Preparation for the Interview

Great news! You have an interview!

You have impressed your future potential employer with your brilliant CV or application form. You have probably beaten many other applicants because something in your application has made you stand out from the other candidates.

Now you need to capitalize on your advantage, and persuade them in person that the job is for you.

  • Organise what you are wearing before the interview. This will ensure there is no last minute rush and you will arrive relaxed and confident. This will reflect the image that you want to show your potential employer so make sure it is conservative and professional. Remember first impressions are the strongest – and a chance to show that you care enough to make an effort.
  • Check the location of the company, do a trial run of going by public transport to the interview, or take a drive a few days before the interview to check connections, parking etc (don’t leave finding out about transport or road problems until the day and possibly get lost, arriving late and stressed)
  • Research the company.  They may just ask you! The more you know about the business the more knowledgeable you will appear. Do you know about their products and services? Who is their parent company, if any? How many employees are there? What is their share price, how are profits? They will be impressed if you have done your homework, and less than impressed if you know nothing about them, or the industry.
  • Take your up to date CV with you. Also bring all the necessary documentation like certificates and letters where relevant.
  • Prepare a list of questions that you would like to ask in the interview. This will demonstrate to the employer that you are really interested in the position. Most interviewers will ask you if you have questions.

This is also about whether you like them as a potential employer as well, so interview them too!

Some questions you may want to ask:

  • What is the culture of the company?
  • Is there an induction and training program?
  • What sort of people have done well in the organisation?
  • Are there advanced training programs available for those who demonstrate outstanding ability?
  • What is the vision for the organisation’s growth?
  • What are the organisation’s best-selling products or services?
  • What is the next step in the recruitment process?

Plan to arrive 15 minutes before the interview. This will ensure that if any unforeseen circumstances occur, you will not be late.

During the interview, remember to:

  • Shake hands firmly
  • First impressions are important
  • Smile
  • Make eye contact
  • Make sure that you answer the question
  • Don’t interrupt the interviewer
  • Have confidence in yourself – they would not have asked you to come in if they were not impressed with you already.

Frequently asked Questions

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What kind of position are you looking for?
  • Why do you want to work in this industry/company?
  • Why did you leave your last position?
  • What did you do in your previous position?
  • What did you like the least/best about it?
  • How many people did you supervise?
  • What did you accomplish?
  • Give me some examples of the most difficult problems you encountered in your previous position, how did you resolve them?
  • How was your performance measured?
  • How did you get along with your manager/colleagues?
  • What are the qualities you look for in you’re manager?
  • How would you describe your own operating/management style?
  • What do you consider to be your strongest qualities?
  • What are some of your weaknesses?
  • What position do you hope to reach in five years?
  • Do you have any leisure activities or hobbies? Why do you enjoy these?

Interview ‘Don’ts’

  • Not being prepared – Knowing nothing about the company to whom you are talking
  • Not listening to questions carefully
  • Making very general statements which lack substance
  • Being over enthusiastic or too friendly
  • Slouching, mumbling, speaking slowly, or chewing
  • Making derogatory remarks about your present or former employers.
  • Being evasive or guessing your answers. If you’re not sure, be honest.