Paper: How not to stuff up your job interview

Industrial Talk

Tunku Abdul Rahman University College
Main Campus
Jalan Genting Kelang,
53300 Kuala Lumpur,

8 November 2018

How not to stuff up your interview

Nigel Morris-Cotterill

Arranged by
*Radziah Nasir*
*Programme Leader*
*Department of English Studies*
*Faculty of Social Science and Humanities*

Good morning.

All my life, I have taken risks.

I have walked into situations where I might have fun and situations where I might not.

I have walked into situations where there was the prospect of gain and where there was the certainty of loss.

I have walked into situations that might be interesting or might be boring.

I have walked into situations where I might be tested or might be over-skilled

I’ve walked into situations where I knew I was placing myself at risk of physical harm and those where I was taken by surprise by something extremely scary.

All of these things have one thing in common: when I opened the door, I had absolutely no idea what was on the other side. Even when I knew there was a risk, the nature and the extent of that risk was unknown.

That is what attending a job interview is like. On the other side of that door, the next phase of your life will be determined. And when you open the door to your interview, you have no idea what is on the other side.

Most of you will be applying for jobs where there is a preliminary interview with someone from whatever they are calling personnel departments this week, or with an employment agency using whatever name they have adopted for their trade this month.

After that initial filter, you will meet a decision maker. Some of you may apply for positions where there is multi-stage interview process. The first type is a biathlon, the second is an Iron Man competition.

Be under no illusions: job interviews are a hostile environment. Do not assume that a nice office with colourful sofas and bubble-tea machines are welcoming. Even sharks appear to smile.

So, what we are going to do here, today, is to prepare you for that for which there can be remarkably little preparation.