Charities Interview Questions

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  • Paid Retail Sales Assistant

    5.0/5 | Interview date: July 2015 | Job offer? Not yet |

    Was this helpful? Yes 4

    Sectors: Charities

    Difficulty rating 80.0 / 100

    Interview process

    I was invited to an interview over the phone after applying online and completing an assessment. I was called about two days after I applied and there was a total of 105 applicants.

    The interview involved a meet and greet with the shop manager and the manager from another store. It took in total around 20 minutes and the staff where lovely to talk to, very friendly and welcoming. Immediately felt in my comfort zone.

    The first steps of the interview were a description of the company and what its like to work for them and what's expected of an employee.

    Following on from this the first question they asked was to find out if I was suitable for the role. This question was
    "Tell us about yourself?"

    The rest of the questions were to find out about what I thought the perfect employee would be and how I would manage a group of volunteers. What I would expect from them.

    After this the interviewer needed to see what I would except a successful shop to look and run like so she asked ' what would the key components be to a good charity shop'?

    After this I was asked if I had experience in being organised, meeting deadlines, dealing with customers and building relationships. This was basically looking at my employment history and educational history and providing examples.

    Another question they asked was
    "Where would I see my self In five years career wise If i got the job?" This was to see if I had long term goals and I was going to work hard at the job to rise up in the company and be a success.

    The next question I was asked is "How would I increase the stores sales"


    The final question was "so why should we hire you" This was a chance to make myself stand out above the other applicants and make the remember me when they come to choosing the correct candidate for the job.

    Most difficult question

    The most difficult questions were :

    "What would you say is your biggest weakness?"

    This question was difficult because an interview is all about selling yourself and to talk about yourself in a bad light is not going to get you the job.
    The best thing to do is to talk about a weakness you had and how you overcome it with examples to show you can develop as a person, learn new things and turn the negative into a positive. Another suggestion would be to say how you're weakness can also be a good thing.



    "Tell us about yourself"
    This question is hard because it can trick you into talking about your whole life story and family background when really they just want to know times when you've been successful and if you are a good match for the job.

    Interview tips

    The best tips I could give would be:

    Research the company so you know how it's run, what in involves, what the ideal candidate would be and the job culture.

    Visit a few of the shops so you can see the store layouts, how items are priced, what kind of items they sell, the working environment and how members of staff deal with customers.

    Look exactly at the job description and compare the requirements to your skills, so you can come up with examples to show your suitability and that you are prepared.

    Talk about times when you have offered great customer service and helped boost sales as this will really impress them and show you are good for the job role.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    *none

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 5/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 5/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Advanced Trainer

    3.7143/5 | Interview date: June 2014 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 5

    Sectors: Charities

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    5 different group tasks. 5 people all together. 1st was to talk for 2 mins about ourselves, who inspires us, one little known fact. 2nd was to build a tower out of paper clips and paper as a team. 3rd was half an hour training session with the dogs. 4th was to give a 5 min presentation on either "The benefits of a canine partner" or "The psychological implications of needing a canine partner later on in life". 5th was to list key skills required in this role, as a group.

    Most difficult question

    The most difficult task was the last one, where we had to agree on the key skills required in job, out of a given list. Everyone thought different skills were more important or should come first

    Interview tips

    Be yourself, be keen, be friendly, be light-hearted. There is not a lot of preparation that you can actually do before-hand but make sure you know what the company does and why and the benefits of a canine partner. Show them how you can make a difference to the team and what you can bring.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    Build a tower out of paper and paper clips
    Training session with the dogs
    Presentation
    Agree as a group what key skills are required in the role

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 2/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 3/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 4/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Worthwhile Graduate Scheme

    3.2857/5 | Interview date: June 2014 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 6

    Sectors: Charities

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    The interview was at an assessment event day held at one of the potential charities for the scheme. There were a few group exercises in the morning to test our creativity, communication and team work skills. The first was a task where we worked in a group of three and had to make notebooks according to a sample provided we had to provide an estimate for how many we would be able to complete within a time limit. For the second task, again in groups of three we were provided with a potential task which might might have been asked of us if we had the job. We had to discuss what we would do in groups and then present to the room before answering questions. Then there was an individual case study interview where I read three potential ideas to invest in within 15 minutes then was asked to discuss which idea I decided upon and my reasoning for this. There was then a competency based interview where I was asked to talk specifically about times when I had demonstrated different skills. Each interview had two interviewers and lasted for 15 minutes.

    Most difficult question

    I was asked 'If you are not accepted onto this scheme what will you be doing instead?'

