviewees.  It also enabled the applicants to ask me any questions about what it is like to volunteer for the Community Court, and if I enjoy it.
But how did it help me?  Looking at the interviews from the other side gave me a huge appreciation of what both the interviewers and interviewees go through.  It was interesting to see how different applicants were affected by the pressure of the interview process and the coping strategies they used.  Also to hear the questions the other interviewers used to better understand the applicant, and be part of the post interview discussions and assessments.
It was a great opportunity - many people my age have gone through interviews themselves, but very few have been the interviewer.   It will also be nice for the successful Community Court applicants, as they will know at least one person already, which will hopefully encourage them.
Some of you may have interviews coming up for jobs, work experience, apprenticeships  or universities, so here are some tips and websites which may be useful:
1.       Prepare, do your research into what you are applying for.
2.       Practice your answers, although you may not know the exact questions there are some common ones which occur, such as “Tell me about yourself” or “What could you bring to…”
3.       Look the part, you are often judged before you’ve even uttered a word.
4.       Stay calm, if you have prepared and practiced you will go into the interview more confident and this will come across in your interview.
5.       Ask questions, at the end of the interview they will often ask if you have any more questions, so make sure you have one, it will show that you have done some research into what you are applying for.

Good luck !

Useful websites :

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