Preparing for and Handling interview Questions:

Job interviews are nerve-wracking enough without tricky questions to trip you up. It’s important to remember what the interviewing process is about, to evaluate your ability to do the job.

Challenging questions will allow the interviewer to see how you can think on your feet and cope with stress.

When faced with a difficult question, there is nothing wrong with a brief contemplative pause before answering. Seek the opportunity to turn the question around and sell yourself, focusing on the company’s needs and your abilities. Ask the interviewer to repeat the question if you don’t understand it – try to determine what the interview is looking to find out.

Remember the interview is a two-way process, you are there to demonstrate your ability not only to speak out but also to listen. Try not to stray from the point, offer relevant information to the question. Always offer positive information.

Your Opening Greeting:

As well as the way you look, the way you greet the interviewer will also be an important part of the first impression you create. So be ready to exude warmth and confidence as soon as you see them. The key points to remember are:

  • Smile.
  • Make eye contact with the interviewer.
  • Offer a hand to shake as soon as they introduce themselves.
  • Say “ Hello”, “Pleased to meet you”, or whatever phrase you feel comfortable with.
  • Shake hands firmly (you can practice your handshake with a friend) – with all interviewers if there is more than one.
  • Wait to be invited before you sit down. 

The interviewer will generally chat for a couple of minutes at the start to put you at your ease. Be responsive, but remember that neither of you is here to chat. So when they ask, for example, how your journey was, they don’t want a blow by blow account of it. A friendly but brief response will do just fine. And if by chance it was horrendous, express the fact (if you mention it at all) with humour rather than sounding like a winger.

Body Language:
Good body language will convince the interviewer of your confidence. Greet your interviewer with a firm hand shake. Always maintain eye contact.

Tip: Ensure that your hands are dry prior to shaking your interviewer’s hand. A sweaty hand shake is an instant interview killer. If at the end of the interview your palms are moist, ensure that once again you wipe them dry, out of the interviewer’s sight, prior to the final handshake.

Plan Questions:
Have a list of job-related questions that require explanation. Remember that you’re also interviewing the employer. Good questions revolve around the company, its products or services, and career potential. Here are some examples:

  • Describe a typical day on the job at this company.
  • Is there room for advancement?
  • Describe the ideal candidate for this job.
  • What happened to the previous incumbent of this role?
  • Where do you see this company in five years? Ten years?
  • What made you join the Company?

Tip: Avoid questions relating to salary, benefits, and holidays, as these create an image of someone purely looking for financial gain. Obviously money is an important issue, but your interest in the job is more important as far as an interviewer is concerned.

Be a Good Listener:

Too many interviewees talk over the interviewer. This immediately sends out the impression of someone who does not listen. Ask questions, and concentrate on what the interviewer is saying. Smile appropriately.

Tip: Whilst the client is talking, nod your head at the appropriate time. This will give the client the impression of someone who listens. NB: Do not nod like an insane person!

Close the Interview 
Express a sincere interest in both the company and the opportunity.

Tip: Interviewers always respond favourably to positive thinking. Prior to the interview have a list of your “likes” ready, and towards the end, state your reasons for liking the company and the role: “Well, I actually like the role because, of this, this and this…”

Further help

You can discuss what to expect from your interview further with your dedicated consultant who will be willing to help you along each interview stage.