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    • Thread Starter

    I've never had a paid job before, I've only volunteered and this will be my third interview in total. Although the first two were via a scheme and were a lot easier to get, this was via the normal means.

    The position is a Facilities Services Assistant. I applied because the job description seemed like something I could do, although I'm not sure what the job actually is as I've never heard of an FSA.

    In the e-mail I was instructed as follows:

    The interview is expected to last approximately 30 minutes and will include discussion about your employment history and your knowledge of [company name]. We will expect you to answer questions in line with a competency based framework so please ensure that you prepare accordingly.


    The role will involve supporting various departments within the office in the delivery of exceptional administrative services.

    Key duties will include (but are not limited to): the day to day processing of post, archiving, covering reception, general administration, taking documents to court, processing stationery requests and supporting the Facilities Management Team with projects and ad-hoc tasks.

    The ideal candidate will possess administrative experience within a professional services environment, comprehensive computer skills and an excellent understanding of customer service.


    In my voluntary job I sat with people one-to-one and taught them how to do whatever they needed to learn on a computer. I had to do paperwork (taking feedback and signing in customers), printing documents and communicating with the librarians as we needed to go through them to print files, log on and extend the time on the computer etc.

    I know the above relates to the job description somewhat but after seeing "administrative experience within a professional services environment desirable" I'm slightly worried as it wasn't in a professional environment and I hope they haven't assumed that.

    How can I ace this interview? The job seems easy enough and I assume there will be training, I'm a fast learner and I know I can do it despite not having "real" experience.

    Don't down-play the experience you've done; volunteering or not, professional environment or not...you've still used the same basic skills which the job requires. If that weren't the case they wouldn't have even given you an interview - be confident!

    Prepare yourself for competency based questions and when you answer them, use the 'star' method (google if you don't know what that means). Think of examples for when you have done/demonstrated xyz.

    How you come across will be important as well. Slow your speech down and make it deliberate - it may sound weird to yourself to do this but it makes a big difference in sounding confident and allows you to give measured responses. Think of how people speak when they give presentations and speeches if you want an idea of what I mean. Make sure your body language is good as well i.e. sitting upright, making eye contact etc.

    And most importantly be enthusiastic! It may be a small office so having some semblance of a personality is likely to count for a lot too.

    Good Luck

    It actually sounds like you've got a good bit of relevant experience. It sounds like your volutary work gives you exactly what they're looking for. Don't get hung up on the 'professional environment' line. Just because you weren't paid does not mean you didn't carry out that job in a professional manner and a professional attitude wasn't expected of you. In fact, if I was interviewing you and raised that point, I'd be very impressed with that answer. (You can give me 5% of your salary if you decide to use it and you get the job).

    Don't play down your skills or experience. If you beleive you have the right skills and experience and you're the right person for the job, they're more likely to believe you.
    • Thread Starter


    It went ok, better than my previous two. I find out soon. Fingers, toes and everything else crossed!!
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