Discover our advice on job interview preparation, polishing your technique and calming your nerves..

Interview Tips & Advice

Interview tips to boost your chances of landing the job

In the current job market, you'd better have your act together, or you won't stand a chance against the competition also you need to be proactive and prepared to convert each opportunity into an employment prospect. Possessing strong communication skills is the 1st step to ensure that every interview results into a positive outcome. A successful interview will be essential in order for you to lock in an offer. Here's advice on how to ace a job interview, including tips on every aspect of the interview from preparation through follow up:

Different Kinds of Interview:

1. Face-To-Face Interview:

This is a traditional interview and the most common type. In this interview the candidate and the interviewer meets face-to-face. The main concept of the interview is to build rapport with the interviewer and show how the qualifications will benefit their organization. The interviewee should maintain eye contact, and respond to all the questions of the interviewer.

2. Panel Interview:

A panel interview comprises more than two members interviewing a person for the hiring. It is most common mode of interview when hiring at the senior level. The interviewee should try to connect with each interviewer and the best way to do this is to read the personality of each interviewer. In a panel interview, the interviewer tries to gauge the group management and group presentation skills of the interviewee. The interviewee should maintain eye contact with the person asking the questions but also seek eye contact with the other members of the panel.

3. Phone Interview:

Phone interviews are increasingly used in mass hiring. The interview is conducted entirely over the phone and this is very effective in eliminating any bias that may arise from the appearance and manner of the candidate. Phone interview is used to narrow a field of candidates. That is why candidates should treat this interview with the same seriousness as a phone interview. The candidate should focus on the conversation and listen to the questions carefully before answering. In this interview, voice is also a key.

4. Group Interview:

Group interview is also the best way to discover any leadership potential among the candidates. The leading candidates who are selected from the group interview are then taken for an informal one to one interview.

5. Stress Interview:

This type of interview is rare in the present job scenario. It was a very common interview method when selecting for sales position. This interview is an attempt to see how the candidates handle themselves under stress. So, the interviewer deliberately assumes a sarcastic or argumentative position. The trick for the interviewee to remain calm under such a situation. 

6. Stress interview means:

Being asked more than one questions at a time. Being asked further questions without being allowed adequate time to respond; Being questioned in an interrogatory tone and voice; Being asked an unrelated bunch of questions; Having his feelings provoked.

Before the interview

Interviews require much research and planning. Generally, you should do the following when preparing for interview:

a). Anticipate potential questions and prepare answers accordingly.

b). Consider how you'll explain problematic aspects of your CV, such as leaving an employer.

c). Contact your references, alerting them that you'll be interviewing and that they may receive a call.

d). Fully understand the role that you're applying for by revisiting the job description, identifying what skills, interests and experiences the employer is looking for.

e). Prepare questions to ask the interviewer.

f). Read the organisation's website, social media profiles and key literature (e.g. business plan, financial reports and corporate social responsibility strategy), ensuring that you're prepared to share your views and ideas.

g). Research the news, trends, competitors, history and opportunities of the organisation and its job sector.

h). Review your CV and application form.

i). Research the potential employer

j). Prepare a 1 to 2 minute script about yourself

k). Make sure you have the appropriate interview attire.

l). Take notes and try to get complete quotes on important subjects.

3. Don’t forget to take along with you following things

Your interview invitation should detail everything that you need, but generally you should take:

a). Exam certificates, examples of your work, and any further evidence of your past successes

b). photo ID (e.g. passport or driving licence)

c). the job description and person specification

d). your CV, letter of application and interview invitation

e). Experience Certificate of Previous Job

4. How to make a good impression

a). answer questions clearly and concisely

b). ask relevant, thought-provoking questions at appropriate moments, as this can show that you're genuinely interested in the role and really listening to the interviewer

c). avoid talking about any personal problems

d). be as enthusiastic as possible

e). be well-mannered with any staff that you meet before the interview

f). display positive body language, speaking clearly, smiling frequently and retaining eye contact

g). don't badmouth any previous employers

h). give a firm handshake to your interviewer(s) before and after

i). highlight your best attributes, experiences and achievements, based around the skills that you've identified as important to the organisation, and evidencing them with practical examples

j). relax and sit naturally, but without slouching in your chair or leaning on the desk

k). show your hands, as this is a sign of honesty

l). wear smart business attire with comfortable, polished shoes

m). Be sure to arrive 10 to 15 minutes prior to the start of the interview

n). If you did not hear something, politely ask the source to repeat it.

p). Don’t argue: We don’t say that interviewers are always right and yes, they may be wrong, but you are in no position to argue with them. Present your point of view like a professional and if you disagree with theirs so be it. You should try and understand their perspective and know that what he says is backed by years of experience; who said anything about accepting it.

5. Tips for controlling your nervousness

Nervousness can make you forget to do things as simple as listening. This can result in you being thought of as unfriendly or inattentive. Some ideas for combating nervousness include:

a). being aware of the interview's structure, and the fact that they often begin with easier questions such as 'tell us about your time at university'

b). pausing before answering a difficult question to give yourself thinking time, or asking for clarification if, at first, you're unsure what the question means

c). putting everything into perspective, reminding yourself that the worst thing that can happen is you not getting the job

d). taking deep breaths and not speaking too quickly

e). thinking about positive and happy experiences before the interview starts, and visualising yourself in complete control during the interview.

6. Practice job interviews

Your university careers and employability service is likely to provide practice job interview sessions. Alternatively, you could:

a). ask for advice and feedback after unsuccessful interviews

b). practise and monitor your skills by treating interview-like scenarios such as discussions with your tutor as genuine interviews

c). record yourself in a mock interview, playing it back to check how you did

d). review the different types of possible questions, writing down your responses, taking notes and creating flash cards

e). script and practise answers to anticipated questions with someone that you trust.

7. Phone interviews

These are usually used for cost-efficient preliminary screening before the first one-to-one interview. They're often recorded and vary in length, but average around 20-30 minutes. You should prepare for a phone interview just as you would for a regular interview and generally should:

a). direct the interviewer to your web portfolio or LinkedIn profile if possible, to demonstrate your work in practice

b). find a quiet place for the interview where you'll be undisturbed

c). fully charge your mobile before the interview, and turn call waiting off

d). get your main messages across quickly, by writing down your key attributes and having these at hand during the call

e). have a pen and notepad within reach

f). have internet access

g). keep your CV, application and job description in clear view

h). not interrupt the interviewer

i). smile, as this projects a positive image and changes your tone of voice

j). speak slowly and clearly

k). take time to collect your thoughts, and give relatively short answers.

8. Second interviews

A second interview means that you've made it through the initial screening and the interviewer is now looking for evidence of: your value to the organisation; your fit in the role, existing team and organisation; what separates you from other candidates; and what you can do for them. Generally, you should:

a). ask the company for any feedback beforehand, reviewing your performance from the first interview by noting and addressing any questions or situations that caused you difficulty

b). find out as much as possible about the organisation's challenges, priorities, markets and competitors, researching the company in even more detail than for the first interview

c). find out what the agenda will be and whom you'll interview with

d). find ways to demonstrate enthusiasm for the organisation's goals

e). give answers that are consistent with what the recruiter has previously heard

f). prepare examples of how your achievements can apply to the organisation

g). talk with industry insiders and ensure that you're up to date with recent developments by reviewing trade publications.

All the Best!