Historically speaking, interviewing is typically the final stage in the hiring process. It is ultimately the single most important determinant in whether or not an employee meets the selective philosophical criteria of employers. 

Table Of Contents

Trends in Job Interviewing Techniques for Human Resource Management

Interviewing is the process through which an employer assesses a potential employee for employment in their company (Wikipedia, n.d.). 

Employers such as Marriott may offer varying degrees and styles of interviewing techniques, yet for the most part interviewing types can be classified between a pair of dichotomous categories.


Type of Interviews:


There are fundamentally two different kinds of interviewing methods used by human resource management to help meet their goal of selecting the right person; the screening interview and the behavioral interview.


Screening Interview:


This interview is designed to cull the applicants who do not meet the specific qualifications of a candidate. It also allows them to gather basic information about the applicant.


Behavioral Interview:


This type of interview is designed to help make an educated selection decision based on fair and legitimate criteria, rather than on a "gut feeling." The following guidelines will deal predominantly as the acceptance determinant and has been constructed with three major objectives in mind.


1. To provide a process that ensures that all candidates will be evaluated in a uniform and consistent manner.


2. To provide an outline for use in the interview process.


3. To provide tools that will result in obtaining answers from potential candidates, serving as indicators or predictors of future performance.


The Interviewing Process:


The interviewing process is divided into three segments: preparation, the interview, and evaluation/selection.




The first step concerns the job description involved with the interview. This will to determine what they are looking for in a candidate. 

The best way to do this is by reviewing the job responsibilities listed in the job description. 

As they are reading these, they must ask themselves: what are the personal characteristics and skills needed to be successful in the position? 

Examples may include attention to detail, communication skills, flexibility, calmness, job-related knowledge, energy, reliability, etc.


Application Review:


A candidate's completed job application can serve a variety of purposes. 

Completed application forms present an accurate preview of the "coming attractions," or the work background, ambitions, and education that candidates bring to the interview. 

Remember that past performance is the best indicator of future performance. 

As they read the application, they should automatically check for such items as experience, education, and physical qualifications, but there are many other things they can get from the application.


Completed application forms also present the framework that will be used in the actual interview with the candidate. They take the time to read them carefully.

 They cannot interview effectively, if they have not done their homework.


To help them in reading or analyzing the application forms, three things are considered:


1. The information they give.


2. The skills they show in presenting the information.


3. The way they think, as revealed by the answers they give, in response to the application form questions, as well as their answers to the initial screening interview.


Technical and Performance Categories:


The technical category is defined by the specific tasks performed in a job. These skills reflect knowledge or abilities that are taught in colleges technical programs, etc., or are learned through company training programs. 

For example, if they were hiring a housekeeper, the technical category would be looking to see if the candidate knows how to make a bed, knows the correct way to vacuum, etc.


The performance category is defined as working habits or special abilities that are typically learned through life's experiences rather than formal training. 

Often these skills are learned early in life and reflect beliefs about how a job should be done. 

For example, if they were hiring a housekeeper, they will look at how the candidate organizes their work, how seriously they take responsibility, or how they follow through on their commitments.


Categorizing Job Requirements:


With the use of job descriptions, they look at the skills or areas of major responsibility needed for that particular job. 

These skills are then categorized into either the performance or the technical dimension. For example, one of the areas of major responsibility for a cook is to prepare and properly garnish all food orders in accordance with menu specifications. This would fall under the performance category.


Identify Skills Based on Requirements:


Once they know the requirement of the job, they can then identify the skills required to successfully complete the job.


The Climate:


When the candidate arrives, he/she is welcomed with a smile, a handshake and a warm and friendly verbal greeting. Eye contact is established and the candidate is invited into the room and asked to have a seat then offered a beverage, etc. The interviewer then introduces himself/herself by name and title.


A climate that relaxes the candidate and puts him/her at ease is established. 

There is a direct relationship between how comfortable and secure a candidate feels, and how much truthful, sincere information he/she is willing to reveal.


The Interview:


Open the Interview:


The interview is opened with their icebreaker to set the tone for the interview. 

Then the candidate is given some idea of what will happen during the interview. For example, they will begin by discussing their job experience and educational background. 

Then they will ask them some questions and take notes. Finally, they will share some information about the job, hours, schedule, rate of pay, full-time or part-time position, about the company and answer any questions they might have.


During the Interview:


The information the candidate has provided on the application is discussed. This verifies that the information provided is accurate, and also gives them the opportunity to fill in any missing information.

 Then the questions regarding the technical category that they have chosen are administered. Then questions chosen from the performance category are administered.




During this portion, they have to take notes. Key words or phrases are used. Note taking is done to describe behaviors, document names, dates, locations, results, etc. These notes will help them in the evaluation of a candidate.




As the candidate responds to their questions, they practice good listening skills. The following guidelines assist the interviewer during this process:


1. Listen to the candidate.


2. Formulate probing questions to follow-up their responses.


3. Use "summaries" to control talkative candidates. This can be done by taking what a candidate say and paraphrasing, then moving to your next planned question.


4. Silence - after asking a question, be patient for the candidate to respond. It allows them to think of response and encourages them to provide more information. Many interviewers interfere in their own information-gathering process by rushing themselves to fill a gap in conversation.


5. Clipping - At times the candidate may ramble. If they feel they are rambling and the information they are giving is not relevant, they can start talking right along with the candidate as they are finishing a sentence. This will "clip" the story short, and allow them to take control again. This must be done very tactfully so as not to offend the candidate.


Display Good Non-Verbal Skills:


The following guidelines assist the interviewer during this step.


1. Maintain a friendly and positive attitude from beginning to end.


2. Use eye contact. This establishes to the candidate that they are interested.


3. Encourage candidates to continue by head nodding.




It is very important that they go into the interview with an open mind. Two things that can bias their judgment are "generalizing" and "stereotyping." These must be avoided at all costs.

Generalizations: This is making assumptions about a candidate based on past experiences. For example, if a candidate says a certain word, they assume that the candidate will act a certain way.


Stereotyping: This is unfair and totally inaccurate. They must guard against this practice.


The following are tips used to guide the interviewer through the process:


- When using probing questions, get specific times and examples of when a skill/characteristic was used.


- Encourage applicant to give more details by using phrases like "I see," "I understand," "Please elaborate," or by merely nodding your head.


- Do not spend too much time in one area and then rush the others.


- Listen to what is being said and to what is not being said. Every interview involves anxiety. Every candidate fears the potential rejecting and possible disappointment. 

This anxiety sometimes causes a candidate to say things awkwardly or say things in a way that does not make sense. 

Their challenge is to relax the candidate and "read between the lines." In other words by probing, determine whether a negative or conflicting response was caused by the anxiety or whether the candidate is sidestepping an issue.


Closing the Interview:


Once they feel they have sufficient information from the candidate, it is time to close the interview. Telling the candidate about the position they are interested in and about the company can do this. Follow this up with any questions they may have for you. 

When answering their questions, they must be honest and fair, but do not make any promises that you cannot keep, or embellish your answers that would then give the candidate an inaccurate portrayal of a situation.


Tell the candidate when they can expect to be contacted ends the interview regarding the position. 

An applicant is never dismissed without them being told when they expect to be making their decision. It is not a good policy to let people wonder indefinitely as to whether or not they got the job.


An interview typically lasts approximately 30-60 minutes for hourly positions. However, if it is evident that the applicant does not meet the requirement of the job, the interview may conclude sooner.


Evaluation of the Candidate:


The next step is to evaluate the candidate. You will want to complete their evaluation as soon as possible after the interview.


In order for interviewers to be effective in evaluating an applicant, it is essential that they know exactly what characteristics and skills they are looking for in an interviewee.


Interview Guideline Form


Candidate Name_____________________________________________________


Interviewer________________________ Date of Interview_________________


1. Greet Candidate


Ø Introduce Yourself


Ø Use Icebreaker


Ø Review Interview Agenda


- Job Experience / Educational Background


- Ask Questions / Take Notes


- Share Job / Communication Information


- Answer Questions


2. The Interview


Ø Ask Qualifying Questions


o Full- time, Part-time, Pay Expected, Shift Preference


Ø Review Candidate's Application Information


Ø Ask Selected Questions (Use Evaluation Tool)


o Listen to Responses & Probe for Details


Ø Review Application Job Description


o Have Candidate sign Acknowledgement Form


3. Conclude Interview


Ø Tell Candidate about Position and Company


Ø Ask Candidate if they have any Questions


Ø Close Interview - (smile and bid them a fond farewell)


Marriott's perception on interview questions is:


· The information gathered about an applicant may cause the selection of one question over another the selection of several questions for that characteristic.


· Also if they are not sure of a candidate's ability in a certain area, additional questions are asked until they are satisfied regarding that candidate's ability.


· They must make sure that the questions are not considered illegal.


Getting Ready for the Interview:


Steps in preparing for the interview


1. The job description is reviewed


2. The candidate's application is reviewed


3. The questions are chosen.


Interview Set Up:




Prior to the application the standard is that they would prepare some form of "ice breaker," in order to initiate conversation. At this point the interviewer ensures that he or she utilizes the interview tool; by filling in the necessary information and questions that they will be asking. This information is then attached to the candidate's job description, the application, and the pinned to a clipboard.




The interview is generally conducted in a very quiet and private area, this is so because they believe that this will allow the candidate to feel more at ease.




The interview time set with the candidates are usually scheduled during slower business times so that there is no rush or distraction.


Interview Questions:


The following are sample questions used by the interviewer during the interview. Each question falls under one of sixteen categories, each with tips as to what the interviewer should look for in the applicants answer.




Tell me about a time in which it was very important that everything about a project, event, or assignment was just right. What was the project, event or assignment? What things had to be perfect? How did it come out?


Interviewer is looking for desire for perfection and thoroughness.


Tell me about the last time you were commended for efficiently handling a number of small details.


Interviewer is looking for ability to handle tasks carefully and correctly.


Tell me about the last time you made a mistake because you were rushing. What was the situation? How often has this kind of situation happened?


