Interview Tips

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On Moderation
28 Apr 2009
As someone who is terrified of interviews, mainly due to the pressure of being in one - does anyone have any tips that I and others can use please?

Is there any tips one could use to calm one while in the interview room or tips to better present one's self in order to demonstrate why one should be successful in that interview.

Any help would be appreciated, thanks :)
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O L Leigh

Established Member
20 Jan 2006
In the cab with the paper
I used to hate them but now I don't mind so much. It's just like going in and having a chat.

When the panel are speaking, listen to what they are saying. Make sure you understand the question and don't hurry to give your answer. Relax as much as you can. Interviews are meant to find out more about who you are. There is always going to be an amount of pressure applied because very often the job you're being interviewed for is pressured, so they want to see how you cope.

O L Leigh


24 Apr 2012
You could try the old one of visualizing the interviewers in their underware :oops:

Perhaps not ! The best way I can think of is to practice with someone, try to work out what you are going to say for various questions. Being prepared will help remove some of that stress.

Just remember the interviewers are people too and they will have been in an interview situation at some point as well.

You could try one of those 'rescue remedy' type things (Dont have alcohol though!) They dont do anything for me but I know someone who does and she says it helps her.


Established Member
12 Oct 2010
I totally agree with MR_P about practicing with friends.

You can rehearse potential questions, eg:

  • Tell us a bit about yourself
  • Why do you want to work as a xxx / in the yyy industry
  • What relevant experiece / qualifications do you have
  • What special qualities do you have (ie. why do you think we should employ you instead of the other 499 people who applied!)
  • What are your hobbies / other interests / what do you do in your spare time
  • Are there any questions you want to ask us

I don't think anyone asks the "what's your worst quality" any more do they? (I certainly don't!).

If you can, try to remember the names of the interviewers so you can refer back (eg. you can say "like Mr Smith said" rather than "like what that guy there said"). I know it's tricky, the only way I have ever managed is to lump all the Mr Smith's together by picture association (ie. connect them with another Mr Smith; or if they use first names, another John that you know already).

Oh and watch out for the "silence" trick. Again, I'm not sure anyone does that any more, but they used to ask a question, you reply, then they count up to 10, hoping the silence will embarrase you into blurting out something you didn't mean to say! I've even had a "nice cop nasty cop" interview, where I think one guy was trying to see how far he could push me and if I'd end up bursting into tears or punching him. I just smiled serenely as I was already aware of the technique!

Oh and don't lie. We got so fed up of people saying they knew all about xyz when they didn't that we started doing practical tests!
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7 Mar 2012
I used to interview people in the forces so here are some tips I found useful...

-Practice! Practice general questions with anyone who will help, You can get friends or family to ask you things.

-Present yourself well - Sounds obvious but if you feel good you will perform better. Shower/shave etc in the morning beforehand.

-Mannerisms - If you know you have mannerisms try and control them, nothing can distract an interviewer more than arms flailing and thumbs twiddling

- Posture - A fairly important aspect, you should try and relax, sit up in the chair, don't cross your legs! Keep your body 'open'. If you can feel yourself getting fidgety bend your toes in your shoes.

- Eye Contact - Try and look the interviewer(s) in the eyes, it shows confidence, don't look at the floor or out the window!

- Speech - Speak clearly, concisely and do not answer questions with just 'yes' or 'no' (unless they are obviously after just those answers!, i.e "Have you done drugs?" "No")

- Don't waffle/dig yourself a hole - Seems fairly obvious but so many people do it, remember the interviewer will have your application forms in front of them! Stick to the truth, if you just don't know an answer to a question have the integrity to say "I'm sorry I don't know". If you start to dig a hole, stop and compose yourself.

- Preperation - Goes hand in hand with practice, prepare well, the old saying "failure to prepare is preparing to fail". You have a good idea of the questions coming your way in the managers interview and structured interview, so study your answers. Study a bit each day. If you can try and think of a question for the interviewers, but make sure it is pertinent.

Practice, practice, practice, practice, practice..........


16 Nov 2011
All excellent advice. I'd just add, make sure you're clued up on the company. I recruited for an engineering company and it was SO annoying the amount of candidates who didn't know what the company did. They hadn't bothered to look at the website. At my TOC interview, they seemed quite surprised I knew so much...

If there's anything you don't understand, ask them to repeat or rephrase the question.

Don't be afraid to take a note-pad and pen in with some pre-prepared questions and if you really can't think of any questions when they ask, just say "I did have a couple but you've answered them for me" (if relevant).

I'm afraid I was one of those who asked people to give me 2 weaknesses / reasons we shouldn't hire. Not trying to unduly pressurise them, but everyone has areas for development! Shows they're self aware. These could be as simple as not having worked in the industry previously, although you're quick to learn new things.

I'd DEFINITELY ask friends to interview you, either in person or over the phone, as practise.

Best of luck and keep us posted!

Oh, and remember, if you've got THIS far they are DEFINITELY interested in you!
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