Interview Tips

  • Preparation

  • Find out as much about the company as you can – research their website, social media and external resources you can find. Be prepared to show off your knowledge if ever confronted with a specific question about the company.
  • Research trends in the market, as well as related companies and competitors
  • If possible, find out if the form that the interview will take – whether it will be a panel, a one-on-one meeting, or a group interview.
  • It could be a good idea to prepare some test questions and practice them at home – from your knowledge about the company, or research, prepare some mock-up flashcards and get comfortable with answering some possible questions
  • Make preparations the night before your interview – get to bed early, relax & get everything ready for the next day – eliminate any added stress on the day of your interview, and wake up fresh and with a sharp mind.
  • During the Interview

  • Arrive early, to ensure you are on-time and ready to go
  • Plan ahead of time, what characteristics you would like the interviewer to notice. Remember that nonverbal actions can play a very important role, so make sure to be relaxed, positive and appear confident.
  • Be aware of the normal interview structure – beginning with easier, more relaxed questions, and building-up to more detailed or specific questions.
  • If you misunderstand a question, ask for clarification, embodying confidence and interest. It’s better to ask for clarification than to sound rushed and unprepared.
  • Make sure to stay positive, present yourself confidently and breathe.
  • The Interview – Should You Bring Anything With You?

  • The employer or interviewer will normally provide an invitation that outlines some basic materials to bring along, such as your CV, as well as Degrees or Certificates.
  • If you haven’t received an invitation or instructions on what to bring, it’s better to be prepared and take along any documents that might be relevant: CV, Degrees, Certificates etc. – documents that are relevant to the job or your background.
  • It is a good idea to bring along a notepad and pen to take any notes; this is also something that makes your appear more prepared and attentive to the details given during the interview
  • What about a Phone Interview?

  • It is becoming more and more common for Phone or Skype Interviews to take place, often done as a preliminary ‘screening’ interview. Video or Skype calls are often the norm when applying for jobs overseas, or a situation where the interviewer or corporate head is located at a distance.
  • Prepare for a phone or video interview just as you would a normal face-to-face interview; make sure to prepare notes, practice key points and get ready for all the questions you would be asked in a sit-down interview.
  • Tone of voice and fluidity are very important when participating in such interviews. If done over the phone, non-verbal gestures cannot be assessed, so make sure to use positive, confident and enthusiastic speech.
  • Make sure to have the phone or video interview in a quiet space, where there are no immediate distractions.
  • If participating in a video call, make sure to take your clothing attire and surroundings into account, just as you would if in a face-to-face situation.
  • Subsequent Interviews

  • Often, a company will have a preliminary ‘screening’ or first interview, where you will be assessed on more basic or qualification-based criteria.
  • The second interview will often be more in-depth, attempting to gather evidence of your skills, your assets in terms of what you can bring to the company, as well as a further understanding of your motivations.
  • Feel confident and positive that you made it through the first step, but make sure to be as prepared as possible, as the questions and discussions will likely dig deeper.
  • Look further into the company to find out about its competitions, business strategies, expansion ideas and other related information. You should not only be prepared to answer specific questions, but also be ready to prove your knowledge and motivation of the company/position.
  • With further research in place, you’ll be more prepared to show your enthusiasm and motivation for the company’s outlooks.

Preparing for the Interview – Interview Questions

  • Common Questions

  • Strengths & Weaknesses
  • Your understanding of the job position and the role that you would carry out
  • Your own personal goals, both in a personal and business perspective
  • How your past experience or studies apply to the position
  • How the company would benefit from your skills
  • Your experience in both related and unrelated disciplines that could exhibit your ability to take on multifaceted tasks
  • Make sure to point out important achievements or work them into your answers. It is not always the case that the interviewer has studied your resume, so never assume that your experience or skills are known in advance. A common mistake is to leave out important details that you feel are already covered in your resume – highlight important facts, while expanding on their relevance to the question(s).
  • In a competency-based interview, your should be prepared for questions that involve a situation or scenario. Be prepared and think ahead of time, jotting down certain scenarios that would be related to the job. Form questions from these scenarios and practice them out-loud for some good practice.
  • What about Group Interviews?

  • Group Interviews are often conducted to observe your skills not only in a competitive environment, but also how you evoke leadership and teamwork skills.
  • In a group interviewer, there is usually an observer or note-taker who might merely watch over the interview, or periodically interject.
  • When taking part in a group interview, you should make sure to be very attentive, take strong leadership stances, positively intervene in the discussions and show your proactive and motivational listening skills.
  • You should command a presence in the group, providing constructive and confident points, that prove your ability to lead as well as support the team.
  • Answers such as, “Great point. I agree and would like to add…” or “Does anyone else have an opinion or comment about that point…”
  • Remember that in almost all occupations, strong group and team skills is extremely vital to a company. Your ability to work effectively in a team, and proactively manage a group discussion are vital assets, that you should be sure to prepare for.
  • Questions for the Interviewer

  • Make sure to always prepare at least a few key questions to ask. Asking questions shows your interest in the job and motivation to learn more.
  • Questions such as “How the company plans to expand or develop in a certain realm” show that your interested in the industry, as well as the company’s application to it.
  • Basic questions such as: the desired starting date, what kind of training is available, number of people in the team, etc. will never hurt, and show your interest in taking on the role.