Interviewer is looking for: Ability to maintain order.


How important was it in your last job to pay attention to details?


Interviewer is looking for experience.




Tell me about the last time you had a disagreement with another person (boss, co-worker, classmate, etc.) What did each of you say? What was the discussion like when it was the most heated? How did both of you show your frustration or anger? How was it resolved? How was your relationship after the incident?


Interviewer is looking for ability to negotiate, compromise and tactfulness.


Describe the last time you confronted a peer about something they did which bothered you. What did you say or do?


Interviewer is looking for kindness, consideration and warmth.


Think of the most difficult customer you have met; how did you handle him/her?


Interviewer is looking for a positive attitude and sensitivity to others.


When thinking about how you get along with others, what do you see as your strengths and your weaknesses? Why?


Interviewer is looking for team player, friendliness and cheerfulness.


Many people have the ability to "step into another's shoes". When has this skill been required of you?


Interviewer is looking for capability of looking at another point of view.




Tell me about the tasks you typically performed on your last job. On which of these tasks do you feel particularly competent? Why? Which task you enjoy least?


Interviewer is looking for specific examples of desire to develop.


In which areas would you like to become more highly skilled?


Interviewer is looking for specific direction.




Tell me about the most complicated message you had to communicate to someone. How was it complicated? What did you do to ensure the message was understood?


Interviewer is looking for ability to understand and analyze.


What feedback have you received on your ability to communicate clearly and concisely?


Interviewer is looking for ability to understand messages and ability to analyze.




Tell me about the last time you were reprimanded for not completing a task the way your supervisor wanted it done, or on time. What were the circumstances?


Interviewer is looking for willingness to conform and work well under rules or structure.


What procedures or policies would you have liked to change at your last job?


Interviewer is looking for desire to improve conditions.


ORGANIZATION - Category 6:


Tell me about the last time you were working on several things at the same time and try to meet a deadline. How did you structure your time? Did you meet the deadline?


Interviewer is looking for ability to tackle high priority tasks first, persistence and being in control of situations.


Tell me about the last time you made a decision that backfired. What caused you to choose that particular course of action? What options did you consider? Who did you talk to about it? What feedback did you get?


Interviewer is looking for ability to understand and problem solve.


Would you describe yourself as being more logical or intuitive in solving problems? Give me an example that shows you style.


Interviewer is looking for specifics that demonstrate creative approach.




Explain how you have modified an administrative system to improve its effectiveness.


Interviewer is looking for desire to improve current systems


What do you do to ensure correct spelling, etc. in your written work? How often do you have your work returned to you because of spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors?


Interviewer is looking for desire to improve current systems.


COOPERATION - Category 8:


Tell me about a project or task you were doing when you didn't think you could get it done yourself and asked for help. Who did you ask? What did they do to help?


Interviewer is looking for development of cooperative working relationships.


What steps do you take to help ensure good working relationships with your co-workers? When was the last time you used those steps? How well did they works?


Interviewer is looking for positive attitude and ability to be a good team player.


Tell me about a time when you and a co-worker had different ideas about the approach to a task. How did you work through it?


Interviewer is looking for desire to listen, compromise and contributes.




Tell me about the period of time when your work or school has been the most hectic. What did you do to keep it under control? How many extra hours did you work in that time?


Interviewer is looking for ability to keep in control while working under pressure.




What is the greatest adjustment you would have to make if hired here?


Interviewer is looking for how adjustment impacts job and how well interviewee adapts to change.


Tell me about the most intense period of change in your life where your ability to adapt was taxed. What changes were taking place? How did you first react to the changes that were taking place?

Interviewer is looking for positive attitude and handling ambiguity with skill.


ENERGY - Category 11:


In previous jobs, what types of situations would arise for which you had to act quickly? What would you do?


Interviewer is looking for ability and desire to react and energetic movement.


Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.


Interviewer is looking for positive attitude and show of urgency in getting work done.


REALIABILITY - Category 12:


Tell me about the last time you did something because it needed to be done, even though it was not your responsibility.


Interviewer is looking for persistence and a positive attitude.


Tell me about a time when you couldn't make to a specific responsibility (i.e. work) on time. What was the situation? What did you do?


Interviewer is looking for attitude towards attendance and taking of responsibility seriously.


AWARENESS - Category 13:


In previous jobs, what types of situations would arise for which you had to act quickly? What would you do?


Interviewer is looking for observance and readiness to react.


Describe a time when a situation around you required your immediate and complete attentiveness.

Interviewer is looking for ability to analyze, focus.


DRIVE - Category 14:


How do you rate your motivation and drive compared to your peers or schoolmates? What are your strong/weak points? Give me an example that best demonstrates your drive.


Interviewer is looking for self-motivation and strive for excellence.


Tell me about the most long-termed, sustained, extra hours effort you have ever put in. What was the assignment? In what ways did you put out extra effort to get the job done? How successful were you?


Interviewer is looking for desire to succeed, perseverance.


PATIENCE - Category 15:


What are some of your "hot buttons" - for example, things that you just cannot stand. Give an example, and how you reacted to the situation.


Interviewer is looking for ability to remain even-tempered and ability to control temper.


SOCIABILITY - Category 16:


Describe the best example of your ability to establish a positive relationship with someone you didn't know. What was the situation? What did you do? How did you do it? What obstacles were there? How did you overcome them?


Interviewer is looking for ability to work well with others.


Tell me about a situation in your life where you really depended upon your ability to get along with other people. What was the situation? How did you do it? What obstacles were there? How did you overcome them?


Interviewer is looking for teamwork and ability to establish harmonious relationships.


Some people get to know strangers quickly; while others prefer to take their time letting people get to know them. Describe how you enter relationships when you are "new to a group"


Interviewer is looking for a positive attitude and cooperation.


Improper Questions:


The following are sample questions that may cause legal retaliation by applicants and are considered improper by Marriott.


What is your maiden name?


The company believes that question would not be relevant to a person's ability to perform a job, and it could be used for a discriminatory purpose. 

For example a woman's maiden name might be used as an indication of her religion or national origin. This question could also constitute an inquiry into marital status, hence this question will be one in which they will try to avoid.


What was your previous married name?


Marriott believes that this question asks, in effect, whether an individual has been widowed or divorced.


Have you ever worked under another name?


They believe that this is simply another way of asking the applicant's se* and marital status.

What is your birthplace or that of your spouse, parents, or other relatives?


The Marriott Corporation believes that any question along this line is an attempt to determine national origin.


What are some of the organizations, clubs, societies and lodges to which you belong?


They believe this question is not relevant to job and that it might be an attempt to determine national origin or race. Also it is improper to inquire about a professional organization.


How did you acquire the ability to read, write or speak a foreign language?


Marriott believes that this question is also an attempt to learn about the applicant's nationality.


What is the lowest salary you would accept?


Marriott feels that this is improper because in general women have worked at lower paying jobs than men, and in the past have been paid less than men for the same work. 

As a result, they strongly believe that a woman might be willing to work for less pay than a man would find acceptable. This question is improper and irrelevant.


What is your height and weight?


Marriott feels that some employers have imposed minimum height, or weight, requirement for employees that are not related to the job to be performed and which have the effect of excluding above average percentages of women and members of certain nationality groups.

 Unless height and weight is directly related to job requirements, these questions should not be asked.


Have you ever been refused a fidelity bond?


This question presumably represents an indirect effort to find a flaw that may exist in an individual's past. The difficulty with this is that a fidelity bond may be denied for totally arbitrary and discriminatory reasons, which the individual does not have an opportunity to know of, or challenge.


Attach a photograph to the application form.


It is improper to require that an applicant affix a photograph to the employment form after the interview but before hiring, or at the option of the applicant.


What kind of work does your spouse do?



A Model for Predicting the Outcome of a Job Interview

A model for predicting the outcome of a job interview.


Career professionals, once offered a job interview appointment, desire to know the likelihood of being offered the advertised role.


An ability to predict a job interview outcome can help a candidate to decide whether or not to attend the job interview, or more importantly, allows the applicant to reflect on which aspects of the job interview they need to improve to increase job offers for positions which they do have the related skills, competencies and confidences for.


The interviewer makes hiring choices based on logic - the analytical process of a job interview is designed to predict future job performance.


Decision making, though, is a two system process. Part logical - a slower analytical process and emotional - snap judgements based on stereotypes and prejudices.


Therefore, an employee applying for the same position, within the same organisations, giving the same level of detailed answer to the same set of job interview questions can receive varying scores if interviewed by two different hiring managers.


There is a two-step process for forming opinions of an applicant in a job interview;


Unconscious biases


Interview Identity


Job interview biases.

An initial impression of an applicant is created once the interviewee is introduced to the employer. The impression is emotional - a gut feeling, where unconscious stereotypes and prejudices affect the interviewer's perception formation.


Many varying stimuluses trigger an unconscious bias, some favouring an applicant, while others create a negative opinion. Research has shown how an applicant's weight, ethnicity, age, religion, attractiveness or background can be used, subconsciously, to form an opinion of the interviewee.


Having commonality can increase liking between the employer and applicant, increasing potential scoring of job interview questions (affinity basis) and reciprocal liking, liking someone more because they like you, also builds rapport.


Being viewed as 'attractive' improves the hiring manager's opinion of the applicants, even going as far as increasing the level of trust they hold the applicant in.


And overhearing how one applicant is a strong candidate, for an internal promotion interview, can seed the idea of the suitability of said applicant creating the 'halo effect'.


Association is a powerful bias. Research on religious bias found how an applicant changing his name from 'Mohammed' to 'Mo' increased the number of interview offers he received. And age, race and s*x are well documented to increase or decease the opinion of each applicant for the advertised position they are applying for.


An example of this is how females applying for traditionally masculine roles are viewed as less suitable than a male applicant.


The power of the subconscious in a job interview.


This initial opinion isn't a conscious thought. The employer, in many cases, isn't aware of the unconscious bias that has come into play.


