The Interview: About You

The interview is going well, the interviewer has covered the organisation and the role, and now its your turn. You have got just a short time to sell yourself to your prospective employer.

During this stage, the interviewer may ask you to run through your CV briefly. You may also be asked direct questions in relation to the information on your CV. If the interviewer asks you to talk through your career or job history, check which role they want you to start with. You should then:

  • Give a brief outline of the organisation and their primary business.
  • Discuss the type of role you had, your place in the team and primary responsibilities.
  • Maintain eye contact with the other people in the interview, especially when they are talking to you
  • Try to be conversational when talking to your interviewers or when answering questions. It makes for a more relaxing experience and allows the interview to progress more naturally.
  • Be confident in your skills and sell yourself. If you have skills from your background in a different industry, draw parallels and show how that experience could benefit you in this role.
  • If you had a positive reason for leaving a role or employer, don’t be afraid to talk about it. But avoid talking negatively about previous roles and organisations.

Things to Avoid

Just as there are some things you should do at an interview, there are some things that you should never do.

Never talk negatively about your previous employers or colleagues. If a question would require a negative response, simply say that you don’t wish to speak negatively of people. For example, you might say that there was unfortunately a disagreement that could not be resolved positively. Explain that in the interests of everyone concerned, you felt it would be better to move on to a role that fulfils your career expectations more effectively. This puts you in a more positive light than going into detail about the problems you had.

Never interrupt or talk over the interviewer when they are talking. Wait until they have either finished asking the question, or wait for a natural gap in the conversation where you can respond appropriately

Likewise, you should never argue the point in an interview. If you disagree with something the interviewer has said, but if you do, make sure you can provide reasons for your thinking, and where possible provide a real world example.

Don’t look to prove the interviewer wrong or embarrass them, as this will give a bad impression of yourself. You are trying to show that you can think for yourself, and where there are no rules to guide you, you are able to apply logic to your actions based on sound judgement and past experience.

Finally, don’t bring up the subject of money in an interview until the interviewer discusses it first. If you initiate the conversation about money, it gives the impression that you are motivated by money, rather than the job. It’s not a good look.

Next Stage: Interview Questions