Interview Advice

One-on-One Interview

This is the most common interview where only the interviewer and the interviewee are present. The tone of the interview is conversational with the interviewer asking all the questions and driving the conversation in the beginning and the interviewee asking questions and carrying the conversation at a later stage.

The role of the interviewer is to establish an overall feel for the interviewee while also trying to sell the company and making the interviewee want to work there if they are chosen. The things they will be looking for are things like: Body Language – First Impressions – Posture – Greeting – What You Wear, etc.

A few general questions you can expect will be focused on your behavioural characteristics, problem solving abilities, how you deal with people of authority and your ability to work in a team environment as well as on your own. Another question you can expect would be about your previous employment achievements. A way to prepare for your interview could be to start preparing answers to questions that you may expect to get asked during your interview. 


Employers will often opt for multiple rounds of one-on-one interviews to get a better feel of the candidate making sure they are making a good, well thought out decision.


Panel Interview

In a panel interview or committee interview, you will be required to meet with more than one interviewer at once in the same room. These interviews tend to be a little more formal and less conversational when compared to one-on-one interviews. It gives everyone involved a good, clear understanding of you as a candidate and it essentially saves time because everyone gets their two cents in all in one sitting. You will have many questions from various people fired at you making this interview setting quite a stressful one – get ready! Sometimes companies will opt for this style of interviewing because it will allow them to see how the candidate performs within a group environment and how they interact with various people at the same time.

A good way to calm your nerves in a panel interview is to take each panel member and their question on one at a time and just b r e a t h e… A good little trick could be to use peoples’ names in the panel interview – it shows you can think on your feet.


Screening Interviews

Screening Interviews are there to narrow down the list of total job applicants that will then be in a formal interview. Screening interviews are there to reduce time, money, and risk in the whole hiring process. HR or recruiters are usually the people doing the screening interviews. Screening interviews are used to prepare the most qualified candidates for the next stage which is the formal job interview.


Types of Screening Interviews:

Phone screening

This screening interview type is to make sure that it is worth the company’s time and effort to do a more formal interview. It is very common for recruiters to screen candidates by phone because it is the quickest way to get a feel of a candidate’s skill set, qualifications and to see if they match the job opportunity.

A few pointers to remember when doing a screening interview over the phone: 

  • Find a quiet place to answer the phone without any disruptions if possible.
  • Be sure to smile when answering the phone because it will come across in your voice.
  • Remain standing up during your call because it’ll help you remain alert and confident. 
  • Always be polite from answering to ending the call.
  • Try not to interrupt the person interviewing you – Wait your turn to answer or speak.
  • Be sure to have a copy of your CV, any notes, and other documents on hand in case you need to refer to it during the call. (Also have a separate list of your accomplishments, strengths, and skills available to refer to.)
  • Have a pen and paper handy in case you need to take notes.
  • If the time they call isn’t convenient for you ask if you could talk at a better time.
  • Speak slowly and make sure your pronunciation is clear.
  • Try to practice with a friend over the phone and have them ask you a few questions that could come up in your interview so you are ready to answer them.


Screening tests

This is also a form of primary screening often used in cases where technical knowledge about the position is required. These tests are usually done on the internet or they can be done at the recruitment agency or employers officers.


Video screening

This method is just a step us from a phone call and is being used more and more as we advance technologically and use things like Skype and Zoom more and more – it is a nice option because it’s basically a normal interview but you don’t waste any time or travel costs to do so.


Behavioural Interviews

This method of interviewing has become more popular because companies believe that if you want to understand someone’s future performance you need to look at their past performance. It provides a more truthful objective because the candidate can’t just sweet talk the employer saying everything they want to hear. They will be given various questions carefully formulated to better understanding their behavioural patterns and to determine whether they will be a good fit for the position or not. In this type of interview, it is easy to pick up the candidates’ behaviour traits both bad, good and interesting are revealed as well as inconsistencies and untruths. The questions often ask you to explain past scenarios when something specific has happened and to explain how you dealt with it.

