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In-Depth Tips from Dr English

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10 Job Interview Tips

25 Jan 2023

jobinterYou've written a great CV (resume) and covering letter, and the company has asked you to attend an interview. You need to make sure that you make the right impression to get the job! Here are ten tips to help you succeed at the interview.

1. Use polite phrases.

Remember that if someone asks you "How do you do?" the correct response is "How do you do".

When you meet someone for the first time, you can say "Pleased to meet you." If someone says this to you first, you can reply "Pleased to meet you, too" or "It's a pleasure to meet you, too".

If you didn't hear someone's name, you can say "I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name".

2. Ask questions which you have already prepared.

You should have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview. You can prepare some before the interview. This will help you research the vocabulary you need and it will make you look interested in the company and the job:

There are different types of questions. "Direct" questions use words like "who", "when" or "what" or have an auxiliary at the beginning of the question.

Who is the manager of the department?
When would the job start?
Do you have a company pension?
Can I also work from home?

You can also ask "indirect" questions to make what you say sound less demanding. Indirect questions start with an introduction:

I'd like to know if you offer private health care.
Could you tell me if you offer options?

3. Try to predict the questions and plan the answers.

Can you tell us more about your experience with…
Oh yes. When I ….
What qualities can you bring to this post?
Well, I'm an organised person and I…

4. Show you are listening.

As well as maintaining eye contact, you can use phrase such as "Mmm", "I see" or "OK" to show the other person you are paying attention.

5. Don't be afraid to ask for explanations if you don't understand something.

I'm not sure I understand completely the relationship between these two departments. Could you explain a little further, please?
I'm afraid I don't really understand the difference between these two contracts. Could you go over it again, please?
I'm sorry, but I didn't understand what you just said. Could you repeat it please?

6. Check you understand what people say to you.

When you say ….., do you mean…?
Could I just go over this point again?
Sorry, do you mean…?

7. Use a range of vocabulary to present your achievements and experience.

I achieved sales growth of…
I managed sales of…
I increased sales by…

8. Try to remember names and titles (or company positions) when you are introduced.

A good way of remembering names is to use them immediately after you hear them. So, if someone introduces you to "Deborah Jones, our Marketing Manager" you can say immediately "Pleased to meet you, Ms Jones".

9. Be aware of your gestures and movements during the interview.

Nod your head to show you understand and agree with the other person. Keep eye contact with them and try not to use nervous gestures. Ask your friends to help you rehearse the interview - they can tell you if you appear nervous!

10. Make sure you know what will happen after the interview.

The interviewer could say things like:

So we will contact you in a couple of weeks.
We'll let you know at the beginning of next month.

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