Interview Techniques

How to prepare for that first meeting:

What to expect

  • Every company will have its own ideas on interviewing, so try and establish what format your interview is likely to take. Will it be one to one, panel or group? Will it involve technical, psychometric or aptitude tests? If so, on what subjects? Etc. The more information you are able to get about the interview process, the more comfortable you will feel during it.
  • Plan your first interview to last about one hour.

Be prepared

  • Review company literature prior to interview. Useful information sources include: Annual Report of Accounts, company brochures and web site.
  • Read up on the job content.
  • Plan to arrive 15-30 minutes before your allotted interview time. Arriving late for an interview can cost you the job.
  • Ensure you have looked at your CV and can talk confidently about dates of education and employment, reasons for leaving, etc.
  • Prepare questions to ask at the interview. Questioning the interviewer will demonstrate an active and inquiring mind which is a prerequisite for most IT jobs. At the first interview stage it’s better to restrict questions to job content, departmental structure and reasons why the post exists.
  • Questions to ask: about the information you researched, could you describe my job duties? Is this a newly created position?  What are the company’s short and long-term goals? What do you like most about working for this company? What is a typical day like for you? To whom would I report? What are my line management responsibilities? With whom will I be working most closely?  What are your timescales?
  • Do not: open yourself to areas of questioning that could pose difficulties for you.

Dress the part and polish your shoes.

The interview

The interview is very much a two way process. You will also have to bear in mind that interviewers will have their own personal style or technique. The secret at an interview is to be prepared for any style or technique and don’t be put off if you encounter a technique that is not familiar to you.

  • Ask questions that relate to the business of the company
  • Speak about your accomplishments, strengths and weakness

Most frequently asked questions by interviewers

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your team-player qualities? Give examples.
  • Of the courses you have had at college which courses have you enjoyed the most?
  • What is your GPA? How do you feel about it? Does it reflect your abilities?
  • How have your educational and work experiences prepared you for this position?
  • What work experiences have been most valuable to you and why?
  • What have the experiences on your resume taught you about managing and working with people?
  • Of the hobbies and interests listed on your resume what is your favorite and tell me why?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What goals have you set for yourself? How are you planning to achieve them?
  • To what do you owe your present success?
  • Why should I hire you?
  • What makes you think you can handle this position?
  • What is your most significant accomplishment to date?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What interests you about this job?
  • What challenges are you looking for in a position?
  • What can you contribute to this company?
  • What motivates you?
  • Describe a leadership role of yours and tell why you committed your time to it.
  • In a particular leadership role you had, what was your greatest challenge?
  • Give me an example of an idea that has come to you and what you did with it?
  • Give me an example of a problem you solved and the process you used?
  • Give me an example of the most creative project that you have worked on.
  • Tell me about a project you initiated?
  • Describe the project or situation that best demonstrates your analytical abilities?
  • Since attending college, what is the toughest decision that you have had to make?
  • Tell me about your most difficult decision and how did you go about making it?
  • What types of situations put you under pressure, and how do you deal with pressure?
  • Give me a situation in which you failed, and how you handled it?
  • Why are you interested in our organisation?
  • What type of position are you seeking?
  • Where do you think your interest in this career comes from?
  • What industry besides this one are you looking into?
  • Why have you chosen this particular profession?
  • When you take on a project do you like to attack the project in a group or individually?
  • Describe the type of manager you prefer.
  • Tell me about a team project of which you are particularly proud and your contribution?
  • Describe a situation where you had to work with someone who was difficult; how did you handle it?
  • What type of work environment appeals to you most?
  • With which other companies are you interviewing?
  • What characteristics do you think are important for this position?
  • Why do you feel that this company will be a career for you rather than just a job?
  • Name two management skills that you think you have.
  • What characteristics are most important in a good manager? How have you displayed one of them?
  • What has been your greatest challenge?

Get feedback

After the interview has come to a conclusion, and they ask if you have any more questions, ask how they thought the interview went? This is an excellent place to get instant feedback and may give you the opportunity to clear up any issues that the client may have.