    Interview tips

    Do extensive research into the third sector and issues within this. Ensure you can express and formulate your interest and motivation for working in the third sector. Plan your day carefully since there will be travelling involved and waiting around between tasks. Expect a relaxed culture at the organisation, this is not a very formal interview. Plan and practice a large range of competency based questions- for instance what are your weaknesses and how have you worked on these? name a time when you have used your creativity etc

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    Two group exercises- one a simple construction exercise and the second a discussion exercise. Then a case study interview and a competency based interview.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 4/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 3/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 2/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 3/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 4/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 3/5
  • Team support co-ordinator

    3.7143/5 | Interview date: December 2013 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes 15

    Sectors: Charities

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    My interview was a face to face meeting with the Service Manager and another Co-ordinator who had a structured set of around 20 questions.

    The questions were very long and involved situations such as "tell us when" or "tell me how". Each question had an outcome that had to be met such as Question 1 outcome show professionalism and integrity and then a scenario would be read out and you would have to describe what you would do but keeping in mind the two outcomes.

    The questions were mainly based on case studies and what you would do in the situation however there were questions about policies/ procedures and legislation.

    Most difficult question

    Case situation:

    You attend an emergency call out to a single ladies home at 2.00 am as her fall detector has being activated. You arrive and cannot find the property. Firstly what would you do?

    You have now seen the property but it is across a field, down dark paths and there are trees blocking your path. What do you do?

    You arrive at the property and the door is open, the key safe open and it is dark. What do you do?

    Interview tips

    Try and divide the questions up in your head to sub sections

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    N/A

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 3/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 3/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 4/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 4/5
  • Regional Corporate Partnerships

    4.7143/5 | Interview date: September 2013 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes 25

    Sectors: Charities

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    Very relaxed - by two ladies - very friendly.

    Competency based Questions:

    example of team work
    example of when something went wrong. How did you go around changing it? What did you learn?
    What kind of leader are you in a team?
    How would three friends describe you?

    Why Cancer Research?
    What interested you about this role?
    What if anything seemed off putting with the role?

    Most difficult question

    The questions, if you prepare competency based questions don't really put you on the spot.

    If anything, I wasn't prepared for the how would three friends describe you, but I made it up on the spot fine.

    Interview tips

    Prepare competency based questions and you will be fine.

    Read up on projects Cancer Research are working on. Read up on their new brand they have created and the meaning behind it.

    Understand Cancer Researches values and beliefs - and link them into your answers during the interview.

    Get experience within the charity sector before hand - get a good understanding of the company before interview.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    Angel office in London is lovely - so the experience of going there was fun in itself!

    I enjoyed chatting with the ladies.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 5/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 5/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 5/5
  • Fundraiser

    3.5714/5 | Interview date: August 2013 | Job offer? Yes |

    Was this helpful? Yes 3

    Sectors: Charities

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    The initial stage in the interview process, was to fill out an online application form, and then to read aloud a portion of a fundraising script over the phone, which would later be listened to by members of the recruitment panel. Based on this fundamental test, candidates where whittled down to a select number, who were invited to an intimate interview- consisting of two members of University staff.

    We had an initial conversation regarding my application, and hat I hoped to achieve in being a representative of the University. In following the discussion moved on to a set number of questions relating to my competence in talking to people; my passion for the fundraising campaign; as well as my previous work experience.

    Most difficult question

    Outline where you have, in a pressurised situation, shown strong signs of leadership and ingenuity?

    When, in the past, have you shown your ability to resolve disputes?

    Interview tips

    Research the role before the interview.

    Read over you application.

    Ensure you are acutely familiar with your CV, and your positive qualities.

    Do research on general interview questions, so that if you are asked these, you will have a confident answer prepared.

    Be sure of where and when the interview will take place, and also who will be taking it.

    Arrive early, well dressed, well rested, and with a clear head, ready to converse in a clear and confident way.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    It was a very positive experience. I was able to answer all questions concisely and competently. I had researched a great deal before the interview, and was clear on the role I was applying for, and why I wanted the role.

    The interview panel were the amicable and were comfortable to digress from the main interview script - allowing me to improvise, and provide pragmatic responses in a conversational manner. This style, I think, meant they were able to glean more from the interview than they would basing the interview on a generic format.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 5/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 3/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 4/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 4/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 1/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 4/5
  • Teach First Leadership Development Programme

    4.2857/5 | Interview date: May 2013 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 11

    Sectors: Charities

    Difficulty rating 60.0 / 100

    Interview process

    was a very friendly atmosphere at the interview. Started with a group assessment lasting about 40minutes. Each took a role in a group, but difficult to gauge if you did well as everyone was doing similar things. Gave feedback on this. Then an individual interview with someone already on the programme, asked competency questions and tried to steer you in direction that they wanted you to. Wanted lots of examples for each answer. Then 5 minute presentation in front of two people pretending to be children, and had to self-assess yourself on this also. Equally difficult to do but didn't feel very pressured, a very relaxed environment. Whole day lasted 6 hours so long day.

