Interview Techniques

The key to a successful partnership is trust, integrity and solidarity

Before The Interview:

  • Check the map and directions
  • Get a copy of the job spec
  • Re-read your CV again
  • Print a further copy for the interviewer
  • Leave in plenty of time to get there
  • Remember to have telephone numbers and names of interviewers on you in case of delay

Upon Arrival:

  • Who do you ask for?
  • You may have far to walk to the interview room. Perhaps someone else will pick you up and take you to the interviewer
  • People like to talk – get them to do the work!
  • Discuss the building, their products, successes, their Founder etc.
  • Have your papers to hand and your questions ready. Use a folder for your documentation

During The Interview:

  • Listen, Listen, Listen. You have heard it before but remember people have two ears and one mouth.
  • Some interviewers are better than others. Help them to get the best out of you
  • If you need to, take control – ask them if it’s OK to talk through you CV with them
  • Body language is key. Don’t slouch – and think about what you will do with your hands.
  • Don’t interrupt. If you think of something important, make a note immediately and come back to it later
  • If you believe that you would be very good at this job, tell them exactly why

People Buy People

Sure, this is an interview – but if you genuinely get on with the interviewer and like them, the chances are they’ll like you too. They will be calculating if you will get on with the existing team – and will your future success help them.

Interview Checklist

As part of your final preparation, here’s a checklist. Can you answer “YES” to all these questions?

  • I’ve spent at least 30 minutes checking out the employers website
  • I know the names of the main character in the company
  • I know the main milestones regarding the companies achievements
  • I have the directions and map committed to memory – and it’s printed out ready
  • I have enough copies of my CV on standby for any eventuality
  • I have all the contact details written down including the telephone number of the agency
  • I have arranged all the time off that I shall need
  • I understand the job spec
  • If I’m asked, I know what my “bottom line” is in terms of money
  • I have a list of questions ready to ask in the interview
  • I know at least five strong points regarding my skills and character
  • I can list my weaknesses (at least 5) and how I can turn these into “positives”
  • I can speak intelligently why I want to leave my current employer – or why I left
  • I’ve practised some of the “harder” questions that I may get asked

But above all, it is the person they want to buy. Sure, you have skills and various attributes. Skills can be trained and employers will make allowances for that. But legislation or not, in our experience, employers rarely make allowances for people who will not fit into the existing team.

Sample Interview Questions

It’s a very good idea to get your mind prepared for your interview! Think about the weak areas in your CV and your life. Be prepared to talk positively about negative experiences.

But remember…DON’T do all the talking. Listen hard!

Have someone ask you awkward questions as a rehearsal. Here’s some to get you started.

Do you have answers for all of these and can you give detailed, specific examples to back your answer up?

  • What attributes and skills do you think will be required for this job?
  • What do you think can you contribute?
  • What do you know about us?
  • Why should we employ you?
  • How long do you think it would be before you were making a significant contribution to the team?
  • What drives you?
  • What concerns you about the role we’re discussing?
  • Is this job similar to your current (last) one? What are the differences?
  • Tell me about your previous role. What did you contribute?
  • What did you find challenging?
  • What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made?
  • How long have you been looking for a new job?
  • Do you prefer to work in a small or large team?
  • What would your ideal job be?
  • Are you considering any other positions at the moment?
  • What would your current manager say about you?
  • What would your peers say about you?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • Do you consider yourself successful?
  • What has been your greatest success?
  • Tell me about you bad points.
  • Are you a leader?
  • How do you handle criticism?
  • Can you act on your own initiative? Tell me about that.
  • What motivates you?
  • What management style do you prefer? Explain.
  • In your opinion, what’s the best way to motivate people?
  • Are you competitive?
  • Is there anyone who annoyed you in your last job? Tell me about that.
  • How do you handle conflict? Talk to me about conflict that you have experienced.
  • How do you perform under pressure?
  • Why do you want this job?