Interview top tips from PwC employees

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Do you need some tips for interviews? Here are some top tips from PwC employees on how to boss an interview.

PricewaterhouseCoopers is a multinational professional services network of firms, operating as partnerships under the PwC brand. PwC ranks as the second-largest professional services network in the world.

6 top tips for interviews.

Ask questions

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You aren't expected to know or understand everything so ask questions where you can. Make a note of a couple of areas from their website that you would like to understand better and ask the question when you are given the opportunity.

Research

When being interviewed make sure you research the company (this sounds obvious but you would be surprised at the number of candidates that do not). Make sure you know what the company’s values are and to demonstrate this.

Have a good look at the company website and social media channels, as well as any news items in the press. Have they won any recent awards, or been involved in any community projects? Is there a particular project you find really interesting and would love to be involved in that you can reference?

Take your time

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When I interview people I always attempt to put interviewees at ease, I explain how long the interview will last and explain the structure of the interview.

I always tell candidates to take their time when answering questions as there is a tendency to want to answer as quickly as possible – don’t be afraid to take your time.

It's OK to be nervous, so if you say something wrong or need a bit more time to think about an appropriate answer, just ask the interviewer for a few seconds to think.

The STAR Method

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If you are being interviewed learn to use the STAR method. This is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result and is a great technique to use whenever you're asked any behavioural interview questions – i.e. those that ask you to recall real-life examples of how you handled a situation at work, volunteering, school or college in the past.

Questions that start like:

  • Tell me about a time when...
  • Can you recall a situation where you had to...
  • Have you ever...
  • Give me an example of...
  • What would you do if...

What is the STAR Method?

Situation: Set the scene and provide background context of your example. Remember to keep it simple and only include details that are relevant to the question.

Task: Describe what your task was in the situation - what was your responsibility? Try not to get confused with the 'Action' part of the response and make this about your specific task that you had to complete.

Action: Explain the steps you took to complete the task or overcome the challenge. Try to be really specific about the actions you took, instead of vague "I worked really hard", or "I researched..." Tell the interviewer how you worked hard, where did you research, and why?

Result: Share what you achieved by taking the steps you did. This is your time to shine! Make sure your response is positive, even if the situation was a negative one. If you made a mistake, what did you learn from it, and what do you know to do for future?

Being aware of the STAR technique to think about your experience will also allow you to build answers to likely questions before an interview.

It’s a conversation

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Remember that the interview works both ways so think of it as a conversation, not an interrogation.

The employer wants to find out whether they want to employ you, and see if you're the right fit for their company. But don't forget that you also want to find out whether you want to work there and if they're the right fit for you!

Be yourself

Authenticity really shines through. If you are interested in community work, take a look at that section on their website e.g. outreach programmes, involvement in the local community. Let them know that you find this interesting. Employers really value staff who have a broader interest than the day job.

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