Interview Tips For Job Applicants

In a competitive job market sometimes applying for jobs can feel like a numbers game. Invest some time in prepare for job interviews and how to participate in interviews. Here’s some tips to help you put your best foot forward.

Prepare for Interview

  • Read the job description and visit the company website.
  • Understand the technical skills the company is looking for and be prepared to match your answers to technical questions.
  • Think about how you’d answer general interview questions > scroll down page to examples.
  • Make your first impression count. Plan ahead what to wear. Dress presentably. If unsure, ask what the business attire is. If an online interview – presentation is still important. Check your background/backdrop.
  • Know exactly where you are going, how long it will take to get there, and where to park if driving.
  • Know the exact time and place for the interview, the interviewer’s name and title.
  • Refresh your memory regarding details of past and present employers and your work history in the companies. Take a copy of your resume with you to the interview as a point of reference.

At The Interview

  • Look the interviewer in the eye when you speak to them.
  • Follow the interviewer’s leads.
  • Look alert and interested and never let your attention waiver.
  • Be a good listener as well as a talker. Remember to smile!
  • Conduct yourself with confidence.
  • Don’t answer questions with a simple Yes or No. Explain wherever possible.
  • Don’t over answer questions.
  • Don’t lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and as to the point as possible.
  • Don’t ever make derogatory remarks about your present or previous employers. If you are unhappy with them, try to phrase your remarks positively: “my needs and those the company could provide were different”.
  • Ask about income package and benefits at early stages of application/interview process to ensure you and the employer are on the same page. Know your market value and be prepared to specify your salary range. Sometimes career opportunities and growth are more important to you. Find out what’s important to you.
  • Don’t panic if there’s a silence (even though it may seem like an eternity!). Take a few seconds to think about your answers.
  • Remember you have been invited to an interview because the employer wants to hire somebody not because they want to trip you up or embarrass you. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your personal attributes, your strengths, personality, ability to communicate and how you react under pressure.
  • It is very important to ensure effective communication with the person interviewing you and of course this can sometimes be difficult particularly if you ‘really want the job’. You must relax, get that high pitched or tense tone out of your voice and appear to be calm and self-assured at all times. A good way to do this is to smile – when appropriate. Not a grin or a smirk but a genuine big warm smile.
  • Relax the interviewer, if you put the interviewer at ease they will immediately feel more comfortable with you which will work to your benefit. Here’s a hint, to start the conversation rolling choose a subject that is not directly related to you being there. You may have noticed something on your way into the company’s offices – notice boards, magazines, or articles in reception.
  • Ask good questions. You can do this by asking a relevant question about the company and the job in question. If in the limited time of the interview, you can ask one or two questions that actually make the interviewer think about the answer or better still, maybe cover issues they hadn’t even thought of, you will make an impression.

Interview Questions

If you have thought through the answers to these general questions prior to the interview you’ll feel more prepared.

Example questions:

  • What are your career aspirations?
  • Why do you want to work for this company?
  • What interests you about our product or service?
  • Of your previous jobs which did you enjoy the most / least and why?
  • How have you managed conflict in the past?
  • Describe what you have done in your career that shows your initiative?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What role do you feel you play in a team?
  • What style of management do you respond well to?
  • Can you recall a time when you were under pressure and how did you react?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Why do you want to change jobs?
  • Tell me a bit about yourself?
  • Do you prefer to work in a team or autonomously?
  • What motivates you?
  • What type of environment do you enjoy working in?

Questions You Can Ask At The Interview

Remember that an interview is a two way street.  Throughout the interview the interviewer will try to determine if you have the right skills, experience and aptitude for the job.  It’s just as important you identify if it’s the right role and company for you. 


  • Why is the position open?
  • What are the key requirements for the position?
  • How is performance measured?
  • What is your company mission? Vision?
  • What are the challenges the company is facing?
  • Describe the company culture? Values?
  • Who is the company’s competition?
  • What are the challenges that are unique to this job within the organisation?
  • What internal development opportunities do you foresee for this position?
  • How do you feel I fit the requirements for this job?
  • What are the company’s plans for the future?
  • What sort of induction and training do you normally provide?
  • What else would you like to know about me?



At the end of the interview thank the interviewer for their time and consideration. Check that you are clear on what the process is from here.

If you follow the tips above and have put your best foot forward – you have done all you can. Good luck!


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