I’ve been doing some interviewing. The job was a front of house team leader in a human services agency that supports clients suffering disadvantage. There were 80 applicants. Some 70 per cent had no claims on the job! I was one of a selection panel of three. We interviewed 16 candidates. Most were nervous, most were under-prepared, most had done inadequate research. Most were unpractised in interview technique, all wanted the job and none would be happy with running second. Everyone of the presenting candidates could have performed better.

I’ve done many hundreds of interviews and the comments above nearly always apply. Yet, with some simple preparation, candidates could better stake claims on advertised vacancies. Everyone, in my experience, suffers a degree of interview anxiety. Some, however, are almost paralysed. A bad interview can become a self-fulfilling prophecy – it need not be so.

Assess your interview competence in the tool below.


3   Yes, this is most certainly the case

2   Well this applies in part only

1   No, this is not the case

1 I believe in the axiom – failing to prepare is preparing for failure

2 I have a quality Resume that details my qualifications, work history, responsibilities, achievements, competencies, attributes and professional memberships. The Resume is not more than 6 pages

3 I am truthful in my Resume – I neither lie nor embellish

4 I have at least two referees who have observed my current or recent on the job performance, who think well of me and who can attest to my accomplishments

5 I address the selection criteria and I demonstrate my claims in ways that are simple and powerful. I research the prospective employer if I do not currently work for them

6 I determine three or four things that I consider will be important for me to impart to those conducting the selection

7 Prior to interview I work to anticipate questions or issues that are likely to explored with me. I practice my answers. I learn as much as I can about my prospective employer’s business

8 I find out who will be conducting the selection and their position titles and, I remember their names for the interview

9 At interview I dress for success, I press to impress and behave with courtesy and professionalism. I address people by name and maintain good eye contact. My phone is off

10 I recognize and acknowledge that interviews are stressful and I prepare in that knowledge. I understand that the more I prepare the luckier I will be

11 If given the opportunity to ask questions at interview I confine these to just a couple of relevant and powerful questions. I never ask about money at the interview

12 If given the opportunity to summarise my claims on the position, I have three or four powerful things to offer. These are designed to give me a measure of difference over other candidates

13 I am well prepared to talk of my achievements and my understanding of the position in question

14 I demonstrate enthusiasm and passion for the job in question. I do not present as bland

15 I present as calm, considered, positive, comfortable, competent and my answers are sharp, relevant and succinct

16 At interview I do not criticise, complain or denigrate past employers or my bosses

17 Immediately after the interview I note the questions and issues explored and I reflect upon the answers and comments I provided

18 I only apply for jobs that I know I can do, that interest me or that might challenge me. I never apply based on the salary alone

19 I learn from each and every interview whether or not I am successful

20 If unsuccessful I seek feedback. I listen, I learn, I start over



51 - 60    You are well prepared. Your chances of success are quite good

41 - 50    You are generally on the right track. Your chances of success are moderate

31 - 40    You are where most other candidates are. Your chances of success are remote

20 - 30    You are unprepared. You have no chance of success. You walk away from interviews crushed and       embarrassed

Views: 113

Comment by Janne on January 30, 2020 at 14:17

Yes, I agree with all of valid points. Especially number 1 - failing to prepare is preparing for failure. Couldn't be summed up any better 

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