Work experience at university level is often offered between the second and final years of an undergraduate degree course, especially in the science, engineering and computing fields. Courses of this nature are often called sandwich courses with the work experience year itself known as the sandwich year.
During sandwich year, the students on work placement have the opportunity to use the skills and knowledge gained in their first two years and see how they are applied to real world problems. This offers them useful insights for their final year and prepares them for the job market once their course has finished. Some companies sponsor students in their final year at university with the promise of a job at the end of the course. This is an incentive for the student to perform well during the placement as it helps with two otherwise unwelcome stresses: the lack of money in the final year, and finding a job when the University course ends.
Think of the actions that you took to achieve the goal. Every single step that you have taken for achieving the objectives:
☛ Tasks during the activity.
☛ Your personal management activities.
☛ The changes and difficulties that you handled effectively.
Interviewers are concerned about job hoppers people who do not settle but move from job to job. In a recession many jobs are short-term and so this may not be a negative reflection on you but the interviewer needs to be convinced.
If you have changed jobs more frequently than average, be ready to explain the reasons why. If it is a case of a job not working out, be ready to explain. It could be that you moved for a promotion but within weeks you realized the company was in difficulty, with your job at risk, hence now looking for a new job.
☛ I liked my employer. He/she treated me fairly and respected my work.
☛ I appreciated my previous employer having given me the opportunity to acquire a lot of skills and experiences in (name area of work skill).
Never run down or say anything negative about anybody or anyone. The employer will feel that you will do it to them. You should state the positive things such as he had high expectations and I really respected him for that. He was down to earth and really knew the job I was doing, if I had any problems he was approachable and would always give me suggestion or he gave the responsibility to do a good job.
☛ I am the type of person or is very hard on myself. I am always expecting myself to do a little bit more. However, I guess this works out well for my employer.
☛ I never like to leave work until I have every thing finished completely. Sometimes this bothers me but I feel inside that it is important.
☛ I am the type of person who always takes my work home with me. This sometimes interferes with my personal life but I feel that work comes first.
You never want to give any indication of any weaknesses that you have. Turn you weaknesses into strengths by working it to the employer's advantage.
My greatest strength is that I have a lot of initiative. I am always looking for a better way to do things at work that I feel would save the company money and I can always achieve my production quotas. For example one time I was working at my station and I felt that I was wasting time by always having to walk to the other side of my station to get some parts. So I reorganized the station and my supervisor was really impressed as it increased my quota.
This is your opportunity to brag a little bit. It is important that you have done your research about the type of work that you are applying for. For example if you are applying as a production laborer and from your research you understand that this type of work required people that have the ability to meet quotas, work as a team and make improvement suggestions, then it is important for you to incorporate this into your strengths.