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Interview Techniques

Primary Purpose Of An Interview

For You

Find out more about the job and the company.

For Interviewer

Meet you in person to find out more about your background and experience.

Typical Structure Format


This sets the stage of a good meeting to allow mutual exchange of information to take place. Most experienced interviewers understand that interviewees are usually nervous at interviews and will use this session to warm up the latter so they can be more self-assured and confident.

Interview Body

This session is led by the interviewer to find out if the candidate has a close fit to the job requirements. The flow of the questions could either be structured or unstructured. The former simply means have a ready set of questions to ask whereas the latter is more free-flowing and allows the interviewers to ask spontaneous questions depending on the flow of the interview and could eventually lead to a more productive interview session with more information being uncovered.

Wrapping Up/Question Time

The ending session provides an opportunity for the interviewee to ask questions relating to the job and the company. Interviews should be two-way conversations and you should politely request for some time to ask questions if this is not offer by the interviewer.


Preparing For Tricky Questions At Interviews

No matter how well you prepare yourself for an interview, some of the questions asked by interviewers can rattle your composure and turn you into a bundle of nerves. Management consultancies are famous for asking long-winded questions that can leave the best of candidates fumbling for words. Questions asked by one firm involved a failing airline, reward cards and the tourism potential of a small South American country.

Another asked interviewees to choose between being reincarnated as a rabbit or a snake. And yet, according to major recruitment professionals, there are a variety of methods to prepare for and tackle such questions. The key is simply remembering that all interviewers - no matter how convoluted their questions are - are desperate to fill that post and want to reassure themselves that they have shortlisted the right people.

Sometimes, it may look as if they want to trip you up. For instance, one will have a reasonable comment about your degree course, while the other will leap forward and say something like, "Do you mean to say the course contained no business modelling? How will you be able to do this job without it?" In cases like this, you may feel that your integrity is being challenged and become quite defensive, when all they probably want to find out is how you react to pressure.

Certain questions tend to pop up insistently like that old favorite: "Tell me something about yourself", which may lead you to babble on about your love of wood-turning and the arts and crafts movement. But do not fall into that trap. Just concentrate on three or four key items on your resume that you want to draw attention to and talk about those instead.

"Where do you see yourself in five years' time?" is another interview classic, but it is surprising just how many people flounder around and mutter something incomprehensible like: "Oh, doing this job and really enjoying it." The interviewer is likely to chalk you up as being a low-achiever or lacking imagination.

Then again, you might take the opposite point of view and answer "Doing your job", which would be risky, yet bold. A better, if vague, answer is: "Building on my successes here and moving up within the company" There will always be questions with the potential to leave you grappling for the answer.

But it does help to keep in mind that the motivation for all these questions boils down to just three basic tenets: Can you do the job, will you do the job, and will you fit in here? Angle all answers to the first by telling them about your skills and abilities, the second by demonstrating your enthusiasm and the third with your track record of teamwork.

Trick Questions

Here Are Some Favorite Tough Questions That Interviewers Like To Ask

  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Describe for us your ethics.
  • Why are manhole covers round?
  • Tell me how you handled a confrontation with a co-worker.
  • What went wrong in your last job, then?
  • Describe a situation in which your work was criticised.
  • Tell us about the last time you lost your temper.
  • If you were the boss, what would you change about this company?
  • Tell us your five best - and worst - faults.
  • Exactly what do you think of the product in front of you?

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