The interviewer, in the female applying for a mascuiline job role example, isn't s*xist. Instead, the unconscious bias affects, slightly, how the applicant is scored throughout the job interview. With many appointments being made on the difference of a few minor points between the successful and second choice applicant, therfore, this compound of points can make all the difference.


Employers reactions to a stereotype.


Some people have an 'isum'; s*xist, ageist, racist, and many other isums. 

We group these people as aware and Don't Care - if an applicant has a stimulus that the employer has a dislike to, it would be hard to change their initial opinion of the applicant even when contradictory evidence to their belief has been presented.


Aware and Care - is when an unconscious bias becomes clear (the interviewer realises that they have a liking and disliking to an applicant not based on logical reasoning). 

Being aware, the interviewer can challenge themselves (or being aware can be enough to adjust how they score the applicant). 

If for example, a recruiter made a negative opinion of a candidate based on the candidate being obsese (a study was completed where applications were sent with a candidates picture. 

Half were sent with an image of an obsese applicant and the other half sent with a picture of an 'average' weight candidate. 

The experiment found that overweight applicants were less likely to gain a job interview offer), they can ask if the weight of an applicant is important to the job in question? 

Or find examples of an overweight employee being highly successful in their field.


In some cases the stimulus does not have any effect on the interviewer's decision making process. Stereotypes and prejudices are formed through experiences and the beliefs and the culture of where a person has grown up. 

If, as an example, an employer grew up in a household where men and women were seen as equal, and s*x was never questioned, it would be rare that the employer would be se*ist - Not Aware and Not Affected. (but the interviewer could be affected by a second prejudice)


The structured job interview.


The structured job interview has been designed to use an analytical process to help create a 'fair' job interview process.


In a structured job interview, each applicant is asked the same interview questions based on the criteria of the advertised job role. Guidance is given to each interviewer on how to score each interview question based on the perceived level of the applicants competencies using a numeric scoring system.


It is during the initial interview answers that applicants can help to change the employers perception of them. If, for example, the applicant's dress sense, body language and communication styles has created an impression of 'unprofessional' the applicant has a short-window to override this initial impression.


For an 'aware and dont care' employer changing a deeply held belief can be very difficult.


Analysing people is difficult and stressful. This is why the mind defaults to past schemas, stereotypes and prejudices, to make the decision making an easier process.


Initially, the employer, at job interview start, will consciously analyse the verbal and none verbal communication of the candidate to guess the suitability of the interviewee based on their perceived level of knowledge/experience and confidence.


Within the first 2 interview questions, the data (opinion) received will create a new interview identity, which becomes the filter for all forthcoming job interview answers. This is similar to the process behind the 'affinity bias' an association has been made that changes how the applicant is scored within the job interview.


Interview Identity


It is the applicant's perceived level of industry knowledge and sector experience vs their level of interview confidence, when combined, that forms the 'interview identity'. 

This has little to do with how well an employee performs in the actual workplace - as this can not be observed in a job interview, it is therefore, how the applicants interview performance is measured against the requirements for the advertised job role.


Interview prediction test:


To check your job interview identity - how an employer views you, read the 4 statements under each sub-heading and choose the one that most sounds like you.




Specialist Knowledge/Experience


4 Points - 10yrs+ sector experience; able to build on industry-related academic research contributing to the field


3 Points - 3-10 years sector experience; experienced in the implementation of proven theories and models into business as usual


2 Points - 1-3 years relevant experience; academic level of industry knowledge without experience of applying concepts to day to day tasks


1 Point - No experience; possesses soft skills; communication, teamwork, problem-solving


Academic Ability


4 Points - Masters - Doctoral Degree/Post-grad Qualifications (Level 7-8) Professional Industry Qualification (eg a chartered engineer)


3 Points - Degree Level Qualification up to Bachelors (Level 6)


2 Points - Graduate - up to Higher National Diploma (Level 4-5)


1 Point - GCSE/A-Level (Level 2-3) or below


Read the next 4 statements under each subheading and choose the one that most sounds like you. Total up both points and for an odd number result round down to the nearest even number






4 Points - A self-promoter fully aware of their expertise. Demands to be treated with authority and respect, and will challenge anyone with contradictory opinions


3 Points - Believes in their ability, recognizes own skillset and will discuss strengths when questioned


2 Points - Aware of both strengths and areas of development, but can easily disclose weaknesses and mistakes without prompts from others


1 Point - Has a negative view of their abilities and lacks self-appreciation


Communication Style


4 Points - Commands attention and dominates meetings. Complex ideas are explained clearly and competently combining statistics with examples. Able to influence others to take on a new point of view, using logic and reasoning to overcome barriers to objections.


3 Points - Speaks with authority, presents ideas within a structure and uses vocal variety to maintain interest. Able to debate a technical subject, arguing points clearly while expressing their own ideas.


2 Points - Can discuss a familiar subject when asked but finds it difficult to respond when challenged. Feels strained explaining new concepts, however, with comfortable topics speaks clearly and varies pitch/volume.


1 Point - Feels nervous when being the centre of attention. Communication is weak due to hesitations, excessive filler words, low volume and short snappy sentences


You will now possess two figures; one indicating your level of knowledge/experience and the second, your level of confidence. Combined together your score indicates your interview identity.


Once an interview identity has been chosen, a description is given that explains how an employer's view this interview identity, and their strengths and areas of development.


To access a full overview of your interview identity, click the Interview Prediction Grid.


Interview Process

What does starting a job, seeking a promotion, making a sale, or going to a parole officer all have in common? 

That's right! They all usually have some form of an interview included. 

With different types of interviews all around us and the increasing need for interviewing skills; why are so many candidates failing at their interviews? 

The answer is... no one focuses on the interview, or they practice for the interview during the interview, which is a horrible practice. I'm going to focus solely on the interview process: the before, during, and the after process.


Before the interview- The process that is prior to any form of interviewing including but not limited to initial phone screening. 

The best way to begin the interview process is to start with research. This step is an essential predecessor for the "During the Interview" process. You may ask what I need to research. The answer is simple:


1. The length of time the company has been in business.


2. Key products and services provided


3. The current company trends:


a. Financial


b. Opportunities


c. Projects


4. How your skills bring value to the company


5. Names of key decision makers


6. Analysis of key competitive companies


The bulk, if not all of this information is typically available on the company website. 

Other places to find the necessary information is: networking with people, company blog, marketing material, news sources, associations, career web sites, and company annual reports. 

With the increase of technology there have become more ways to research a company:


Social networking:


And business information sites:


Once you have all your researches complete, it is best to see how you fit. Look for the ways your skills will be of value to the company. 

You will essentially be answering every interviewer primary question: why should I hire you? 

You will be able to logically inform them how your skills meet the needs of the company, and use your accomplishments to support your statements.


Okay, so you have done all the research and your hiring statement is perfect. Complete with accomplishments that will make the CEO want to offer you their position. So, what's next?


Studies have shown that 33% of job positions are filled by a referral - a person who currently works for the company and can vouch for you skills and work ethic. Meanwhile only 1% of positions are filled by job boards. 

Statistically speaking, it will be best to find yourself a referral. Preferably someone who can influence the hiring process, if not, any referral will suffice.


Although it is not entirely impossible, it is seemingly difficult to get employed without speaking to someone. 

Do not be afraid to get in contact with your referral. Use email, social network, and the most efficient- phone or webcam. 

Speaking to a person over the phone allows you to engage in conversation that is difficult to do by other means, build rapport, and let the person know you are not some robot typing up countless emails.




The most overlooked step in the pre-interview process is practice. There are a few parts of the interview that you can't practice enough:


Opening chit-chat or small talk


Your marketing message and bio


Responses to interview FAQ's


Responses to industry related questions


Responses to sticky questions (ethical)


Your closing points


There are two great methods for practicing:


1. 1-0n-1


2. Video recording


1-on-1 - in a formal interview setting, practice the entire interview process. Ask the person for tips and certain things they notice. Play the part by wearing your planned interview attire.


Video recording - grab a camera and record your self practicing. After you successfully convey your desired message in the effective manner you were aiming for, turn off the volume. While the volume is off, pay close attention to your facial expressions, body language, posture, and mannerism.


Finally, be persistent. Nothing impresses an interviewer more than you active desire to fill a position at their company. CONGRATULATIONS! You now know the full pre-interview process; let us now move forward to the "During the Interview" process.


During the Interview - the process defined as the time you arrive to the interview (15 minutes early) to the time you leave the interview. 

The interview can be many types and variations, so instead of going through each one individually, I'll cover the tactics needed in any of the forms.


I'm sure you are already a few steps ahead since you followed the advice in "Before the Interview" section, and practiced extensively. 

Make sure you have your required materials: paper to take notes, pen, questions you plan to ask, resume, and your cover letter.


Now you have checked that you have all of your materials, checked in with the secretary, and had a seat; relax. 

You have all the confidence, abilities, and skills needed to land a job offer from the interview. 

Put to use your practice, and your interviewing statements of why you should be hired. You have the power during the interview not the interviewer. You will be hired based off of YOUR responses, YOUR accomplishments, and YOUR skills. 

Knowing that it's all in your hands should put you at ease and allow you to ace the interview.




1. Smile - no interviewer wants to hire someone who does not seem like they are happy to get the job.


2. Posture - sit up straight on the edge of your seat. This will show confidence on your behalf.


3. Eye contact - avoiding eye contact or looking around the room shows a sign of dishonesty. Avoid this by making good eye contact when answering questions. The secret to eye contact is choosing one eye and staring into that eye.


4. Take notes - this tip is commonly overlooked, so applying this tip will only better your chances with the interviewer. 

An interview is designed for the employer to find out information about you and for you to find out information on the position. 

Take notes about key points made that you can do exceptionally well, answers to your questions, and answers you may have messed up on so you provide a more accurate answer with a tip in the "After the interview" section.


5. Ask questions - no interviewer wants to hear "you've answered all my questions." You come off as a "know it all," or uninterested. 

Even if you have nothing else you would like to know, ask questions to show your interest: how soon are you expecting to fill the position, what metrics will I be measured by, what is a day in the life, why do you like this company. 

