Preparing for an interview

Preparing for an interview
So we all know that interviews can be a nerve wracking experience for some people, so to help you prepare we have put together some hints and tips. The more comfortable you feel.. The better you will perform! Remember that you have been picked for a reason…      

When you hear from us that you have been invited for interview you need to start preparing straight away, so it is good to ask what to expect on the day.  Most first stages with Penneys are either a telephone interview or a face to face interview/selection event with our team of trained recruiters.  The interview will consist of Competency Based and Motivational Questions.

Competency Based Questions

Experience provides the best predictor of whether a person can do a job, and the best technique to get all the information from a candidate is to use STAR model.

Interviewers will be looking for you to give an example of what YOUR responsibilities were in the situation that you are describing.    

S Situation

T Task

A Action

R Result       

e.g. Can you give me an example from your most recent role when you have had to work to a deadline?      

Interviewers may probe into your answer to ensure they get enough depth to the question:       

S Why did you have this deadline?

T What was your specific role in the task?

A What did you do to ensure you met the deadline?

R What was the end result?

Motivational Questions

Motivational questions are used to find out what makes the candidate tick and to see if the role suits your chosen career path, aspirations, industry etc.      

Typical motivational questions would be:

Why are you interested in this position?

What do you find frustrating in your current role?

What type of management style gets the most out of you at work?

What do you want to work for Penneys?

Doing your preparation...

You can practice before you come for your interview by thinking of specific examples where you have been challenged or demonstrated a certain skill. This will give you an idea of what to use as examples to the questions.

Here are a few things to consider:

Passion and motivation

Communication skills

What interests you about the position?

Career aspirations – what is your goal?

Organisational and prioritising ability

Honesty and reliability

Business awareness/ company knowledge

Pro–activity rather than reactivity

In addition to Competency and Motivational Questions, for senior management roles you may also take part in our online Professional Styles Questionnaire. This personality assessment questionnaire explores how you see your own motives and preferences within a work context.

It helps us find ways to make better use of your preferred working style in your current job role, or identify future job roles, environments and working cultures which best suit your individual working style. Within some parts of the Penneys business, we also use the questionnaire to evaluate candidates against cultural fit in line with Penneys' values – Passion, Teamwork, Trust, Continuous Improvement and Expertise.

General Tips

You will need to make sure that you read through and understand the job description/advertisement.  Write a list of questions regarding the role as this is your opportunity to find out more about the position and so you can make an informed decision if we offer you the role.

And that’s not all. To help you throughout the application process, we’ve also provided advice and guidance for preparing for an interview, selection events and how to do well in tests because we want to help you do your best on the day.

Good Luck!
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