Interview Tips

Interviews can be stressful, but with a positive mindset and careful preparation, you have already come a long way.

Remember the core purpose of the interview is to enable the company and you to find out whether you will be able to build a mutually satisfactory relationship. The company needs to know the answers:

  • Will I be able to work with this person?
  • Is this the best person for the job?
  • Will this person work well with the rest of the team?

Equally, you need the answers:

  • Will this job provide me with what I am looking for from employment?
  • Will I be able to work productively for this manager?
  • Will I get on with other members of the team?

One of the most critical issues is to come well prepared. Find out as much as possible about the company. In addition to the information you get from the search consultant, check the web, newspaper articles and annual reports. If you know someone that works for the company, or in the industry, get in touch. Remember, the more you know, the easier it becomes to probe with relevant questions. You should not hesitate to ask questions to make sure you fully understand the company and your expected role.

Above all, think in terms of what you can do for the company, don't just probe on what the company can do for you! If you limit your discussion to what you want from the relationship, it will not help.

Listen carefully to every questions and be sure you understand it before answering. Rephrase and ask for clarification if needed. When you ask a question, listen to the answer. There is a danger that you start thinking about the next question, or how you should have answered one just asked, instead of really listening.

Your body language can convey a great deal about you. So, assume a posture that is neither too laid-back or too aggressive. Your posture should reflect enthusiasm, warmth, sincerity and respect. Don't fidget, distract the interviewer by playing with pens, glasses and so on. Try to maintain eye contact with the person you are talking to most of the time, but remember not to ignore other people in the meeting.

Get ready for questions like following:

  • What are the things you enjoy doing and what do you dislike? (Don't just respond with a list, but give concrete examples.)
  • How would your boss describe you? Why?
  • What was your favourite/least favourite position? Why?
  • What do you see yourself doing 3 years from now?
  • What makes you stand out among your peers?
  • What have you done to improve business results?
  • Overall, what has been your main achievement?
  • On reflection, if you could change things, what would you do differently?
  • Why do you want to join this organisation?
  • What will you do for us and when should we expect to see tangible results?

For more on preparing for the interview, take a look from the interviewer's perspective.