Good Interview Techniques

Your CV has impressed a potential employer enough to invite you to an interview. Here are some frequently asked questions around conducting a good interview.

What is an interview? You will be judged on experience, qualifications, experience, appearance and confidence.  .  Prepare carefully and maintain a positive, constructive point of view during interviews.  Remember that an interview is a 2 way process, an interview is to form a vision of what your working life might look and feel like

What should I do to prepare for the  interview? Learn about the company, check their website and be able to reel off a couple of salient points that shows you have done some research.  Make sure your CV is up to date and be able to talk about it without having to look at it.  Practice and role play your best responses until they feel natural.  What you say should reflect your CV, stick to relevant details as much as possible even if it is tempting to tell them about your experiences renting deckchairs on Bondi Beach for 6 months.  Help the interviewer understand what you want and where you are going

What about first impressions? What should I be aware of? A firm handshake reflects a confident person.  Be aware of your body language, try and be open and friendly, ie don’t sit with arms and legs crossed for the duration of the interview, it gives the impression you are not interested. As well as your body language, be aware of your attitude, clothing and appearance.  Even if you are told to dress casually, make sure your clothes are clean and ironed and make sure they recognise you have made some effort.

Any other tips about the interview? Be on time and bring as little baggage as possible.   Don’t bring up the subject of money first (and never quote an exact figure).  Show enthusiasm and energy.  Direct your responses to each questioner (when there is more than one interviewer ).  Don’t regard the interview as an interrogation, assume the recruiter wants you to succeed.  Keep your perspective and keep an open mind.  Be attentive in the interviewing process and remember you are developing a relationship.  Don’t be negative about previous employers or colleagues, if you are asked to describe a negative experience, turn it around to a positive, something you have learned from. Keep in mind that people will remember you the way you tell them to remember you.

Should I follow up afterwards? Yes, write and thank them for the opportunity.  It might be seem like an effort to do so but it is worth it, I know someone who got the job on the strength of their thank you note as the person originally offered the position pulled out and the HR Manager was so impressed by the thank you note that they offered them the position.

Questions you are likely to be asked: What are your short and long term goals? Be realistic and don’t waffle

What would your previous bosses/colleagues say about you?

(Make sure what you say would mirror what they say)

Why are you looking for a new job/leaving your current position?

  • Looking for a new challenge

  • Company is downsizing

  • Company is relocating

  • Promotion/advancement opportunities limited


 What do you know about our company?

  • Research the company before your interview


 What has been the highlight of your career?

  • Be specific – mention costs, percentages, figures


What are your strengths?

  • Be honest – they will find out if you get the job

  • Try to give examples


 What are your weaknesses / areas for improvement?

  • Try and make it sound positive, ie. I sometimes work at a pace that other people find hard to keep up with

  • Be positive, upbeat, friendly, informative


Flourish Coaching provides group or 1:1 sessions on interview techniques.

Please call on / or visit our website www.flourishcoaching.ie for more information Thank You © Flourish Coaching 2009

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