Students

Interview Skills

Interview Skills

Before the Interview

During the Interview

After the Interview

Other important points to note

Before the Interview

  • Search information relating to the career field and the company and preferably its competitors.
  • Understand the job requirements.
  • Attend mock interview workshops.
  • Take a personality test.
  • Review your covering letter and résumé, and think about the potential questions that you will be asked. Do not give model or standard answers.
  • To show your enthusiasm and knowledge, think of a list of questions that you may ask the employer.
  • Be neat and tidy.
  • Dress and groom yourself with perfection, e.g. appropriate business attire, make-up, hair, etc.
  • Make sure you know the date, time, venue of the interview and contact information of the interview coordinator/ interviewer.
  • Set aside plenty of time for the interview, especially if you have more than one interview in a day.
  • Arrive at least 10 minutes early. In case you would be late or fail to show up, call (not email) and explain to the interviewer as soon as possible.
  • Switch off your mobile phone before entering the interview room.

During the Interview

Manner:

  • Knock the door gently before opening it.
  • Greet the interviewer with a warm and confident handshake.
  • Relax, smile and be responsive.
  • Sit comfortably and maintain good body posture.
  • Maintain good and confident eye contact with the interviewer(s) throughout the interview.
  • Arms should be placed on your laps and not on the table.

Answering the questions:

  • When being asked to introduce yourself, you should make it interesting and short e.g. internship/exchange experience. (one to two minutes will do)
  • Listen carefully to the interviewers before answering the questions. To show your interest to the company and the job.
  • Be enthusiastic, sincere, confident, honest, calm and alert when answering the questions. Keep your answers concise and precise.
  • Emphasize positive things about yourself and give examples to demonstrate your good qualities and strengths. e.g. I am a team player, I have joined the committee of….; my experience in working with a team of marketing professionals made me a quick learner.
  • Be polite and do not hesitate to ask the interviewer to repeat and explain the question if you don't understand it. If you don't know the answer, be honest, but let the interviewer know that you will be sure to find out information of the topic.

To end an interview:

  • At the end of the interview, when you are asked if you have any queries. This is a good opportunity to show the extend of your interest of the company and leave a good impression with the interviewers. So be prepared e.g. search for major project development of the company, etc.
  • You may ask any questions that you have raised during the interview but have not been answered by the interviewers, or ask when the final decision will be made and how you will be contacted.
  • End the interview with a positive note. e.g. To thank the interviewer for his/her time, indicate that the job looks like a good fit and you feel you can make a contribution to the company.
  • Obtain business card from the interviewer if situation allows.

After the Interview

  • Send a thank-you note to the company the following day after the interview for the time the employer spent. You can reiterate in the thank you letter that you are very interested in the position of the company.
  • Phone or send an email to inquire about the progress in a polite manner if you do not get a response after the date which the interviewer has indicated.
  • Review your performance in the interview, jot down those difficult questions and think of better answers for them.
  • Evaluate a job offer.
  • Send a reply letter to the employer/interviewer to decline the offer immediately if you decide to turn down the job offer.
  • Send back your duly signed employment contract in time if you decide to accept the job offer.

Other important points to note

  • Do not arrive late.
  • Do not overdress nor underdress. Do not use excessive perfume, make-up and wear a lot of jewelry.
  • Do not chew gum, smoke or play with your jewelry/hair.
  • Do not make excuses or blame schools, employers or fellow workers. If a past weakness or failure comes up, you can explain the situation, how you overcome it and what you have learned from it.
  • Do not ask about the salary and benefits unless the interviewer brings them up.
  • Do not ask for comments on your performance during the interview.
  • Do not bring a friend or a relative with you.