The Interview: About You

The interview is going well, the interviewer(s) has covered the organisation and the role and now its your turn. This is your short space of time to sell yourself to your prospective employer.

During this stage, you will be asked to run through your CV or be asked direct questions in relation to the information on your CV.

If the interviewer asks you talk through your career or job history, ask them which role they want you to start with and do the following:

  • Give a brief outline of the organisation/place where you worked and their primary business
  • Discuss the type of role you had, your place in the team, and the primary responsibilities of that role
  • Keep eye contact with the other people in the interview, especially when they are talking to you
  • Do 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 naturally
  • Be confident of 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
  • Reasons for leaving. If you had a positive reason for leaving a role or employer, don’t be afraid to talk about it but refrain from talking negatively of the previous roles and organisations

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

Never talk negatively of your previous employers or the staff. If you are asked a particular question that requires a negative response, don’t be afraid to say that you don’t wish to speak negatively of people.

For example, you might say that you had a disagreement that could not be resolved positively, so you feel that in the interests of everyone concerned it is best to gain closure and move on to something that fulfils your career expectations more effectively.

Providing a response like this shows that you have a good grasp of reasoning, you are the type of person who does not dwell on negative experiences, tries to resolve those issues positively and effectively with the people involved, and if the experience or issue cannot be resolved, you look to change to the situation to gain closure and move on with your life and career.

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

Never argue the point in an interview. You can disagree with something they have said, but if you do, make sure you have sound rationale for your thoughts by providing reasons for your thinking, and where possible provide a real world example.

Don’t look to prove the interviewer wrong or embarrass them.  What you are trying to achieve is the ability 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 unless the employer asks you a specific question regarding remuneration or employment benefits. If you do initiate a conversation about money, the perception will be that you are motivated by money, rather than being motivated by the job. It’s not a good look.

Next Stage: Interview Questions