Interview techniques

A well prepared candidate is a
Successful candidate

The interview is your place to shine.

Very few positions are filled based on a resume alone, so you need to be as impressive in person as you are on paper.

Interviews come after a TEAM Executive Consultants’ Client has been made aware, through our report or our verbal discussions, of your skills and abilities. Our Client’s aim is to recruit the most suitable Employees, not to ‘trip you up’ during the interview process.

As the Candidate you must understand that the Client has to decide, within a short space of time, if you can make a valuable contribution to their business. The time you have, as the Candidate, is very short and first impressions really do count. (You do not get a second chance to make a first impression!).

So here are some useful tips to help you in the interview process:

Presentation and appearance

Ideally, a business suit should be worn. Clean shoes, (remember the heels!), clean finger nails and clean well groomed hair. If wearing a black or very dark suit, make sure there is no dandruff or specks of fluff on the shoulder.


Work out your route, ideally go the day before your interview so you know exactly where your interview will take place. Arrive early, no more than 10 minutes, and enter the premises about 5 minutes before the agreed interview time. (Remember it is better to be half an hour early than half a minute late).


A firm (but not bone crunching) handshake with a big smile will do wonders when you first meet your Interviewer. Some small chit chat from the Reception area to the Interview Room will also help. These are the vital seconds (not minutes) in making your first impression.


If offered a drink this can help and can be used as a prop to perhaps give you some time to answer a difficult question. By accepting a drink it does show that you are fairly confident and reasonably relaxed providing your hand is not shaking when you try to take a drink!

Answering questions

There are a set of standard questions that may be asked at an interview. What you do in your present role? Your level of responsibility? Who you report to? What is your business relationship with your current Superior? And the most important question of all, 'Why do you want to leave?' This question may be asked of the previous positions you have held.

Remember, the Interviewer is not trying to 'trip you up' but is endeavouring to find out if your experience, skills and personality will fit the position available.

Asking questions

Your TEAM Executive Consultants will have given you a good background on the Client and the position you will be interviewed for. However, you should still ask some questions at the interview and these may include questions in relation to training, career development, why the position is available or even more details about the role and the position's Supervisor.

A question could start 'In looking at your website….'

Sell yourself

If you like the sound of the job, the Firm/Company, the Interviewer and you want the job - 'tell them'! Also, immediately after the Interview, speak to your contact at TEAM Executive Consultants and brief them about the interview. Tell your Consultant how you felt the interview went and the sooner you do this the quicker your Consultant can contact the Client on your behalf and re-affirm your interest in the role. If offered the position during the interview, take it, but leave the salary negotiating to TEAM Executive Consultants. That is what we are here to do for you.

The interviewer

Remember the Interviewer has to 'sell' the position and the Organisation to you! You should ask if they enjoy working for the Organisation, how long they have been with the Firm/Company and if you were successful in being offered the position, how much interaction you would have with the Interviewer.

Mobile phones

Before entering the Client's building, SWITCH IT OFF! Better still, if travelling by car, leave your phone in the Glove Box!

Respect interviewer's space

Never put your briefcase / handbag on the Interviewer's desk or table. Do not take a file or notepad and place on the desk or table! The Interviewer will have a full report on your background and any further information can be gained through TEAM Executive Consultants after the interview. Remember the Interviewer will only be asking about the details in your C.V. and you should know what you have done! You will remember clearly what the Interviewer has told you without the need for you to take notes.

Be prepared for unusual questions

Finally there are a few Interviewers who sometimes ask what is nowadays referred to as 'Killer Questions'.

The outdated 'Where will you be in five years time?' question that is usually asked by incompetent Interviewers has been replaced with 'Tell me something about yourself that you have never told anyone' or 'How would you nail jelly to the ceiling? or 'What was the last thing you bought and why?' or 'Jaffa Cake - cake or biscuit?'

These questions are really designed to test a Candidate's ability to think on their feet as there is no right or wrong answer, just inappropriate ones. However, most Psychologists believe these questions are asked by bad Interviewers and the statistics bear this out. Asking 'Why do you want this job?' or 'What are your strengths and weaknesses?' are hypothetical questions which get hypothetical answers.

Interviewers who stick to the past experience approach usually get the right Candidate but some 'Killer Questions' still come up to test the reaction under pressure of the Candidate.

Never give up

There is a position for you somewhere. You are unlikely to be offered all the positions you apply for and sometimes, when you feel you are perfect for the role and do not get an offer, it can become very disappointing. You must never give up and always ask your Consultant for some feedback. This will help you improve your interview skills for that next important meeting.

Should you require any further assistance, contact us to make an appointment, and we’ll help you develop interview techniques that will win you the job.

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