There are two questions you should ALWAYS ask: What is your best contact method (get their email or direct contact number), when should I expect to hear back about an offer (take note of the time frame).


6. Courtesy - thank the interviewer for their time and shake their hand firmly. If you are a male and you interview is a female, practice chivalry. Also leave your phone in the car if possible or have it turned off before you enter the building.


Make sure you take the interviewer name down accurately, as well as their contact information. This will be vital in the next section.


After the Interview


The hard part is over now; you are done with the interview. Unless you were offered a job on the spot, this is where you show your persistence. The first thing you want to do is write down any final notes or thoughts. Hopefully you got the interviewer's name and contact information.


Interview Technique - For Students

Excellent interview technique


In the past two years I have been fortunate enough to gain some very exciting work and interview experience with a number of high and medium profile companies and organisations.


While writing this article about good interview technique I realized how important my own work experience has been thus I have decided to write another article specifically about the benefits of work experience.


If you haven't got the time to read it, just hear this - gaining excellent work experience is one of the most highly regarded pursuits I could recommend to you and the long term benefits to you are limitless.


In this article on good interview technique I will share with you a number of things that I do to prepare myself both physically and mentally.


Please note, I am not an expert but I do have a 100% track record of securing jobs following interviews and firmly believe that if one sentence in this article makes a difference to one person it will have been worth sharing it.


The article is quite long and very detailed. Don't let it worry you - all these things will come naturally after a few experiences. 

Getting interview experience when you are 15-18 will set you in very good stead for the future so don't shy away from an opportunity.


This is not a conclusive guide and nor is it going to apply for everyone or to every job! This is based on my experiences with the companies I have been interviewed by. 

It is designed to get you thinking and to be beneficial for those with little experience.


Setting the scene


Here's the situation: You've applied for a job you have seen on an internet jobs site, responded to an advert in a paper or magazine or contacted a business directly from seeing a vacancy on their own website


If you have been offered an interview, congratulations. It's likely for the larger organisations you have already been recognized above that of hundreds of other potential applicants.


From this moment on, hold in your mind that you have been successful - regardless of what happens next. If you can be selected like this once, you can do it again! Well done - I genuinely believe you are successful and think you should feel proud of yourself in this current jobs climate.


But - you haven't got the job yet! Instead you probably have a few nerves and anxious thoughts. (I could write a book on anxiety so I know what you're feeling!)


So what do you do now?


Before the interview:


Let's say you have a week before the interview appointment and lets also presume you haven't had a formal interview either before, or in a while.


Shopping (if you haven't already got everything required):


Start by going shopping with a stylish friend or girlfriend/ boyfriend - someone who can objectively comment on your dress sense.


Before you buy anything you need to know what image it is you want to give off and much more importantly, what the required dress code is. 

The general rule of thumb is 'if in doubt, dress up, not down.'


But really you shouldn't be guessing this! 

Take a good look through any correspondence you have had from the company - usually they will dictate the dress code to you e.g. smart casual, formal or more specifically - suit and tie for men or a similar style for women.


Benefit yourself by asking a simple question:


If the company hasn't made it clear what to wear, you should contact them. 

Send an email to the recruitment team who are most likely the people dealing with your interview, or ring them. Many people think it will appear dumb to ask such a question but asking the question can actually work in your favour, if you want it to! 



Well - so far the company have seen your CV and nothing else. Your CV is the most polished document you will ever produce so it might not be 100% representational of you. 

What they haven't seen or heard is your telephone manner or your 'off the cuff' written communication skills! This is a perfect chance to show them that you are not just a name on a piece of paper - you are real, have a voice and/ or can write well constructed professional looking emails.


Research the company


This is such a fundamentally important part of pre-interview preparation and yet is so often overlooked, to your own detriment.


Your mission is to familiarise yourself with everything you possibly can about the company itself. I appreciate this is easier for some companies than others. 

Fore example, at British Airways it would have been impossible to have learnt everything in their 40 years history to present in an interview! It was hard enough learning the information for a small security company with only four years in business! But it can be done. 

I achieved it in 10 minutes for British Airways and got away with it. I recommend taking slightly longer!


Below I have colour coded the details you should famliarise yourself with before or during interview!


What sector are they in?

Are they public or private?

When were they founded?

Have they always been known by the same name?

Any memorable events in their history (e.g. mergers with other companies!)

Do they operate in more than one location/ worldwide?

Are they are a franchise?

How big is their workforce?

How long have they occupied the premises they do?

Do they have well known business partners (e.g. British Airways were a partner to the Olympic Games plus they own other airlines such as Iberia!)

Do you understand the structure of their business?

What is your exact job description?

Where will you be working and what hours?

What job does the person do who is interviewing you?

Has the company been in the news in the past week?

Has the company announced any future developments?

What is the name of the person interviewing you?



Red: Probably going to acquire these on the day but they are very important


Blue: Not things you are likely to be asked about, but things that will be beneficial to know to educate your answers!


Green: Details you should be able to name if asked.


If it is a small company their website might be the only place you can really get information from.


You could realistically be expected to know about 20% of basic company information before interview. The 20% mark is also the point at which the average candidate will stop their research.


The remaining 80% represents the pool of information that the interviewers will draw on during their interview of you. Impress them hugely by referring to aspects of the company normally hidden in this remaining zone. You can find this information by digging a little deeper onto other websites or clicking through links on their own website.


Don't show off - be smooth! The best way of getting this 20% zone information into your responses is by doing this:


Within your answer to a question, refer to something the interviewer has previously said (which touches on the 20% zone information), but expand on it to demonstrate you actually know what it is they are referring to.


For example, with my security company interview I knew who their suppliers were so when they mentioned them in conversation I was able to ask "I read that your suppliers are developing this new touch screen information panel. Are you planning on integrating this into your products in the near future?"


Ten minutes preparation on my behalf equals three very impressed interviewers! It's not difficult!


Of the total information I learnt about that security company I estimate I recited about 3% in the interview and made reference to a further 5%. I also estimate that was my strongest attribute.


The way you dress matters


Clothing specifics - The psychology behind body image is fascinating and far too complex to go into here. At its core it is a case of knowing 'what you want to be noticed and forgotten', 'what you want to be noticed and remembered' and 'what you want to remain unseen.'


Shoes - Obviously no trainers! Whatever you decide on must be clean and shiny! While shoes will be one of the last things an interviewer notices about you it doesn't mean they are not important. Make sure they are comfortable for you and that they don't squeak or stick to smooth floors!

Socks - Must be worn and must be inconspicuous. If your socks are seen and remembered you have done something wrong. It may feel odd but wearing your socks higher than normal is recommended, especially with suit trousers.

Trousers - Presuming you are wearing suit trousers you want the length to be perfect for you. The two places that indicate they aren't perfect is your crotch (the hang) and the way they sit on your shoes. Your stylish friend will be able to advise correctly for you. 

You also want to ensure the general size is correct e.g. how loose they are around your legs and thighs. Too big and it gives off the image that you aren't 'grown up' enough. Too tight and you begin to verge into the territory of having your trousers 'noticed and remembered!'

Belts - Personally I don't think they matter overly each way. Your style guru friend will help you here but these are my thoughts on belts.

If you need one, you must wear one.

Make sure you have it through every single loop in the top of your trousers and that it isn't overly tight (as this will cause the material to bunch!)

If you don't need one you can still wear one. I find it can help to balance your image and make your overall appearance more pleasing to the eye. 

It will especially help if your shoes are not 100% perfect or if your trousers do not fit perfectly as it will draw the eye into your middle.

The colour of the band must match your trousers.

The buckle should be small to moderately sized and can be made of chrome (if you like that.)

If wearing it to balance your appearance you want your buckle to be noticed and forgotten, as opposed to unseen! Bear in mind it will draw intention to your shirt line and thus your shirt must be tucked in!

In terms of balancing your appearance can I delicately suggest something. If you are slim, belts can work to balance your appearance very well as it provides a break line. If however you have a stomach, you will not want to bring their attention to this part of you! Just my two cents!

Shirts - ask your style guru friend for help. 

You want your shirt to compliment your tie, but your tie should be the focus, not the shirt. I recommend long sleeves, always! Make sure your collar is a good fit but doesn't impinge on your ability to swallow! Always do the top button up!

Tie - Must be in keeping with your shirt and overall appearance. 

Your tie should be noticed and not remembered. It is one of the few things that is OK to be noticed! It should be an appropriate length to match your torso height. 

It should not be low enough to hit your waistline but must be long enough to disappear into the overlap of your suit jacket (if wearing one!) The knot should be tight up into the neck.

Jacket/ Jumper - Go with the advice of your style guru friend on this one.

Beard - Always shave. Always. 

Personally I always have a beard or at least groomed stubble. But for the interview you must get rid! You'll know how your face reacts to shaving - I recommend a wet shave the evening before with a fresh razor blade to give your face time to calm down for the following day.

Jewelry - Unless it's discreet or will look worse to get rid of it, I would remove it.

Hair - Get it looking the way you want. Personally, a hair cut a few days before is my preferred method. It also works wonders for your confidence.

Smell - Less really is more. If you suffer from body odour after sweating may I, as a bloke to a bloke, suggest you buy a roll-on super dry deodorant. It doesn't matter what you use but if it helps, this is what I use - Sure Extreme. It has never failed me. In terms of aftershaves you want the equivalent of 'seen (smelt) but not remembered' at the absolute maximum.

Breath - Before you leave home, brush your teeth and use mouthwash. Don't eat anything strong (or spicy) between then and your interview. 

Fruits such as bananas will do you fine for pre-interview pick me ups! Personally I chew gum until I arrive but get rid before I am seen. Garlic the day before is a big no-no!

General image


Along with your clothing comes posture. The way you sit, stand and walk can say a huge amount about you.


If standing, keep your legs straight, feet flat and still, shoulders back and head high. Your priority is to be relaxed though so don't strain yourself to achieve a particular posture. Don't lean on walls, doors, chairs or tables.

