Interview Tips

How to improve your performance at Interviews?

The short time you spend at a job interview could have a dramatic effect on YOUR career prospects. It is therefore important that you perform well because no matter how good your career record is to date, the employment interview remains an important step. The following hints have been developed to assist you:


Preparation is the first essential step towards a successful interview. It is important to;

  1. Know the place and time, the interviewer's full name, the correct pronunciation and his/her title.

  2. Find out as much as you can know about the company and the position available.

  3. Refresh your memory on the facts and figures of your PRESENT/FORMER employer. You will be expected to know a lot about company you've worked for.

  4. Prepare the questions you will ask during the interview. You must determine through questioning whether the position and company is what you are seeking.

  5. Probing questions you might ask...
  • Why is this position available?
  • What are the most important characteristics of a candidate who would succeed in this position?
  • What are the typical first-year assignments on the jobs
  • What are the challenging aspects of the job?
  • What other positions or departments I will interact with most?
  • Culture of company?
  • To whom does this position report?
  • How and when will my performance be evaluated on this job?
  • What is the length and structure of the training program?
  • How would you describe the work environment?
  • What is the structure of the department where I will work in?
  • What makes your organization different from its competitors?
  • What challenges does your company face?
  • How would you describe your style of management?
  • What are the organization's plans for future growth or change?
    I find myself very interested in the position, when would we meet again?
  1. Dress conservatively and preferably in darker colours. Pay attention to all facets of your dress and grooming.


You are being interviewed because the interviewer wants to hire somebody - not because he/she wants to trip you up or embarrass you.

DO's and DONT's

  1. DO plan to arrive a few minutes early. Being late for an interview is never excusable.

  2. DO greet them by name and a firm handshake.

  3. DO look a prospective employer in the eye while you talk to him/her. Smile.

  4. DO follow the interviewer's leads but try to get the interviewer to describe the position and the duties to you early in the interview so that you can relate your background and skills to the position.

  5. DON'T answer questions with a simple "yes' or "no".

  6. DO make sure that your good points get across to the interviewer in a factual, sincere manner. Smile.

  7. DO be prepared to answer typical questions like:
  • What kind of job are you looking for?
  • What are your strengths / weaknesses?
  • What did you enjoy / learn / achieve in your last position?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Why did you leave your last position?
  • What are your qualifications?

  1. DON'T lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and as to the point as possible.

  2. DON'T ever make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers or companies.

  3. DON'T "over answer" questions.

  4. DON'T enquire about SALARY, HOLIDAYS, BONUSES, etc. at the initial interview unless you are positive the employer is interested in hiring you and raises the issue first. However, you should know your market value and be prepared to specify your required salary or range.

  5. DO always conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job you are discussing. Never close the door on an opportunity. It is better to be in the position where you can choose from a number of jobs rather than only one.

Negative Factors to Watch For

  1. During the course of an interview, the employer will be evaluating your negative factors as well as your positive attributes. Listed below are negative factors frequently evaluated during the course of an interview and those which most often lead to rejection.

  2. Poor personal appearance

  3. Conceited, aggressive, "know-it-all" attitude.

  4. Lack of confidence, interest or enthusiasm.

  5. Inability to express thoughts clearly - poor diction or grammar.

  6. Over-emphasis on money - interested only in remuneration.

  7. Lack of tact / maturity / courtesy - condemnation of past employers, making excuses.

  8. Poor body language - no eye contact, limp handshake, playing with hair, fidgeting.

  9. Failure to ask good questions about the job and company. This is most important!

  10. Persistent attitude of 'What can you do for me"

Closing the Interview

Thank the interviewer for their time, smile and shake their hand.

After the Interview

Last, and most important, call the consultant at Prosavvy Services Company who referred you to the position immediately after the interview and explain what happened. He/She will want to talk with you before the interviewer calls him/her back. If you are interested in progressing further it will assist if your feelings towards the position are known, together with your perception of what the client's reaction is likely to be.



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