Interview Techniques

Preparation

This is by far the most important stage in getting your interview right. So much of your success at the interview will depend upon your actual preparation. The interview may be your only opportunity to create a favourable impression on a prospective employer. The investment you make in preparing for this interview, in terms of time, attention to detail and honest self-appraisal, will be an investment in your future.

There are always a number of important points to consider:
One can never be sure about what the employer will ask the applicant but here is a listing of possible interview questions:
When doing an interview, the interviewee is normally judged on a number of general topics:
A signal that the interview is drawing to a close comes when you are asked whether you have any final questions: Ask you own questions - in doing so - you highlight your genuine interest and enthusiasm for the job and the employer. Ask appropriate job related questions i.e. about:

  • Interviews are difficult to attain, so do not waste the opportunity!
  • To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail.
  • Prepare for typical questions.
  • Anticipate “searching” questions.
  • Prepare questions you want to ask the employer.
  • The best way to win over the employer is to think like the employer.

Preparing the questions

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • Tell me about your course?
  • Why did you choose this course?
  • Did you consider any other alternatives?
  • What subjects have you enjoyed/disliked most and why?
  • What project work have you done?
  • What did your (summer) jobs involve?
  • Why are you interested in this particular job?
  • Who do you consider you would be particularly suited to this job/career?
  • What would you like to be doing in five years time?
  • What (career) goals do you have?
  • Why have you chosen these goals?
  • What attracts you to your hobbies?
  • What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Are you prepared to work for a multinational/work abroad?
  • How would your friends describe you?
  • Are you a competitive person?
  • What was your greatest achievement to date?
  • What makes you feel angry?
  • Describe a situation where one of your ideas was criticised.
  • Tell me about an event that really challenged you.
  • How did you meet the challenge?
  • What motivates you?
  • What have you done that shows initiative?
  • What is the essence of good decision making?
  • Have you applied anywhere else?
  • personal makeup: speech, friendliness, appearance, responsible;
  • motivation: is this person a team-player?
  • sociability: knowledgeable, common-sense approach, ability to withstand pressure, maturity;
  • eadership: will this person be able to make tough decisions later on?

Asking your questions

  • The organisation, e.g. What are the its major current projects, future developments, etc.;
  • The work and training, e.g. What would you be doing and for how long?
  • Variety of work, project timescales? Deadlines? Pressures, training? etc.;
  • Colleagues, e.g. Who would you be working with?
  • Contacts with others inside and outside the organisation? etc.;
  • Location, e.g. Where would you be and how long? Travel? Mobility required? etc.;
  • Salary and prospects, e.g. Appropriate starting salary? What has happened to recent graduates? etc.
  • Avoid: Asking about pensions and peripherals; Telling the interviewer what the employer can do for you i.e. promotion and more pay!

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