With this kind of interview it is imperative that you do you homework – research the company and tap into their values and overall personality as a brand then research someone who is currently in a position like the one you have applied for and look at all their traits and behavioural patterns that help them to excel in the said position and formulate your potential answers according to that research. Be precise, add loads of detail, and nail it! Detail is favoured over a more vague and general answer – this shows you don’t really know what you are talking about.

Most behavioural questions are aimed at trying to find out how you dealt with a specific situation and both good and bad behavioural traits that came out while doing so. Think about a few examples where you make the most of a situation with a positive mindset and had a good outcome after being dealt a tricky hand. Have these ready to explain in an interview like this. 


Behaviour based interview questions to expect and prepare for:

  • “Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.” 
  • “Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills.”
  • “Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.”
  • “Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.”
  • “Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influence someone’s opinion.”
  • “Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree.”
  • “Please discuss an important written document you were required to complete.”
  • “Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.”
  • “Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritise your tasks.”
  • “Give me an example of a time when you had to make a split-second decision.”
  • “What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example.”
  • “Tell me about a time you were able to successfully deal with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).”
  • “Tell me about a difficult decision you’ve made in the last year.”
  • “Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish and failed.”
  • “Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.”
  • “Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-worker.”
  • “Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.”
  • “Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively.”
  • “Give me an example of a time when you used your fact-finding skills to solve a problem.”
  • “Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.”
  • “Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.”
  • “Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision.”
  • “Please tell me about a time you had to fire a friend.”
  • “Describe a time when you set your sights too high (or too low).”



Below are a few mock interview questions to help you prepare:


Your Employment History

  • What were your expectations for the position and where they met?
  • What were your starting and final levels of compensation? 
  • What were your responsibilities? 
  • Where there any major challenges and/or problems you had to face? If so how did you handle those situations? 
  • What were your likes and dislike in your previous position? 
  • Out of these what were the most/least rewarding? 
  • What were your biggest accomplishment / failure in this position?


About Your Colleagues 

  • Working for your supervisor what was it like?
  • What are your expectations from a supervisor?
  • Who would you say was a good boss and who was the worst? 
  • What is your reason for leaving your current employment?
  • What have you been doing since your last job? 
  • What is the reason for you being fired? 
  • How would your colleagues describe you?
  • How would your boss describe you?


About Yourself

  • What would you say is your greatest weakness? 
  • What would be your greatest strength? 
  • Describe a typical work week. 
  • Do you take work home with you? 
  • What are your total hours you normally work? 
  • Describe the pace at which you work? 
  • Do you work well under stress and pressure? 
  • What motivates you? 
  • What are your salary expectations? 
  • What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make? 
  • Tell me about yourself. 
  • What has been the greatest disappointment in your life? 
  • What’s your passion in life? 
  • What are your pet peeves? 
  • What do you get criticized most about by other people? 
  • When was the last time you were angry? What happened? 
  • If you were given the opportunity to relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently? 
  • If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say? 
  • Do you prefer to work independently or do you work well on a team? 
  • Give some examples of teamwork. 
  • What is your work environment preference? 
  • How do you evaluate success? 
  • If your boss is 100% wrong and you know this how would you handle it? 
  • Describe a difficult work situation / project and how you overcame it. 
  • Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it
  • What are your strong points?
  • What are your weak points?


About The New Position and Company

  • What about this position interests you the most? 
  • Why do you want this position? 
  • What skills and qualifications do you have that are essential for success in the position of ______?
  • Would you think that you are overqualified for this job? 
  • What can you contribute to this company? 
  • Why should we hire you? 
  • Why do you think you are the best person for the job?
  • What is your knowledge about this company? 
  • Why do you want to work here? 
  • What are the challenges that you are looking for in a position? 
  • Would you be willing to travel? 
  • What is good customer service? 
  • Is there anything that has not been discussed about the position or company that you would like to know?


About The Future

  • What are you looking for in your next job? What is important to you? – Best Answers
  • What are your goals for the next five years / ten years? – Best Answers
  • How do you plan to achieve those goals? – Best Answers
  • What are your salary requirements – both short-term and long-term? – Best Answers
  • Questions about your career goals. – Best Answers
  • What will you do if you don’t get this position? – Best Answers
  • Do you have your reference list with you? (Remember don’t give it out unless it is asked for).
  • What are your career goals?