Preparing for your interview
The competency-based interview
How should you prepare?
Firstly, think about the competency areas we'll be assessing you against, you'll have been told what these were when you were invited to interview. (The full list is in the Competency Interview section.) What do you think these mean in the context of the role you’re applying for? If you aren't sure more information is available about competencies on the internet.
Consider the work that you’ve done to date that shows really good examples of the personal qualities that we are looking for. Remember, this might not be the biggest or most successful project you have worked on, but the one where you showed your skills at their best.
Structuring your response
To answer the questions, it can be helpful to use a structure. One of the more recognised ones is called the STAR technique: Situation, Task, Action, Result.
- Situation: Describe a recent challenge/situation in which you found yourself.
- Task: What you were trying to achieve from the situation.
- Action: What did you do? Why you did it and what the alternatives were.
- Result: What did you achieve through your actions and did you meet your objectives? What did you learn from this experience and have you used this learning since?
It can be a lot to remember, but STAR is fairly simple, and will really help structure your answer for maximum impact. Whatever approach you use, the key thing is to listen really carefully to the question and make sure you give a full answer to it.
Try and make your examples transferable.
It can help to pick examples that allow interviewers to see how your communication skills can be transferred to the job that they are recruiting for. For example, if the job you are being interviewed for involves lots of presentations as a way of communicating with people, use an example in the interview of where you have communicated verbally, and delivered a presentation. If you find this difficult, use an example of other styles of communication you have used, and then explain to the interviewers how you would have adapted your style and approach to deliver the communication as a presentation.
Think about how you explain your example.
If the project you are trying to describe is quite technical or complicated, give some thought to how you would break this down and explain it simply to people who might be less familiar with the project.
Practice explaining your example to a friend who has never worked with you before. If they are able to understand how you did a great job without knowing anything about the complexities of the project, the interviewers will be able to do the same. Ask your friend to be honest. Really honest. If you ramble too much, gesture too much, talk too fast, or all of the above it's better to hear about this from a friend rather than an interviewer.
Think about the little things you did.
When we work on some really big projects it's sometimes easy to forget the little things that we've done that made it a big success. Sometimes we're so good at taking care of those little things that we forget how good we are at them.
Think of some of the examples that you want to use and see if you can explain them to some of the people who have worked with you closely - ask them if there is anything they would add that you haven't thought of, nine times out of ten they saw you do something really useful that you would never thought to have mentioned in the interview.
Try and relax and take some time.
It's not a race. If you are asked a question feel free to ask to think for a minute about how you want to answer. If you aren't sure of exactly what the interviewer wants, ask to hear the question again.
And finally remember that we're on your side.
No one wants to see a nervous candidate who is upset or anxious about the process. That's why we try and give you as much notice as we can about the interview, tell you what we will be assessing and make sure we give everyone in our processes the same chance at showing their skills.
We aren't trying to trip you up, or catch you out. We just want to book in a bit of time to sit down with you and hear more about you, and give you a chance to meet us.
Most of our administration centres and contact centres have parking. If no parking is available at the particular site that you are visiting your Resourcing Consultant will be able to advise of the nearest public car park.
If you're attending an interview in a branch or using public transport to attend an interview, we recommend you check you know where you're going before you leave.
Google Maps should be able to help you find the nearest public transport.
Do make sure that you arrive in plenty of time, our reception areas can get busy, especially first thing in the morning so leaving yourself extra time should make this process smoother, and hopefully leave you feeling a bit more relaxed. When you arrive at reception, they'll take your name and then take a photo to make you a visitor's pass. Your interviewers will then be contacted, and will come and collect you.
What to wear
At Nationwide, most people wear smart casual except in our branches. However, interviewees usually dress in business-wear. A good example of this is a clean and ironed shirt with smart trousers/skirt or suit and smart shoes.
When will I hear back?
We know you'll be keen to hear the outcome of your interview, and we'll aim to update you as soon as we can after the last interview has taken place. If there will be any major delays in letting you know, we'll keep you updated.
If following this assessment, you are offered a role at Nationwide as part of the offer process you will be asked to provide evidence of your right to work status and proof of address. The way in which you will do this will differ based on your personal circumstances. We have provided some further information below to give you an indication of what you might be asked to provide. It is important that when this information is requested you act promptly to prevent any delays in an offer.
1. Online Right to Work Check via www.gov.uk , if you are a non-UK/Irish citizen - you can generate a sharecode to prove your right to work status and we will conduct a quick video call with you to verify this document. You will typically be able to use this service is you have a visa.
2. Digital Identity Service – if you hold an in date British or Irish passport/passport card you will be able to digitally verify your identity as part of our screening checks – you will receive full information of how to do this. It is important that this check is completed as soon as it has been requested from you. You will also be asked to email us a photo or scanned copy of your passport and proof of address which we will verify over a quick video call with you.
3. Manual check of your original documents – if you are unable to use the online right to work service or digital identity service, then we will need you to take your right to work documents and proof of address in to one of our branches for a member of the Nationwide team to take a copy of these and verify them.
The documents we can accept are listed below. You need to provide one document from each section, unless your legal right to work documentation covers the identity requirements too. If you have any questions about providing these documents please contact your Resourcing Consultant.
Right to work:
- A passport (current or expired) showing the holder is a British citizen or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the right of abode in the UK.
- A passport or passport card (in either case, whether current or expired) showing that the holder is an Irish citizen.
- A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, has the right of abode in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
- A current passport endorsed to show that the holder is allowed to stay in the UK and is currently allowed to do the type of work in question.
- A digital right to work check indicating that the named person is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a government agency or a previous employer.
- A digital right to work check containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the named person may stay in the UK, and is allowed to do the type of work in question, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a government agency or a previous employer.
- A birth or adoption certificate issued in the UK/Channel Islands/Isle of Man/Ireland, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a government agency or a previous employer
- A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a government agency or a previous employer.
- Valid Passport (Any Nationality) must be in date
- Current UK Photocard Driving Licence Full or Provisional – England/Wales/Scotland/Northern Ireland/Isle of Man (both front and back of photo ID card is required)
- Valid photo identity card (EEA/Swiss)
- Current Biometric Residence permit/card
- Original UK Birth certificate (issued within 12 months of date of birth, full form acceptable) + additional document showing full name and NI number
- Adoption Certificate (UK) + additional document showing full name and NI number
- Certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British Citizen + additional document showing full name and NI number.
Proof of address:
- Current UK Photocard Driving Licence Full or Provisional – England/Wales/Scotland/Northern Ireland/Isle of Man (only if not provided as proof of ID)
- Bank or Building Society Document dated within the last 3 months (excluding online statements & Monzo)
- Mail Order Catalogue Statement dated within the last months (excluding online statements)
- Utility Bill (Electricity, Gas, Water) dated within the last 3 months (excluding online statements)
- Credit Card Statement dated within the last 3 months (excluding online statements)
- Store Card Statement dated in the last 3 months (excluding online statements)
- Council Tax statement (dated within the last 12 months)
- Bank Statement stamped by Issuing Branch dated within the last 3 months (excluding online statements & Monzo)
- Mortgage Statement dated within the last 12 months (excluding online copies)
- Letter/Correspondence issued by a Government Dept i.e., Inland Revenue, DWP dated within the last 3 months (excluding online copies)
- Pension/Endowment Statement dated within the last 12 months (excluding online copies)
- P45/P60 Document (only a typewritten document is acceptable dated within the last 12 months).