If sitting, the movement of you knees and feet begin to grow in importance and can shout about your nerves on your behalf. Ensure they are still and straight. If your knees are hidden under the table then your hands will become the focus. Keep them in your lap wherever possible.

When walking don't swagger and keep your hands out of your pockets. Always walk alongside your interviewer if possible, never in front of unless they wave you forward.

At the interview:


Your general demeanour: Friendly, confident, respectful, and professional - at all times


As you progress though an interview it is common for the mood to become more relaxed. You can begin to veer towards the friendly as opposed to the professional which you will start off as. 

But be wary of what you say - the interviewers want to know you can bond with them and the team and that you can hold conversation outside of work related topics. They don't want to hear a joke, an out of place opinion or a piece of unrelated news about your life or something in the media.


Sustain a consistent and subtle confidence


Confidence can be of huge importance to someone in an interview but getting the balance right is difficult. Too little and you will come across as shy, nervous or lacking in self belief. 

Too much and you will probably just be offensive in your attitude and might be deemed pompous, cocky, big headed or more! A correct balance will look like this:


Good posture

Confident walk

Firm handshake

Lots of eye contact

Attentive to questions

Quick to smile where appropriate

Responsive to questions

Able to talk about yourself objectively, including weaknesses

A wide vocabulary

Consistent tone and volume of speech

Good pronunciation of words

Show respect to your seniors


You should be showing respect anyway so this really doesn't deserve a paragraph about. 

However, respectful behavior includes holding the door, asking where they would like you to sit, not interrupting them, responding to their exact questions etc.


Come across as professional first, friendly second


Own that suit. 

Make it seem like you wear it every day. Have a pen in your inside pocket along with your business card (even if it's only a contact card!) Have a tissue and a piece of paper folded away somewhere. 

Have your mobile in your jacket and not in your trouser pockets - make sure it's on silent and will not vibrate! I also suggest your debit/ credit card, £5 in note form and your chewing gum. Why the paper? It's great for sticking chewing gum into subtly if you forget to remove it.


That completes your professional image. On the friendly front, allow yourself to laugh as you become accustomed to the communication style of your interviewers and show genuine interest in them as people, not just as potential future employers.


A few more things:


Arrive in good time


If you play to the theory that 'three minutes early is two minutes late' then you won't go wrong here. If you are walking to your interview, make sure you leave in good time and will have a few minutes to right your appearance before you enter the building.


If you are taking public transport bear in mind that it is usually temperamental at best. If you can afford to, be an hour early to your destination rather than risk being five minutes late. Find somewhere warm and get yourself a drink.


If you are driving, find out in advance where you intend to park and if it will cost you. If it isn't the businesses' own car park, have a back up plan in case your first car park is full.


Have food in your stomach


When you're nervous, the feelings you get are often the result of adrenaline being produced. As adrenaline is produced and broken down you are expending energy. 

This can cause a premature onset of hunger feelings, which associated with nerves, is not a nice feeling.


I find the perfect food for this moment is a banana. I wrote an entire article on my own site about the benefits of bananas, which you can see on the full site if you're interested. 

In this case, they will provide the fast and slow release energy you require and will settle the stomach, as it will give it something to do! 

The other benefit is that you can carry them in your pocket with little risk of ruining your clothing and once eaten the skin can be thrown in the bin (or if no bin present it of course will biodegrade in a matter of days so a bush could suffice!)


It's not just the interviewers who can have an opinion about you


The receptionist for example. Just because they are not in your interview room does not mean they cannot impact on the final decision.


Same goes for the cleaner in the toilets, the parking attendant outside or the person bringing you drinks.

 Everyone inside or within proximity of that building could be a senior figure or at the very least, an important figure in the interview process! Just remember - Friendly, confident, respectful, and professional - at all times and you can't go too far wrong!


Know your future commitments


If you don't know your intended start dates then be prepared for an immediate start or a start within six weeks (most commonly somewhere between these two!) But 99% of the time you will know your start dates. 

So know what's coming up in your diary!


The second reason is because you may be invited back to a second interview at a later date. You should be able to confidently answer the question about your availability if asked. 

For one job I had three interviews where each one required a 240 mile round trip to attend. Knowing my availability either side was crucial!


If you make a mistake, smile, correct yourself and move on


We all make mistakes. When nervous, we often make more mistakes. The interviewers are not likely to judge you on the mistake you make, but on how well you maintain composure having made it.


If appropriate, smile, breath and correct yourself politely. If done well it can demonstrate a flair of honesty and transparency about yourself.


If you didn't hear or understand the question, just tell them


You might be asked a difficult question which could leave you confused. If you are unsure of what answer they are looking for politely say, "Sorry, could you rephrase the question?" or if you misheard say, "Sorry, could you repeat the question?" No harm done.


Try and befriend the other candidates


This may sound somewhat counter-cultural. They are, in a sense, your competition. But, take the high road, befriend them and in doing so, benefit yourself. Let me explain how.


In one interview process I turned up at the same time as four other people. I got to know them quickly, realised we all had the same interview times and discovered what I could about their previous experience. Of the four, I was the least experienced, lived the furthest away and was by far the youngest. 

What have I learnt? 

I know that the company will probably favour their experience over mine and potentially the fact they are locals whereas I had travelled in from afar. These were things I knew I would need to be prepared to explain myself for in the interview!


We then preceded to be interviewed individually and I was last. Partly due to my established acquaintance with these candidates they were more than happy to tell me about the interview structure - the sorts of questions I would be asked and the tests I could expect. I entered feeling much more prepared and relaxed.


And lo and behold, the interviewers asked me directly about my living arrangements, my lack of suitable industry specific experience and how my age (19 at the time) might impact on my ability to work in a team of mainly forty something's! I was ready.


Always have a drink


Just water. Even if you don't drink it you have it available in case the nerves get to you and you need a five second break to hide behind a glass. Or you might require it to clear your throat.


It also demonstrates your comfortableness with the building and staff.


Where to sit


Most of the time you won't have a choice where to sit as you will be directed to a chair. However, if you have a choice try to sit somewhere whereby you are not square-on to the interviewer but off at an angle ever so slightly.


It's less confrontational and while you turn either your chair or body slightly to face the interviewer it demonstrates respect and that you are putting in effort to listen to them.


Personally, I like to be able to see the door too wherever possible.




I have shared quite a number of different interview preparation concepts above but know I cannot cover every single eventuality.


Personally, I prefer to think ahead and make myself as prepared as I can be - right down to that pen in my pocket. It helps calm my nerves and sets me up properly in my mind.


I hope this interview preparation article has assisted you.

From Behavioral to The Telephone: Interviews

Perhaps you thought that interviews were always conducted in offices with only one interviewer meeting with you face-to-face. While that may be how a majority of interviews are performed, there are several other ways you can be interviewed for a job position. Keep in mind that interviews can be conducted in various formats and combinations.


Types of Interview Formats


1. One-on-One Interview


The one-on-one interview is the old standby of employment interviewing. Basically, it's you and the employer representative given the task of interviewing prospective employees. It could be a Human Relations (HR) rep,a department manager, or small business owner doing the interviewing.


The interview begins the moment you step into the room, so be aware of your body language while you're still doing the pre-interviewing warm up chit chatting. The interviewer will be sizing you up so make sure you are well-groomed, have a good, firm handshake, and keep a pleasant smile on your face. To break the ice, look for interesting things around the room that you can comment on.


2. Behavioral Interview


Perhaps you've heard of behavioral interviewing. What is it exactly? The premise behind the behavioral interview is that the employer is looking for specific examples of how you handled situations and/or problems in the past.


Employers figure if you did something well in your recent past, then there's a strong chance you'll have the same type of performance with them. This is a case where you are definitely going to need to prepare some story examples ahead of time.


How do you know when you're being asked a behavioral interview question? When you hear interviewers ask questions like: "What would you do if you had... " or "Tell me about a time when... " or "Give me an example of... " These are all good examples of behavioral interview questions.


For maximum impact, make sure your behavioral stories have these three major components: Situation, Action, and Results.


Situation - "I had a client who was very angry about an overcharge on her account. She was ready to cancel with us."


Action - "I calmly listened to her describe the problem and then restated the problem back to her to make sure she knew I'd heard her. 

Once I realized we'd made an error on her bill, I apologized and told her we'd correct her account immediately. Not only did I credit her account, but I sent her a company pen set along with an apology letter.


Results - The customer was very happy that someone had listened to her and was willing to help so quickly. She was thrilled with getting a gift and said she couldn't wait to order again!

3. Panel or Group Interview


The group interview may involve you alone interviewing with two or more representatives of the company. Or, it may involve you and several other candidates interviewing together as a group.


While facing several people asking you questions may seem a little intimidating, if you do a good job of using the interview tips found on this site, you will keep your cool and have a successful interview and be in a great position to get the job.


Here's some important tips on how to successfully get through a group job interview:


Treat all interviewers equally. Sometimes in a group interview situation one person will play "good cop" and the other "bad cop". The "good cop" will ask you pleasant questions, while the "bad cop" will throw out the tough interview questions. 

Don't favor one over the other.


Keep good eye contact with the person asking you the question. When you give your answer, however, make sure you look at each interviewer.


Try to get each person's business card before the interview so you can address them by name. Also useful for sending out thank you letters.

4. Telephone Interview


Phone interviewing is used by employers to pre-screen job applicants before granting a face-to-face interview. You could receive a phone call from a prospective employer at any time of day. Many employers like to call in the evening when it's easier to catch people at home. A phone interview may last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.


Hopefully, when you do get the call, you are prepared and are not on a cheap cell phone that cuts in and out - this will leave a bad impression! Spending extra for a quality phone can make all the difference in this situation. As with other types of interviewing techniques, it's best to pre-prepare for the phone interview.


You'll want to create a folder specifically for phone interviewing and keep it handy where you can grab it quickly. Inside the folder include your resume and cover letter, job descriptions of each employer you've applied with, a cheat sheet listing your achievements and qualifications that match up with each job description, and information about each employer.


