In preparation for the interview I decided to do some research into the potential guest panel interviewers.When talking through good ways to present yourself and preparing for an interview, it was clear that doing a bit of research on the company your applying to work with and the individual interviewing you was a good thing to do.
As a result I decided to do a bit of research into NI Screen’s Paula Campbell and Black North’s/Enter Yes’s Ross Morrison
Who are NI Screen?
Northern Ireland Screen is the government-backed lead agency in Northern Ireland for the film, television and digital content industry, driving global growth through boosting our economy, celebrating our culture and enhancing our children’s education.
Paula Campbell – Skills Executive
- Joined in August 2011 as Co-ordinator for the Aim High training scheme, a joint venture with Creative Skillset and BBC NI, and was appointed Skills Executive in November 2014.
- She co-ordinates work placements for the Aim High trainees with local indie production companies as well as BBC NI. Paula is also responsible for organising additional training workshops, master-classes and trips to festivals and markets for the trainees.
- Prior to joining Northern Ireland Screen, Paula worked in production for over 25 years including being a founder and director of a local production/post production company for 10 of those years.
Who are Black North?
Black North are a multimedia company who create award winning animation and interactive products based in Belfast Northern Ireland.
Ross Morrison – Assistant Producer
- A writer by trade, Ross has been involved in the creative industry for a number of years. In 2007, he was a finalist in international novel competition, Pulp Idol.
- In 2008 his short Slow Life was selected for an anthology put together by the Society of Young Publishers to celebrate the most exciting young writers in the UK & Ireland.
- Since 2009, he has occasionally worked with Blacknorth as a Script Editor until he joined on a full-time basis in December 2014.
- He has established himself as a useful asset, bringing with him project management experience along with a vast array of talent and imagination.
It’ll be great to get in insight to what the industry is like here from these two, and where they see It going in the future. Hopefully they foresee jobs….lots and lots of jobs… But regardless, they both have a lot of experience and advice to give from the sounds of it so I’m looking forward to meeting them.
In addition, we also went through some interview questions, looking at how they should be interpreted and how we should respond to them.
Some examples were:
Tell us about yourself
- The employer wants to know about you but also put you under pressure to see how you react on the spot.
- Take full advantage of the control they’ve given you
- Don’t give a life story, keep it pertinent, keep focused on the position you’re applying for.
2 to 3 minutes long and briefly cover your education,interest in the field, work history and experience.
Why Should you get this Job?
- Your opportunity to describe why you want the job and why you would be a perfect fit for the company.
- This is your personal sales pitch
Appropriate Answer Format:
“From what we’ve discussed so far, you’re looking for ‘X’. In the past I have demonstrated ‘X’,’Y’ and ‘Z’ (experience and your main strengths) which have really helped my previous employer.
Where do you see yourself in fives years time?
- The employer wants to see if you’ve thought about your future and you’re ambition to progress in the industry.
- They also want to verify that you plan to stay with them for a long time.
- If you’re applying for an entry level position, explain how you’d like your career to progress. for example ‘I’d like to progress to this position’
- If you’re applying for a senior position explain how’d you move the company forward, have a look at their business strategies and explain how you could help them achieve it.
Be passionate about the industry, fit your career goals around the company’s objectives. Demonstrate passion and exploit your strengths.
What are your weaknesses?
- Realise what they are, be honest, there’s always ways for us to improve ourselves.
- Take one weakness and give practical examples of how you’re trying to address it.
A good answer would be:
“I used to find it difficult to work on simultaneous project, preferring to finish one task before starting another. However since taking part in a time management course recently, I’ve learnt how to manage my schedule more effectively, making it easier to multi task when necessary.”
Appropriate answer format:
Weakness + how you’ve tried/how you’re trying to address it, and turn it into a strength.
What are your Strengths?
- Pick the three biggest attributes that you think will get you the job and give examples of how you have used these strengths in a work situation.
- They could be tangible skills like, proficiency in a computer language or intangible skills like good management.
- If you’re not sure where to start take a look at the job description which should give you an idea of what they’re looking for.
Appropriate answer format:
Be ‘T-shaped’, Have a good broad knowledge but a good expertise in the area you’re applying for.