In this article, Richard McMunn will give you his top 7 tips for passing any interview! Whether you have an Admin Assistant interview, a Project Manager Interview, or even a Leadership/Strategic interview, the following 7 tips are guaranteed to help you pass your interview with the highest scores possible:
TIP NUMBER 1 – KNOW THE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU ATTEND THE INTERVIEW!
Ok, so most people will question how is it possible to know the interview questions before you attend the interview?
Well, the truth is, it’s quite a simple process.
First and foremost, we need to know the ‘type’ of interview questions we are likely to be asked, and these can be split into two types, as follows:
- MOTIVATIONAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
- BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Next, we need to decipher in the interview questions from the job description, So, let’s assume you are attending an Administrative Assistant interview. Before you attend, study the job description in detail and pick out the important and assessable aspects of the role.
To explain, below is a sample job description for an Admin Assistant:
ADMIN ASSISTANT JOB ADVERT
We are looking to recruit an enthusiastic and skilled admin assistant to join our existing team in helping make our customers experience an invaluable one.
You will be comfortable dealing with customers, be able to prioritise workloads and meet tight deadlines.
- Ability to work on your own initiative
- Great communication and organisational skills
- Friendly, confident, well-presented and customer-focused
- Professional telephone manner
- An understanding of the need for confidentiality
From the above, I can now work out the competencies being assessed and also pick out the likely interview questions. I have highlighted in yellow the key accessible areas taken from the job description:
Ability to work on your own initiative.
- Describe a time when you worked on your own initiative to complete a difficult task?
Great communication and organisational skills
- Describe a time when you utilized great communication skills at work?
- Explain how you manage your workload on a daily basis?
Friendly, confident, well-presented and customer-focused
- Describe a time when you delivered excellent customer service?
An understanding of the need for confidentiality
- Describe a time when you demonstrated confidentiality in a work situation?
- When have you worked as part of a team to complete a difficult task?
OK, let’s now move on to tip number 2:
TIP NUMBER 2 – PREPARE FOR THE MOTIVATIONAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Motivational interview questions are extremely common during every type of interview.
The interview panel are likely to ask you these questions to get to know you, and to also give you the opportunity to talk about something your feel comfortable about – your motivations and reasons for wanting this job.
Here’s a list of common motivational interview questions:
- Tell me about yourself?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
- Why do you want to leave your current job?
- What can you bring to this role?
- How would your co-workers describe you?
TIP NUMBER 3 – ANSWERING THE “TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF?” INTERVIEW QUESTION
The first interview question is always the toughest to answer!
Not only will you most probably have a touch of interview nerves, but you will also feel worried about the type of questions you could get asked and how you are going to answer them.
The majority of interviewers will kickstart the interview the typical statement:
“Welcome to the interview. To get started, please tell me about yourself?”
So, it makes perfect sense to have your answer to the “Tell me about yourself?” interview question already prepared.
Below, I have provided you with a sample response to this interview question that can be used in the vast majority of interviews:
“Tell Me About Yourself?”
“I am a hard-working, enthusiastic and professional team worker who takes pride in their work and their standards. Having studied the job advert and the job description, the essential skills needed to perform the role well are a perfect match for my own attributes.
I am at the stage in my life where stability is important, and I would like this job so that I can realize my career goals and also work for a forward-thinking, innovative company who has exciting plans for the future.
I believe that, if you give me the opportunity to work for you, you will be impressed with my work ethic, professionalism and commitment to the role.”
TIP NUMBER 4 – WHAT NOT TO SAY IN AN INTERVIEW
I apologize, but I am feeling very nervous.”
“I don’t have much experience, but I can do a good job.”
“I want to leave my job because I don’t particularly like my supervisor.”
“I do have some holiday coming up in a few weeks’ time.”
All of the above should be avoided, and whatever you do, DO NOT SAY THE FOLLOWING:
“So, what do you guys actually do here?”
The above statement demonstrates you have carried out little or no company research. The simple fact is, you should already know what the company you are applying to join does.
TIP NUMBER 5 – 8 BRILLIANT THINGS TO SAY IN ANY INTERVIEW!
OK, so we have just covered what not to say in your interview, let’s now explore 8 BRILLIANT things you can say in your interview to impress the interview panel.
- “I have carried out my research and I have been attracted to your company.”
- “My resume is a match for the job advert.”
- “My previous skills and experience are a match for the job description.”
- “I enjoy working as part of a team to achieve difficult tasks.”
- “I am someone who likes to continually learn and develop.”
- “I am self-motivated and a fast-learner.”
- “I am very excited about this job.”
- “I want to build a career with your company.”
- “I have a plan in place of what I am going to do if I get the job.”
All of the above are positive things to say and you can integrate these into your answers to the interview questions.
The last brilliant thing to say (“I have a plan in place of what I am going to do if I get the job.”) could prompt the following question from the panel:
“You just mentioned you have a plan in place. What is that plan?”
So, here is what I recommend you say at your interview in respect of your plan:
#1 – I will learn the role inside out in the fastest time possible by taking notes and studying them in the evenings after work.
#2 – I will integrate into the team by getting to know my work colleagues and finding out how I can support them and the team.”
#3 – I will set to work on a difficult project that will make a difference to the company, to repay the trust you have put in me.”
TIP NUMBER 6 – ASKING QUESTIONS AT THE END OF THE INTERVIEW
Asking questions at the end of an interview is a great way to leave a lasting and positive impression on the interview panel.
My advice is to ask these 2 questions at the end of your interview to impress the panel!
- “Who is your biggest competitor and what could I do in this role to help you beat them?”
This question shows you care about their company and you are keen to make a difference.
- “Where do you see the company headed in the next 5 to 10 years?”
This question to ask at the end of an interview shows you plan on staying with the company long-term, which let’s face it, is a great thing to hear from an interviewee candidate!
TIP NUMBER 7 – SEND A FOLLOW UP LETTER/EMAIL AFTER THE INTERVIEW
Over 99.9% of interview candidates don’t follow up after their interview. Another great way to stand out from the crowd is to send the following follow up letter or email immediately after the interview: