Master your job interview effectively

Master your job interview effectively

When it comes to job application, interview is the essential factor that affects your career prospects. Here are a few interview advices and suggestions which help enhance your interview technique.


Make a list of questions

Formulate some questions you want to ask about the organisation and the position:

  • What is the job description?
  • Is the position vacant or newly created?
  • Is there any on-the-job training and induction?
  • Are there any opportunities for personal and professional development?
  • What are the corporate objectives for future growth?
  • What attributes would you expect that I would bring to the job?
  • When will you make the final decision?


Get prepared before the interview

It is the first impression that matters. According to some research findings, an interviewer has made an impression within the first eight seconds of meeting the candidate. The rest of the interview is spent checking if this opinion is true or not.

To play safe, bring a spare copy of CV to the interview. Arrive at least ten minutes early as interviewers do not normally accept any excuses.


Diverse aspects of interview questions

While you are preparing answers for some common questions, don’t make them too precise. Focus on diverse aspects which are probably asked during the interview:

General background

If you apply for your first job, focus on extra-curricular activities, education, and qualifications. Going over some main points outlined in resume or cover letter is acceptable.


When you explain why you are qualified for this position, you should cover the three core aspects, including educational, employment-related and personal. In most cases, your answer may be a determining factor in the selection process, so try to give clear and memorable answers.


You should cover details about relevant employment, community or educational experience and share your view on the nature of the industry, the organisation and the position itself.

Reasons for applying

If you apply for your first job, explain why you are interested in that position, how you have prepared yourself for a career in the organisation and how your current job equips you for the applied position.

Career objectives

When asked about your long-term aspirations, just show that you have thought about your career objectives and have taken some action towards realising your ambitions.

Crisis management

In some interviews, candidates might be tested for their ability in particular situations or crises. Try to find out the most usual type of dilemma for employees in the job you are seeking and make a wise response.

When the interview is almost over, you will usually be asked if you have any questions. Try to ask at least one or two sensible questions. Be confident when asking your questions as you can utilise them to yield bonus points in your favour. For instance, you could ask about the company’s plans for the future and the sort of support the organisation might provide if you wanted further training.

At the end of your interview, smile and thank the interviewers for their time. While it takes some time for the employer to make decisions and job offers, if an offer of employment is made resulting from any interview you attend, ask if the offer will be confirmed in writing. Also, it is reasonable to request a short period of time to consider the offer before formally accepting.


Common interview questions

  • What job would you like if you were free to choose?
  • Why do you apply for a position with our company?
  • Why do you aspire to be a *****?
  • How do you tackle stressful situations? Please give an example.
  • Have you come across a situation like this? How did you handle it? What was the outcome?
  • What are your greatest accomplishments to date?
  • What objectives did you set at the beginning of your career or study?
  • Have you achieved those objectives?
  • What interests you most/least about this job?
  • Describe your own personality.
  • Describe a situation where you have… (This is the style of questioning employed in competency based interviewing, asking for examples of previous situations is quite common so support your answer with relevant examples.)
  • What is your expected salary? (Think of it before the interview!)

This article was originally published on Hays.

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