What Employers Expect at Interviews. Twenty One Tips.

02nd July 2014


My career coaching clients tell me they…

get nervous before interview.

they really want or need this job.

take time to settle in.

struggle to articulate their career succinctly and powerfully.

feel pressured to answer questions quickly.

find it challenging to speak of their achievements.

forget some of their questions

leave wondering what next? And, will I be the one?

My Fish Recruiting clients tell me they favour interviewees who…

are on time, appropriately attired.

know the two big why’s – why this job. Why you.

research and prepare

present as positive, warm and interested.

are real.

listen. actively and intently.

speak clearly. confidently. succinctly. 

consider their questions. caring sufficiently to provide the most relevant examples.

use the word I and, we when describing events, challenges and achievements.

demonstrate interest by asking what the next stage will be.

Next time you’re going job interview check this to go to top twenty tips.

  • Know why you’re interested in the role. And, know you, don’t know you want it yet!
  • Check out location before. Transport. Parking.
  • Lurk on LinkedIn. Find company. Leadership team. Interviewers. Check common contacts.
  • Interrogate the website. As a customer. An employee.
  • Write down your questions. What you’re curious about. What you want to know before signing the contract.
  • Dress to impress. Check yourself out in a full length mirror!
  • Rock up ten minutes early.
  • Sit in your car. Or stand out of view. Take ten deep slow breaths.
  • Adopt a mindset of curiosity rather than scarcity and fear.  Ask, I wonder if this is my right work and place.
  • Arrive at the reception five minutes early. Walk in replaying one of your proudest moments. Smile.
  • Greet with a warm smile. A firm handshake
  • Take a few seconds to ground yourself. Feet firmly on the ground. Butt and back firmly in the seat! Arms rested on the table or chair arms.
  • Listen. Really listen. And, be present to what’s being said and how.
  • Speak clearly. Well paced with confidence. Be yourself.
  • Know your resume every way which!
  • Buy yourself time for answering questions; breathe. Say, ‘that’s a good question.’ ‘Let me think of the best example’. Let silence do the heavy lifting.
  • Structure you answers by; sharing context, what you did, your team did and, finally describe the outcome, result, success. Rule of thumb 10% 40% 50% ratio. Or thereabouts!
  • Fess up if asked about mistakes. Share one you learnt from or implemented improvements because of.
  • Retain good eye contact. In group interviews focus at the questioner and keep glancing at the others.
  • Ask questions that demonstrate knowledge and intelligence. Potential and interest. And, provide decision making clarity.
  • Give thanks for the meeting and ask… what is the next step?


Praise yourself on what you did well.  And note one thing you could do even better next time.

That is of course, you need a next time!