Interview tips and guidelines
Prepare well – find out as much as possible about the company before the interview; consider the skills and experience required for the job and be prepared to demonstrate how you match up to these requirements.
– Dress appropriately – it is better to be over-dressed than under-dressed
– Arrive at your destination early and your appointment on time
– Be positive when asked about your journey
– Actively listen
– Respond concisely and positively
– Show initiative by asking questions
– Enjoy the experience
Eye contact – immediate upon meeting interviewer; relaxed & appropriate throughout
– Hand Shake – firm
– Pace of Movement – ‘mirror’ the interviewer
– Seating position – upright; leaning forward to indicate interest
– Posture – comfortable and open; remain within own territory
– Facial expressions – warm and genuine
– Hand gestures – open and non-threatening
Common interviewer questions
Click on the question headline to see our suggestions for how to answer these:
Give a brief overview of your experience, don’t waffle.
Connect your experience with the reasons for applying for the job opportunity in question.
Make sure you stick to the script of your CV.
Provide responses that suggest you are a stable, well-adjusted and positive individual.
Give only positive statements, sell your skills and experiences as benefits.
Demonstrate that you have researched the company; know their products, the firm’s size, and its reputation within industry, its history and values.
Allow the interviewer to tell you more about the company. Pay attention!
Talk about their needs and explain what you can do for them. It’s not about what you want at this stage.
Show them you want to be part of their success story, helping them to achieve their goals and meet their challenges.
Example response: “I believe that I have the skills, knowledge, competences and experience to help the company be successful.”
Some employers are looking for specific key phrases like ‘dynamic environment’. Consider how you work best, but also think about the philosophy of the company before answering.
Don’t say that you enjoy working in a relaxed environment if they are looking for dynamism, but also consider the kind of environment that will help you to be successful and happy.
Talk about how you would like to progress through the company. The interviewer needs to know you’re not going to jump ship at the earliest opportunity.
Talk about the skills and experiences you’d like to gain.
Mention any other career ambitions that are relevant to the role you’ve applied for.
Be honest, but end on a positive note.
Explain that you are happy to undertake further training to develop your skills.
Show how you have managed to minimise or turn weaknesses into strengths (e.g. through training and education), and use your strengths to reduce the impact of your weaknesses.
We all have weaknesses. Still, think about how they might affect the interviewer’s impression of you before you talk.
Bring out the positive aspects of what your friends have said about you.
You can mention any criticisms, but demonstrate that you are willing to act upon advice.
Demonstrate that you can get on with all kinds of people – particularly at work.
Don’t criticise your past employers.
Say something like, “I have gained significant experience, knowledge and skills over the last x number of years, but I feel that I need the fresh challenge provided by this opportunity.”
Sound enthusiastic and demonstrate that you can be flexible. The interviewer may not always choose an immediately available person, so don’t worry if you need to give notice to your current employer. You could still be the person his or her company needs.
Be ready to ask questions too. Researching the company before attending the interview can make it easier to ask the right questions. Failing to ask questions is often seen as bad as answering an interviewer’s questions poorly. So prepare yourself!
Interview Questions to Ask the Employer
– How would you describe a typical week/day in this position?
– How many people work in this office/department?
– What is the typical work week? Is overtime expected?
– What are the prospects for growth and advancement?
– Are there any examples?
– If I am extended a job offer, how soon would you like me to start?
– When can I expect to hear from you?
Interview Questions NOT to Ask
– What does this company do? (Do your research ahead of time!)
– If I get the job when can I take time off for vacation? (Wait until you get the offer to mention prior commitments)
– Can I change my schedule if I get the job? (If you need to figure out the logistics of getting to work don’t mention it now…)
– Did I get the job? (Don’t be impatient. They’ll let you know.)