Interview Preparation

The interview is the most commonly used selection technique, as it enables interviewers to validate and further explore the information you have provided in your Resume/Curriculum Vitae and to determine your suitability for the position. The interview also gives you a further opportunity to demonstrate how your qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience will enable you to succeed in the position.

Interviews can be structured (makes use of predetermined outline of questions) or un-structured. Further, interview panels may use a number of different types of questions (refer following) to gather the information they are looking for.

Type of Question Definition Examples

Seeks more information on a specific point.

You mentioned book-keeping in your last position. What specific responsibilities did you have?




So,if I understand correctly, what you are saying is …

Knowledge Based

Explores your knowledge in a specific area.

What do you consider to be the key principles and functions of eg, financial management, office administration?

Shopping List

Enables you to provide a list like response.

What would be the headings you would use when writing a report?


Looks at response to a hypothetical situation.

If you were given a new task which you have not undertaken before, how would you go about ensuring you successfully completed it?


Looks at past behaviours.

Please give an example of when you have dealt with a difficult task/project?


Encourage you to provide more details to initial response.

What was your specific role in the office?
What did you do to contribute to the office’s success?
What difficulties and learnings did you encounter?

Preparing for an Interview.

  • Reread the job description.
  • Reread your responses to the selection criteria.
  • Research information about the employer.
  • Consider questions you maybe asked and prepare answers.
  • Ask a friend or family member to interview with you for practice.
  • Find out who will be interviewing you and remember their name/s.
  • Plan your journey to the interview making sure you know where to go and what time you will need to leave, leaving yourself plenty of time.
  • If you have special needs, eg, you are from a non-english speaking background or have a disability, contact the employer prior to the interview to ensure any specific arrangements needed.
  • Decide what you will wear. As a general guide, dress as you would for an important day on the job, like a meeting with a supervisor or a presentation to a client. Further, dress as appropriate for the industry you are applying to work in, eg, if applying in advertising or public relations, your attire could be more modern and expressive than if applying in a law firm, which would generally require a suit and tie.

The day of the Interview.

  • Give yourself plenty of time to get ready without a rush.
  • Arrive at the interview early with plenty of time to spare.
  • Make sure you have all the relevant paperwork required including information to leave with the interviewer if required.
  • Try to relax and keep calm, remember, the interviewer is not out to harm you, but rather to find out how brilliant you are!

In the Interview.

  • Create a good first impression and greet panel members by name.
  • Maintain positive body language throughout the interview (eye contact, smiles etc).
  • Let the panel members guide the interview, don’t try and take over.
  • Listen to the questions and information being provided by the panel. Seek clarification if needed.
  • Be concise in your responses focussing on your preparation and giving examples to strengthen your claims (don’t waffle and go off track).
  • Ask the panel members if you have provided enough response or whether they require further information.
  • Speak positively about the job and of former employers, jobs and co-workers (remember, if you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all).
  • Thank the panel members for the opportunity to be interviewed.