You may also wish to keep handy examples of your previous work for reference. This is the critical information you'll need to refer to when you're on the phone with the interviewer.


Another important phone interview tip is to stand up while you're speaking to the interviewer. It's a proven fact that a person's mood and voice will sound more energized and confident when they stand while talking on the phone. If possible, go to a quiet room where you can talk without interruptions.


One more thing, if you're caught off guard by an employer on the phone wanting to interview you, by all means, ask if you can have a few moments to get yourself together. Either put them on hold or ask if they can call back in five minutes. Don't try to wing it if you've just woken up or just gotten out of the shower, etc.


5. Internal Interview


Sometimes a job will open up in your existing company which you're interested in and you decide to apply for it. Even if your company has a history of promoting from within, don't assume you're a shoe-in for the position just because you've worked there for years. Most likely, your employer will consider you as just another applicant for the position and you'll be measured against other well-qualified internal and external candidates.


Your best bet for getting that job promotion is to prepare for the interview as if you were an external candidate who's never worked there before. 

Start from square one and do some research on the inner workings of the department i.e. people, projects, morale, codes of conduct, style, dress, etc. Seek out co-workers who are familiar with the department and get insider information.


Go to the company web site and find information about the department. Look for goals, mission statements, budgetary information, current news, etc. Use this information to develop a thorough knowledge of the position, department, and its people. Find co-workers who are willing to put in a good word for you.


Prepare your achievement list and think about how you match well with the prospective job description. Do a mock interview. On the big day of the interview, make sure you dress professionally, even if your work environment is casual dress. 

Don't forget the proper interview follow up letter, which re-states reasons why you think you're right for the position. This kind of preparation and professionalism will make you a much stronger candidate for your desired job.


6. Observation Interview


The observational interview is a format where you are evaluated while making a presentation or performing a group-based task. Used mostly in research and academic settings, you'll be observed for how well you can relate to a group of people in an action-oriented setting.


7. Video Interview


Because we live in the video age, you may one day find yourself interviewing with video conferencing equipment. An employer may wish to do a video interview to save money and time, or because of geographical barriers.


There are certain rules which will make your video interview experience go smoother. Wear dark clothing, avoid quick movements, look directly at the interviewer's image, and speak clearly, but don't talk for long periods of time. You may keep a copy of your resume in front of you for reference.


8. Email Interview


The popularity of email has created another way for employers to make contact with prospects in a quick and easy way. Email interviews are used to pre-screen potential interviewees so be aware that you must stay professional and prepared even in this format.


Work on building a relationship with the interviewer by using their name and information you've learned about the company. 

Remember that you're communicating with a prospective employer and not a friend, so don't get too chatty. If it goes well, you may be invited to come to a face-to-face interview or receive a phone interview.

Preparing for an Interview

"We'd like you to come in for an interview." These are both the most exciting (next to "You've got the job!") and most terrifying words you can hear during the job search process. 

Getting the interview is a critical step in the job hunt, but performing well during the interview is THE most important thing you need to accomplish in order to get the position.


The key to a good interview is preparation. Ask anyone who has acted, given a sales presentation or presented to an audience and they'll tell you that you win or lose the moment during the preparation phase.


Preparing for an interview involves four activities;



Learning what to expect



Being prepared for an interview will help to build your confidence and make you comfortable. These in turn will help you relax and this is when your performance will improve.




Knowing as much as you can about the company you're interviewing with, the interviewer and the interview process is critical to success during the interview. Research and asking questions prior to the interview will help you prepare properly.


The research you should do is similar to the research you did to find the company in the first place, but should be more detailed and focused on activities specific to the job you're interviewing for and the people you'll be meeting with. Research tools you can use to gather this information include;


General Search Engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc... )

Social Media (Facebook LinkedIn, Twitter)

Industry Associations

Better Business Bureau

Chamber of Commerce (Contact Information)

EDGAR (Financials)

The information you obtain from your research can be used to;


Help you develop talking points

Prepare you to frame your answers to the interviewer's questions in terms relevant to the company's activities, objectives and initiatives,

Know some details about the interviewer

Develop the questions you will ask during the interview.

Asking questions prior to the interview will eliminate any surprises and help you to prepare for each aspect of the interview. Information you need to collect includes;


Who you will be meeting with, their title and what their role in the interview process and the job you are interviewing for is.

The schedule for the interview and if there will be any breaks (in the case of multiple interviews during the process.)

Who will act as your sponsor to ensure the interview process proceeds as scheduled

Any logistical items you need to be aware of (i.e., parking, sign-in and security procedures, what the company dress code is (more on this later) and what they are expecting you to bring to the interview.

What to Expect


In addition to knowing as much as you can about the company, the interviewer(s) and the logistics, you should be prepared to answer the questions you'll be asked. 

It's not possible to know every question and the appropriate answer, but most interviewers ask a standard set to questions common to the specific position you're applying for. 

Knowing the subject matter is obvious and you probably wouldn't have gotten the interview unless you were qualified in this area. 

Knowing the type of questions the interviewer will ask in order to learn more about you is something you can prepare for. This will build your confidence and help you to relax during the interview and when you're relaxed you perform better. There are generally three types of questions you can expect:







The first set of questions you can expect are general and open-ended. They are meant to solicit background information about you and to elaborate on items in your resume'. 

The first question usually can be answered with your Positioning Statement. Other ones you should know from your knowledge and experience.




Behavioral questions are designed to determine how you have or will react to common scenarios which occur in the workplace. 

These require you to discuss specific situations, your actions and why you responded in this manner. Typical behavioral questions involve employee interactions, responses to business related items and other issues found in the workplace. 

A good way to respond to these is the STAR method: Describe the Situation, discuss the Tactics you used and the Action you took then describe the Results.




Just about every interviewer has been taught to ask a question similar to "Tell me about a weakness of yours?" This is meant to elicit what you're not confident about. It's also meant to make you a little uncomfortable to see how you react. Responding to this question is easy if you're prepared. Three strategies are;


Respond with an issue which isn't directly related to the job ("I'm not very mechanically inclined, so fixing equipment is not my strength").

Respond with a weakness which was an issue, but has since been resolved ("It used to be hard to give corrective feedback to people who work for me. However, when I realized it improves performance, it became easier.")

Respond with a strength, but tell it as a weakness ("I require absolute accuracy in financial reports").

Being prepared to answer the "Toughest" question and addressing it directly will make an impression on the person interviewing you and set you apart from the candidates who stumble on this.


Questions You Need To Ask


One study showed that 82% of employers feel it's very important for a candidate to ask questions at the interview. 

Easier said than done! What do you ask when, at the end of the interview, the hiring manager says, "So - do you have any questions for me?" here are a few you could use. Write them down in a little notebook, and if necessary, refer to them during the interview. You won't look foolish - you'll look prepared. Some sample questions include:


Can you tell me more about what duties this position will involve?

Will there be a training period?

What is the average tenure of your employees?

What do you like about the corporate culture here?

How long have you worked here? How would you compare this to your former positions?

What relationship does your department have with other organizations within the company?

When do you think you'll be making a decision?

What are our next steps?

Being prepared and interviewing the interviewer will set you apart from other applicants.




An old joke goes that a young man stopped an older gentleman on the streets of New York and asked "Excuse me sir, can you tell me how I can get to Carnegie Hall?" The older man thought about it for a minute and said "Practice son, practice."


Top performers in the arts, sports, business and other endeavors all have one thing in common; they tend to practice more than their peers and competitors. 

That's why they make what they do look so easy. They've done it many times before and they are confident with their ability to perform.


No other component of the interview preparation process is more important than to practice. If you've done your research properly you know everything you can about the company, the position and the people you'll be talking to. 

You should have collected lists of both general and behavioral based questions you can expect. You already have a response to the "Toughest" question prepared. You have a list of questions ready to ask the interviewer. 

However, being armed with all this information will not help if you've never used it before.


You should spend some time each day prior to the interview reviewing the information and practicing your answers to the anticipated questions. You can either do this yourself in front of a mirror or enlist a family member or friend to help you. 

The more you do this the better prepared you'll be. As the interview progresses and you're comfortable with how it's going you'll start to relax and perform better. You've reached interview nirvana!




The last item you need to address when preparing for an interview is the logistics. These the list of things you should ask the interview coordinator and some additional items. Being prepared for these will help to calm you down and ensure that you arrive at the interview on time and ready for your meeting.


Knowing a little about the corporate culture and company dress code is important. You should always dress one level above the dress code. 

If the standard is business casual (open collared shirts, casual pants, etc... ) you should wear a jacket and tie (men) or business suit with pants or skirt (women). If the norm is casual (jeans & t-shirt) show up in a button down shirt and casual pants (but not jeans).


Know how long it will take you to park and go through the security procedures. 

Add ten minutes to this estimate and plan to arrive at the interview with time to accomplish this.


Drive to the interview location at the same time as the scheduled interview several days before to determine how long it will take and to see if there are any traffic issues you need to be prepared for. Add another ten minutes to this to ensure that you arrive promptly. 

If you're early you can use the time to review your preparation materials or listen to music to relax you (classical) or get you pumped up (arena rock!) If you take public transportation or use another manner to get to the interview, go through the same process but add thirty minutes to the estimated travel time.


Final Tip


Another tactic you can add to your interview preparation procedure is to bring along several Thank You cards with your return address, postage and the company name and address already on the envelopes. After the interview, add the names of the people you spoke with. 

Then write a brief note thanking each one of them for their time and expressing your opinion of the job, the company or some aspect of the interview process. 

Mail the cards as soon as possible after the interview and use a mailbox or post office near the company location. This will ensure that they get your card as soon as possible. It's unlikely that any of the other candidates will do this so you'll stand out.


Proper preparation for an interview (or any other activity in life) will not ensure success, but it will give you a better chance and make you feel more comfortable and confident which generally results in a better outcome.


Thanks for your time and best of luck with your job search.