    Most difficult question

    Describe a time where you failed and how you would do it again.

    Interview tips

    Be very self aware and critical of youself. Be confident. Make sure you speak out in the group assessment but also be considerate to others. Know lots of accurate facts about the company and it's philosophy. Have lots of examples ready for every type of competency question you can think of.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    very relaxed. about 30 people there. group assessment split into smaller groups of 6 to do role play, obvious that they wanted you to show yourself as a leader but also conscientious.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 5/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 3/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 5/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 4/5
  • Marketing Assistant

    3.8571/5 | Interview date: May 2013 | Job offer? No |

    Was this helpful? Yes 12

    Sectors: Charities

    Difficulty rating 40.0 / 100

    Interview process

    My interview was one on one based with the Marketing Director, and was the first stage of the interview process. It was explained to me that if I was successful, I would then be invited back to the second stage which would consist of a formal presentation and further questions.
    The interview itself was very challenging and lasted 20mins. The interviewer had set down the person specification in front of me which was helpful, however the questions proved to be difficult. The first few questions were focused on the charity, and tested how much I knew about the organisation and why I wanted to work there. Then the questions were more focused on my personality and concentrated on what qualities I could bring to the role. I found that the majority of these questions were open ended such as "What are your best attributes", and the interviewer wanted me to provide long and detailed answers as they prompted me at one stage to add additional information. The interview then progressed on to more competency based questions in relation to the role itself, and the interviewer was keen to draw upon the experiences which I had gained through previous roles and voluntary work. There was a big emphasis on transferable skills such as multi-tasking, team work, communicating and writing. I believe that is why they focused a lot on experience. Following this, I was then presented with a problem solving based question where I had to describe how to manage negative comments on social media channels. I believe this was one of my strongest answers, as this is my area of expertise.
    The interview concluded with the opportunity of me being able to ask a few questions. I felt this was the strongest part of my interview as I had prepared well for this. I asked "What is the work culture like at the Scottish SPCA" and "How would you rate your current social media presence?". I felt like the interviewer was challenged by these questions as they paused for a moment before answering them, especially the last one.
    Overall, I thought that this was one of the most difficult and challenging interviews which I have been too, but I gained a lot from it. It improved my confidence, and made me understand how much I want to work within the Third Sector. I feel that this interview also made me appreciate the qualities which I do possess, and how much I have gained from previous experiences. The most useful element which I gained from this process was the feedback. I was told how sometimes my answers were not direct enough and that I sometimes provided unnecessary details. This proved to be very constructive as I now have improved upon this and understand the importance of providing direct, relevant and concise answers.

    Most difficult question

    The most difficult question which I was asked was "How would your friends describe you?"

    Other difficult questions were:

    "Which tasks from the job description would you find most difficult, and how would you develop your skills in this area?"

    "What is your greatest weakness and how have you taken steps to improve this?"

    "What is your dream job?"

    Interview tips

    The most important tip I would suggest would be to research the company/organisation thoroughly before your interview because the employer wants to know that you have a genuine interest in the work that they do, and that you share in their passion. Make sure to research their website, and read any publications which they have issued over the past year which give an insight into their yearly work.

    I would also advise candidates to prepare answers to questions and practice them either in front of somebody else or even alone. This will boost your confidence and you will have a clear map in your mind of how to structure your answers. In my experience, I find that if I write key words down on post it notes it helps to cement what I want to say in my brain.

    Another useful tip would be to research any current trends or recent news articles within your field of work, as this can be a common question which crops up. Even if not asked, it is always impressive to mention something which is of relevant discussion within the industry to show that you are actively engaging and interested in your work.

    Always prepare at least two questions to ask at the end of an interview. This provides you with the opportunity to find out if the company/organisation is right for you as well. Try to ask questions that reflect your interest such as "Can you describe a typical day/week in this position?" , and "What aspects of your role do you find most enjoyable?".

    Relax - it's very easy to get nervous, and even over - prepare. Just remember that the employer must believe in you if they invite you to an interview, so have confidence and make sure to smile. If your body language is welcoming and friendly, this will convey a very positive attitude. I know it sounds cliched, but if you really try to just be yourself and show that you have the ability to do the job, they can't fault you.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    I did not attend an assessment centre for this particular job.

    Interview steps

    Interviews

    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video

    Tests

    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric

    Other

    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 4/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 5/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 3/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 3/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 4/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 4/5

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