Interview Techniques

We have highlighted three main areas to help guide an applicant to a successful interview.

1. Preparation

It is important to spend time preparing for interviews. Take the time to find out about the company. For example: -

  • Research the Prospective Employer/Company.
  • What products or services the company deals with. The size, location, style and reputation of the organisation.
  • Look on the company website for information about the company.
  • Research who would be their main competitors and the types of products and services they have to offer.
  • Rehearse 5 good reasons why you want to work for this employer.

Be prepared with answers for commonly occurring questions. For example: -

  • Have you visited or used our property / product?
  • How long do you think it would be before you were making a significant contribution to the team / company?
  • How would you describe yourself and how would others describe you? How much does your last job resemble the one you are applying for? What are the differences?
  • What do you think of the last company you worked for? Why did you join your previous company?
  • What are your current KPI’s and how are you performing against them? Who would you say are our main competitors?
  • How do you measure customer service?
  • Can you give me an example where you have taken over a new team and you have improved team morale?
  • What steps did you take to understand your team and how did you measure your success?

Practice talking about yourself, get a friend to help they may take the role of interviewer.

For further assistance in answering interview questions please visit

Have questions ready to ask. List your questions in a notebook and take them with you. Good questions to ask are:

  • What makes your company different from your competitors?
  • What significant changes has the company made in training and development over the last 3 years?
  • What type of training and assistance would I receive in this role?
  • What are you expecting from the successful candidate over the next year within this role?
  • Who would you be reporting to and working with if successful in obtaining this position?
  • How would they describe the company’s working environment?
  • What is the next process will there be a 2nd interview?
  • When will a decision be made?
  • Is there anything else they would like to know about you?

2. Day of the interview

Plan a reliable way of getting to the interview, with a practice run if need be. Make sure you are 15 minutes early.

First impressions do count. Make sure you are well groomed, with neat hair, and that your clothes are conservative. Practice your handshake to make sure that it is firm. Smile and make eye contact, but don't stare. Once invited to sit down, sit upright with your hands on your lap.

If you are a smoker make sure that you do not have an odour on your clothes.

Make sure you listen carefully and do not interrupt. Keep your answers clear and to the point. Answer questions with examples.

3. The interview

  • Smile and deliver a firm handshake.
  • Be pleasant to everyone you encounter – try and remember names.
  • Do not eat or chew gum.
  • Use proper grammar.
  • Enjoy the interview – Be positive and confident.
  • Body language – lean forward slightly to xpress your interest in the position.
  • Avoid fidgeting and overstating the case with the use of your hands.
  • Look to mirroring the interview’s speech by matching your tone and volume. There is one exception. Always maintain a positive demeanour and high level. You may be the interviewer’s sixth interview that day. So, your positive energy may lift the energy level of the interviewer.
  • Remember to answer questions clearly and do not waffle or ramble – keep it precise and to the point.
  • Practice active listening – when listening to the question acknowledge with nods and affirmative comments.
  • Maintain eye contact – if more that one interviewer – address the main speaker with the bulk of the questions, however remember to acknowledge the second party with part of the answer.
  • Leave questions about salary and benefits until a later stage. If asked to say what salary you desire, answer with a question like, “What range do you have in mind for this particular role?” If the interviewer persists or requires an answer on the form, give a range. Use a realistic range based on the current market.

4. The end of the interview

  • Remember to thank everyone for his or her time.
  • Deliver a smile and a firm hand shake and reassure the employer once again that the position discussed is ideally what you are looking for and you would like to think you would be considered for the next stage in the process.
  • Remember last impressions are nearly as important as first, so make sure you finish on a confident platform.