How To Avoid Job Interview Stress

As I have discussed in a previous article, there are three main times of the job interview process when we can become extremely stressed: before the interview, during the actual interview and afterwards. 

As I have wide experience of this process from both sides of the desk and from discussing this situation with clients over the years; I will now go on to discuss useful techniques that can be useful for limiting stress in these situations.


There are many stresses than can arise here from prolonged worry causing us to become tired and suffer from poor concentration to last minute rushing - something that can lead to a great deal of stress.

PLAN WELL AHEAD: As it is a good idea to do some background research into the job, the company and wider industry; leaving plenty of time to do this is a good idea. 

Rushing and cramming information in the night before not only leads to stress but also only contributes to our short-term, rather than long term, memory - leaving us more prone to forgetting this important information when needed. 

Leaving an ample amount of time will avoid this stress and should also help us to retain important information whilst also leaving time for any unexpected events.

MAKE SURE TO GET PLENTY OF REST: This is mainly in the form of a good night sleep. While this differs for every one of us, the recommended amount of sleep per night for the average person is around 8 hours. 

Not only is getting this rest important on the night before the interview but also during the time from when we know we have the interview. 

After all, lying in bed at night and thinking about the interview - or any other worries for that matter - will deter us from getting this much needed rest. 

Indeed, if this happens night after night, our health will also suffer, alongside our levels of vital concentration needed for the interview.

LEAVE PLENTY OF TIME BEFORE THE INTERVIEW TO GET READY AND ARRIVE AT THE INTERVIEW VENUE: Rushing before an interview is one of the most stressful things that we can do. As being late for any interview is probably one of the most severe interview mistakes we can make; rushing will cause great anxiety. 

My best advice here is to get up early on the morning of the interview. Eat a healthy and hearty breakfast (and lunch if the interview is in the late afternoon), though not excessive amounts of food as this can lead to discomfort and tiredness, and allow plenty of time to get ready. 

It is also a good idea to leave the house earlier than we would otherwise for the same journey just to allow this extra time - and to arrive at the interview venue early. When I say early, I mean to say about 10 minutes before the interview time. 

Too early can be as off-putting as too late and sitting waiting for the interview can cause us to become stressed. If we do arrive very early, it is best to take a short stroll around the local area, look in the shops or just have a quiet sit down. Whatever happens, try not to get hot and bothered. 

Reading some company promotional material while waiting to be invited for the interview can help us relax - and shows that we are interested in the company/organisation.

As with any job interview every second counts here, with stress being the emotion that is unhelpful in this situation.

MEET THE INTERVIEWER AND WALK SLOWLY AND CALMLY INTO THE ROOM: This is one of those times where stress can arise instantly without much warning. We may feel fairly calm up until this point but as soon as we walk through the door and see the interviewer(s) in-front of us, the stress can hit us like a brick wall. 

This also tends to be a time when people rush - rushing through the door and sitting down straight away without introduction - particularly bad etiquette for an interview! Walking slowly and calmly into the room, taking fairly deep breaths (in through the mouth and out via the nose) can be a good way of not 'hitting this wall of stress'. This will also make us seem more professional and confident.

LISTEN CAREFULLY AND THINK BEFORE ANSWERING ANY QUESTIONS: This may sound plainly obvious, but when in the heat of the moment this advice can sometimes be forgotten. Especially in these types of situation, we often hear what we want to hear and not what has actually been asked.

 Answering the wrong question can do two things: (a) it can make us seem careless - not good during a job interview, and (b) it can have a detrimental impact on the whole interview. 

For instance, we may realise midway that we are answering the wrong question or not answering properly. This can then make us stop, throw us off course and lead to a loss of confidence - which is difficult to get back in a short space of time. 

As the traditional saying goes 'a stitch in time saves nine', meaning that it is better to take time and then (getting things right) rather than rushing and making mistakes (creating more work and stress for ourselves). 

I have always been impressed with people in interviews who have actually had the courage to say they did not hear the question properly and ask if I could repeat it.

PLACE SOMETHING ON THE DESK TO HOLD OR REFER TO: It goes without saying here that this should be something highly relevant to the job interview. 

It can often be a good idea to place a diary, company promotional material (shows research skills) or notebook on the desk in-front of us. 

The golden rule here is to always ask the interviewer(s) permission before doing this - although most times they will be happy to oblige and may actually be impressed as this also shows commitment and organisation. Also ask to take notes.

Again this shows interest, confidence and from a stress perspective can take our mind of the stress by looking briefly down at the paper and doing something physical such as writing. 

Placing these items around us -in the most professional manner of course- also allows us to feel slightly in control of our environment and this in turn can help reduce stress.

This is a time that is often not discussed but like the interview itself can be very stressful. 

The main stress created here is caused by leaving the interview room and building and then the waiting for the news confirming or rejecting us for the job. 

While there is little we can do at this stage to change the outcome of the interview, or the workings of HR departments; this stress can have a detrimental impact on us and our future interviews - especially if a previous rejection from our interview severely limits our confidence.

ON LEAVING THE INTERVIEW ROOM, LEAVE SLOWLY AND CALMLY: I can't tell you the number of times I have interviewed people where the interview has gone fairly well but they have been in a stressed panic at the end to leave the room. This rush often results in a poor departing impression on behalf of the interviewer but also can lead to accidents. 

Often the last impression a person makes in an interview can be as important as the first and a poor last impression may cancel-out the first. 

I once interviewed a person who was in such a rush to leave the interview room, that they knocked a cup of tea all over the desk, including my notes. 

I have also heard of a lady in such a rush to leave, that she left the room via the wrong door - walking into a storage cupboard. 

To avoid this, at the end of the interview, after all of the questions and so forth, simply try to exchange minor pleasantries, slowly collect all of your belongings and shake hands with everyone in the room. 

Most likely in any interview we will be shown out of the room to the main entrance of the building. Here, just be natural and make minor small-talk - show that you are human and have a personality. 

Whilst the interviewers may be in a rush to see the next interviewee, be fairly quick, do not delay them but at the same time do not rush and definitely not panic. Relax when outside the building and out of eyesight of the interviewers.

TRY NOT TO ANALYSE THE INTERVIEW ONCE IT IS OVER: At this stage there is now nothing that can be done to change what was said in the interview, so no-matter how hard it is, there is little point analysing it - even though this is very tempting. 

No-matter how well or how badly we feel the interview went, we will always find fault if we start analysing it. This can also lead to further unhelpful stress. 

If we are informed that we have not been accepted for the job, it is important not to lose confidence. This can lead to further stress and can in turn damage our employment prospects for the future.

These are just a small number of techniques that have I have suggested to clients over the years - as a result of past experiences.

 While there are many more, these should go a long way to reduce stress in job interviews. 

As I have shown in the article, it is not just the job interview itself that can be stressful but also the preparation and time following the interview - waiting for the results. 

I hope these techniques will help in future interviews and wish everyone applying for a new job the very best of luck and success in the future.

How to Stand Out In An Interview?

These short 24 killer tips teach you how you should exactly behave before and during the job interview. Remembering and following them are sure fire ways to success.


The following 24 tips for the job interview cover all the aspects of an interview. A lot of them are for keeping your thought process steady and to create the best impression. Reread these tips multiple times until you get clarity about these 24 killer tips.


1) Be punctual for a job interview. An employer knows that if you can't show up on time for a job interview, you can't do it for work either.


2) Prepare in advance even if you think you don't require any preparation. The preparation you did for previous job interviews can't be an excuse for not preparing for the one you are about to attend today.


3) Avoid too much amusement on the day before the interview. Amusing moments are essential for a healthy living but it can distract you for a week by pulling your thoughts back to the memories of that day.


4) Keep the clothes ready the day before. You don't want to waste your time in the morning of the interview day, in search of the perfect outfit.


5) Choose the clothes which fit the job that you are applying for. Make sure they don't look too formal, unless your job is going to be in the fashion industry.


6) Go through the sample interview questions and answers that you can find online, not for parroting those answers but to get an idea of how the good and acceptable answers sound.


7) Have your friend conduct mock interviews with you, especially if you are attending your first interview. (Don't choose the one who always cracks jokes, if you don't want to embarrass yourself by laughing out loud for your interviewer's question.)


8) Stay away from sites like Facebook and MySpace once you start your interview preparation, unless the position you are applying for is social media consultant. Social media is powerful for doing job search but it can cause some serious addiction and keep you awake until midnight. (No problem if you let you Farmville crops wither for a couple of days)


9) On the interview day and the day before, eat something that digests easily and doesn't make you feel sleepy. The food that you take affects your thought process, your posture and how you feel overall.


10) The most important thing to read before the interview is your own resume. If the interviewer asks about your career goals, you don't want it to sound completely different from the objectives you wrote in your resume. Read your resume a few times, think about the possible questions that the interviewer might ask based on your resume and be ready to answer them.


11) Research the employer's company well and understand what the company does. Interviewer often asks what you know about the company to find out how interested you are in the job. Your knowledge about the company conveys the interviewer that you understand the company and its goals and you will be really interested in the position.


12) Be prepared for anything! Sometimes interviewers may ask weird questions just to see how you react. You may think that the question is stupid but the real reason for the question is to look at the real you beyond your masks. The purpose of the questions can also be to test your personality, creativity, patience and presence of mind..

The question 'How many tennis balls are in this room' was asked in an interview by Yahoo. 

The purpose of this question is to actually check if you are paying attention, because the question is often misunderstood as 'How many tennis balls can fit this room' if proper attention was not paid.


13) Switch off your cell phone before the interview. First, the ring tone of your cell phone can be the worst distraction for both you and the interviewer. Second, it shows that you didn't care enough to switch it off in the first place.


14) Your body language can convey more than what your speech could convey. Actions like biting your nails, covering your mouth while talking, touching your face, tapping your fingers on the table etc show that you are nervous and feel insensitive. Sit erect and comfortable and rest your palms on your thighs while you are talking.


