Interview Skill Tips

  • Smile and walk tall as you come in.
  • Give everyone a firm hand shake and look them in the eye.
  • Sit straight in the chair, keep your hands in a relaxed open position, for example, on your knees. (Not in pockets)
  • Smile and then wait for them to begin.
  • When asked questions, make sure you hear them correctly.
  • Ask them to be repeated if you don’t.
  • Answer fairly briefly, looking mostly at the person who asked the question, and also giving the others some eye contact.
  • Illustrate points you are making with specifics.
  • Speak fairly slowly (120 words a minute) and with clear diction. (If you have an accent, speak slower).
  • Vary your voice as much as possible.
  • Make sure you have researched and found the web site of the company.
  • Refer to their mission statement or core values if possible or relevant.
  • If you are asked about weaknesses, turn them to a type of positive. For example, “I tend to need to finish a job.” Or, “I work at night, much to my family’s frustration.”
  • Have a question to ask them that shows you have thought about the position.
  • Smile at the end, shake all hands and leave tall.
  • Answer to all the people in the room, not just to the person who asked the question.
  • Keep answers brief, but do give a specific example to illustrate your point.

Don’ts

  • Don’t ask about money in the first interview.
  • Don’t brag, but don’t under sell yourself.
  • Don’t ask for feedback straight away. (You can do that if you miss out on the job)
  • Don’t waffle on too long.
  • Ask if they want more details if you think you have been too brief.
  • Don’t feel you have to answer questions about your age, religion or sexual preferences! (They are not supposed to be asked)
  • Don’t say you were fired from your last job.
  • Refer to downsizing or looking for new opportunities.
  • Don’t dress too informally.
  • If they ask a difficult question, don’t say, “I can’t answer that.” Say, “That’s a tricky question. It reminds me of another similar question.” Then answer that one.
    NB You should have thought about all the questions you could be asked!
  • Don’t mumble and repeat yourself.
  • Don’t get embarrassed if you forget a word. Ask them to help you out!
  • Don’t make up stuff about yourself!
  • Don’t ask too much about promotion opportunities in the first interview.

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