Checklists for a Successful Job Interview: Important Things You May be Overlooking

Print this out if you wish and keep in your wallet whilst job seeking.

Congratulations; you’ve got a job interview! Now prepare to make the most of the precious time you’ll get in front of the hirer.


After researching the company or organisation thoroughly, ask yourself the following questions:

– what does this job involve?
– what skills would a top employee in this job have?
– how can I persuade them there is something unique about me?

Examples of past performance:
Merely saying you have the required skills and experience is not enoughto make you stand out.“I’m good at XYZ” is also not enough –have practical examples ready to hammer the message home.

Set pieces:

It would be wonderful to know in advance what the recruiter was going to ask. However, you can anticipate likely questions and have the answers up your sleeve, especially for thecommon, “What are your weaknesses?” question. Below are three other possible questions.

Why did you leave your last job?
If it was a less than amicable separation from your last boss, now is not the time to go deeply into it. Emphasize that you get along with people.

Can you explain your gaps in employment?
In a post-recession economy, gaps in employment are commonplace. Whether you were studying, doing voluntary work, looking for work, travelling or thinking about your mission in life, frame any gaps positively.

Have you done exactly this type of work before?
Risk-adverse employers are looking for reassurance that you’ll hit the ground running. Emphasise that your skills are transferable and you’re quick to master new things.

Answer the question:

Nerves can make you ramble or freeze up. One way of making sure you stick to the point is to repeat back the interviewer’s question at the beginning of your response. It keeps you on point, and shows you’re a good listener, which is a great rapport builder.


Ask a friend to give you a mock interview. If you’re “umming and ahing” and not answering concisely it’s a great way to realise you need more practice.

Keep things in perspective

It’s natural to build up your hopes and then feel down if the interview doesn’t go as you hoped. Note the lessons you’ve learned, there’s nothing like a live situation for great practice.

Or maybe you thought the interview went well, but you weren’t asked back. In an ideal world you’d be given feedback but unfortunately many recruiters simply don’t have the time and resources to offer this these days. Draw your own feedback, treat yourself well, and look forward to the next one.

Rose Murphy is an author with the A Winning Personality Blog.Rose Murphy is a writer, blogger and copy-editor. After 10 years working in a personal and professional development company, she’s returning to what she loves best, words. An avid
reader, with an interest in publishing, she has also spent time in journalism and marketing roles.

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