15) Ever felt tempted to interrupt someone while chatting with your friends because you had something interesting to say? It happens often. Interruptions are natural in a casual conversation with friends but completely odd in a job interview. Never interrupt the speaker in any formal conversation. Be open-minded and listen to the interviewer, wait for him or her to finish and then start talking.


16) One thing that gives best impression about you is your smile. It is not that you smile only when you feel better. The reverse is also true! You start feeling better when you smile, even if it is a fake one. Your smile releases more endorphins, making you feel more comfortable.


Smile often throughout the interview! Smile is contagious and even a frowning interviewer may start smiling in response to your smile.


17) Making frequent eye contacts during the interview is essential as well. Don't look away when a question is asked and make sure that you look at the person's eye during introductions, handshakes and often during the conversation. If there is more than one person interviewing you, often move your eyes from one person to another.


The eye contact should also be natural and should not make the other person feel uncomfortable. Looking down to your hands, at your watch or out the windows should be completely avoided.


18) A firm handshake is a good sign of confidence. When you shake hands with the interviewer, be firm, smile and make eye contact. Make sure that your hands are clean and dry. Don't squeeze the interviewer's hand.


19) If you are a talkative, this tip is for you. Too much talking is as bad as being too silent. The interviewer doesn't want to hear your life story or things that make you feel proud of yourself.


20) Don't pretend that you know when you actually don't know the answer. It doesn't matter if you cannot answer all the questions correctly. 

The interviewer doesn't expect you to have answers for all the questions either. The difficult questions are asked only to test the extent of your knowledge. When you don't know the answer for the question, being honest and accepting that you don't know is the best possible answer that you can give.


21) Don't get lost in thoughts... Mind often jumps from one topic to another. If your mind catches some interesting topic during the interview conversation and relates it with something else that happened in the past, you may possibly get lost in your thoughts while the interviewer is talking. 

Watch out for it! One of the worst things that can happen to you in an interview is to having to ask the interviewer to repeat what he just said. Don't let that happen!


22) Never bad mouth your past employer or the company. You might have had to deal with a bad boss in your previous company and that might be the first reason for you to leave that job. No matter what the reason might be, badmouthing a past employer is always frowned upon and kills the interview.


If the interviewer is probing more on why you left your previous job, resist your temptation to bad mouth. Instead, say what you are looking for in the new job.


23) Ask questions yourself! At the end of the interview, the interviewer asks if you have any questions. Use this opportunity to know more about the potential employer and make a good impression as well. But don't ask questions about holidays. Asking how many holidays you will have in a year doesn't show a good attitude during a job interview.


24) Make your last smile of the hour unforgettable! Don't leave the interview room in a rush but take your time to smile and thank the interviewer. 

Remember the points that we discussed about smiling, handshake and the eye contact.




Whether you get the job or not, you learn something in each job interview. Once the interview is over, reflect on your performance during the interview and make a note of all the questions that were asked.

 Think about the questions that you found difficult to handle and come up with best possible answers for them.


As you attend more interviews, you will see that the same questions are repeated over and over again. There is no need to feel bad if you don't get the job after attending an interview. As long as you keep trying and learn from your mistakes, it is fine. If you are dedicated in your efforts, it is not going to take long for you to get the right job.


The types of questions asked may be little different in the technical interviews. So, apart from these general interview tips, work on the interview questions that are asked in your field of study. For IT jobs, you need to keep updating your knowledge since the field of technology keeps changing.


10 Popular Interview Questions - What's the Hidden Meaning?

Interview Preparation is essential if you want to be offered the job but many organisations start an interview with popular interview questions which seem easy to answer. 

However some of the most innocent popular interview questions can get a candidate to relax and 'open up' revealing personal information about themselves which they should not have shared. 

In an interview there's no such thing as an innocent interview question even if you're asked it by an assistant on the way to or from the interview room! Depending on the organisation, the ten popular interview questionsbelow might be asked in a slightly different way but the motivation behind the questions is the same. Interview preparation will ensure that you always have a good interview answer to hand.

Q1. What have you been up to since you left your job?

Saying, 'I've had a chance to catch up on all the chores to do around the house' is not a good interview answer. 

An organisation wants to employ people who are energetic, self-motivated, and determined. The longer you have been out of work the more important it is for you to show that you have managed your time well. 

This might mean volunteering for work where you can use your skills and abilities, attending courses so that you upgrade your skills, and being active in a business or professional network.

Q2. How long have you been looking for a job?

Unfortunately it is true that the longer you are out of work the more difficult it is to be offered a job and you lose interview self-confidence. 

With this popular interview question the potential employer wants to know whether there something wrong with the candidate that has been out of work for a long time. 

When there's a chance that you might be 'out of work' for a considerable time it is important to give yourself a deadline and then consider taking a job which might be a contract position, or a job in another area of the country. 

Even consider a job where you're over qualified. All jobs at every level can be used to promote a candidate so don't feel that taking a job below your qualifications means that this will be held against you in the future. 

Being seen as a pragmatist and a hard worker will help you to stand out against the competition for a job.

Q3. Why do you want this job?

This is a very popular interview question but saying, 'because you saw the advert is not a good interview answer', even if it's true. 

It's a buyers market and a potential employer wants to employ a person who is keen and enthusiastic to work with them. 

If they find a candidate who's genuinely interested in their company then they believe that they're more likely to stay and succeed in the new job. 

The candidate who prepares for the interview by reading up on the organization and demonstrates an understanding of their strategy, management team and current issues is more likely to capture the interest of the interviewer. 

Find something specific about the company that complements your own experience and ambitions. It is even more impressive if you've 'gone out of your way' to understand the organization such as talking to other employees or their customers. To interview brilliantly check out these 27 Interview Tips.

Q4. What do you consider to be you greatest achievement?

In an interview, candidates tend to smile and nod a lot. 

The potential employer is interested in getting to know the 'real' you and whether you're going to fit within the culture and role of their organisation. Asking about your achievements is a popular interview question. The achievement you choose to talk about says a great deal about you and your personality. 

A good interview answer is to choose an accomplishment that relate to the position you're applying for. If this isn't obvious pick an accomplishment that required some of the same strengths that will be needed for the job. 

If you're applying for a leadership position in a task goal orientated culture then the interviewer is going to be impressed by someone who is motivated by achieving a project or goal and inspires others around them. In an entrepreneurial organisation a 'creative mind' will be more appreciated. 

The ability to 'think on one's feet' will be considered critical to a high level of success within their organisation.

Q5. What salary did you earn in your last job?

Companies will frequently find different ways to ask an interview question to determine the candidate's salary requirements. 

Your last salary is a good way for them to determine whether they can afford you. If the salary the organisation is offering is considerably lower than your previous salary they'll have concerns over whether you will stay in the job. 

If this is the case, then a good interview answer is to convince them that you are prepared to live on a lower salary and why. 

Sometimes, companies will ask the candidates, 'what salary do you require? If this is too high for their budget they will look at other applicants. 

A good interview answer is to say that you are willing to start on a lower salary with bonuses driven by targets. This gives them savings on their budget and a safety net if the candidate does not achieve as well as expected.

Q6. What do you think is your weakness?

One of the most important tasks of the interviewer is to find a candidate who they would like to work with and who is likely to get on with other people in their organisation. 

Candidates often try to answer this popular interview question with a positive trait disguised as a weakness. 

For example, 'I'm a bit of a perfectionist' or 'I tend to work too hard and expect others to do the same'. An interviewer is looking for someone who has a level of maturity and self-awareness as this is an important trait for creating empathy and working with people. 

To stand out from other candidates a good interview answer is to mention a genuine weakness, and then emphasize what you've done to overcome or manage your weakness. 

This is evidence of a truly confident person who takes personal responsibility for themselves.

Q7. Give me an example of when you found working with someone difficult?

By asking this popular interview question, the interviewer is acknowledging that we can all have a problem working with people some of the time. 

This is a popular question for revealing any prejudices that the candidate might have. 

Today it is essential that an interviewer employs a candidate who is comfortable working with people from a diverse range of ethnic, cultural, ages and religious backgrounds. 

A good interview answer would be to mention a specific person who you found difficult to work with rather than a group of people. 

Give a specific example such as a person resisting change on one project. Importantly, demonstrate the difficulty and how you resolved the issue.

Q8. What will you be doing in five years time?

Ambition and drive are great qualities in a candidate as it demonstrates energy to persevere and reach goals even in tough times. 

However, an organisation also wants to see signs of stability and loyalty to employers. If your CV shows that you've moved every eighteen months or so the interviewer is likely to need reassuring that you're not going to 'jump ship' to a competitor in a year from now. 

A good interview answer is to talk about the opportunities you've researched within their organisation and your ambitions to excel within it, particularly if you can refer to employees within their organisation. 

Setting Clear Objectives before you go for an interview is useful otherwise you can waste time applying for jobs you're unlikely to get.

Q9. Why are you the best person for the job?

As with answering all the other popular interview questions try and appear confident and likable. A poor interview answer is to just say that you're better than any of the other candidates. 

You don't know the qualifications or experience of the other candidates! A good interview answer is to focus on three to five specific reasons why you should be hired and briefly substantiate your claims.

 Remember, to tell the interviewer that you're really enthusiastic about being offered this job and determined to demonstrate the contribution and value you can make to their company. 

Knowing how to sell yourself is an interview is very great interview skill.

Q10. Is there anything you want me to ask you?

Many firms now ask a similar open ended question. This is not a trick question but just gives the candidate a chance to speak on their own behalf. 

If you think that there have been any problems in the interview, this is your chance to go back into an area which you think the interviewer may have doubt about you. 

It is not a good interview answer to say, 'no' as this can show that you're not interested in the job. 

It can also give you a chance to reiterate a strength which you think is important and might distinguish you from other candidates.

Free Interview 'Know Yourself' Video.

If you would like more help on how to interview successfully sign up for my How to Interview Training newsletter which is packed with interview tips and how to give brilliant answers to tough questions. You'll immediately be sent a free video 'know yourself' coaching session which will help you identify your unique strengths to promote in an interview. ( Image Credit - Freepik and Article credit - ezinearticles

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