Hints and tips on attending an interview
The interview process is often a daunting experience. It is important that you have the right skills and experience for the job but it is also important that you are able to convey the skills and experience you have on the day.
Here are some tips:
Prepare for the interview
Do your homework about Oxfordshire County Council and the department.
Ensure that you have read the summary role profile and person specification which is available online (logon to ‘My Applications’ where you will find your application and the summary role profile and person specification). Make some notes on how you can demonstrate that you have the necessary skills and experience that is being asked for and your recent achievements.
Think about some questions that you may be asked and consider how you might answer them.
The week before your interview
Be sure you know the following information about your interview:
- the time
- the date
- the location
- the name(s) of the interviewer(s)
Work out how you are going to get to the interview location, and how long it will take. Try to anticipate any delays that could make you late.
Ensure that you have all the documents you have been asked to bring with you to the interview.
Plan to arrive at the interview 15 minutes before the time of the interview.
On arrival, ensure that the receptionist knows you have arrived
In some roles, Oxfordshire County Council uses psychometric assessments to enhance the information obtained about individuals in an objective manner for the purpose of recruitment selection, development, team building, career counselling and redeploying employees.
If you are required to undertake psychometric testing as part of your interview please read the attached policy (pdf format) which will help with your preparation.
How we offer a post
If you have been successful at interview and offered a role it will be offered to you on a conditional basis.
This means that the offer is not ‘firm’ until the pre-employment checks have been completed, and can be retracted should the checks not be satisfactory.
Once you have been made a conditional offer, you will be sent a formal letter outlining your conditional offer and the outstanding pre-employment checks that are required.
We will then commence the range of pre-employment checks described above.
This process can take a varying amount of time dependent on how quickly we receive back the information we require back from yourselves and how quickly we receive the information back from the from the various people we send it to (i.e. your references)
In relation to the reference process, you can help speed up the process by letting your references know that you have been offered the role and that they will shortly be contacted for a reference, and ask whether they would return the information as quickly as possible.
Pre-employment checks help you make good recruitment decisions by gaining a fuller picture of an applicant’s suitability for the job. Some checks are also required by law.
The pre-employment checks required will depend on the job but must be obtained for people applying for paid and unpaid work with the council.
Full information is available in the pre-employment checking policy.(pdf format, 196Kb).
Expenses for attending interviews
Oxfordshire County Council will only pay interview expenses where there is prior arrangement between the candidate and ourselves before the interview.
Where agreement has been secured then we will reimburse at public transport rates and will send you a travel expense claim form with your interview confirmation letter together with instructions on how to complete it and where to send it.
If prior agreement has not been secured then interview expenses will not be paid.