Interview Tips Part 1: The ‘Top 5’ Questions

What Interviewers Are Looking for

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

Today’s labour market remains tough. When the market is competitive, the likelihood that there will be several candidates after a given job is high so it is important to differentiate yourself quickly from your competitors. That’s why I would suggest that you want to prepare well for a first interview.

After the first interview, your recruitment agent gives you some feedback which points to some hurdles you absolutely need to clear in the second interview if you want to stay in the running. What if you’re told: “They thought you were really quiet” or “They weren’t able to find out enough about your problem-solving skills” or “They think you can do the job but they’re not sure whether you’ll fit in”. How do you prepare for that second interview and get to the next stage?
Would you agree with me that you can’t just “wing” it? Preparation will make you more effective during the interview but it will also build up your confidence about how to navigate it.

Here are my top 5 lines of enquiry when I interview:

1. Abilities: does this person really have the experience and skills base to do the job? Did they exaggerate or even lie on their CV? How can I check they can do all these wonderful things?

2. Fit: will this person be able to understand the complexities or specificities of our business? Will he/she be able to “figure it out”? Will this person be able to relate to and embrace the style in which we do business? Does he/she share many of the same values?

3. Results: will this person accomplish what we’re bringing them in for? Will he/she be able to gather the support and cooperation of others in the organisation? Will he/she remain focused? What drives them? Will he/she be willing to go “the extra mile” to make it happen?

4. Chemistry: will this person be able to fit in and become part of my team or is he/she a lone ranger or a prima donna? Is this an individual that we can rely on? Does this person readily share credit with others? Is this someone we will feel comfortable with? Will we enjoy working with this person on a day-to-day basis? Is this someone I and others in my team will be able to communicate with easily and effectively? Do we havesomething in common?

5. Motivation: how much does this person really want to work with us, or is he/she just job hunting? Is he/she eager to join us? Is he/she asking insightful questions which show genuine interest in working for us or is he/she just going through the motions?

When you think about the interviews you’ve had, do you recognise some of these lines of enquiry? Are there areas above with which you feel less comfortable about?

I hope that my ‘Top 5’ lines of enquiry are helpful. As always, I would be delighted to hear from you so email me directly at or leave me a comment. I will look forward to ‘seeing’ you in a few days when I will share my first two tips on interviewing well.

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