Paper: How not to stuff up your job interview

As I said earlier, an interview is a hostile environment. You will be asked questions that are designed to make you think carefully about your answer.

First rule: tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth but don’t babble. Answer questions accurately and concisely.

Second rule: expect standard questions such as “why do you want to work with this company.” Be honest. Say, for example, “I have certain skills and interests and I’m told that those skills are most suited to x area of work. Your company is one of several that I am applying to to find a suitable position where I can develop those skills and contribute to the company but, obviously, I want to work in an environment which suits me and to which I am suited. I hope to prove my value and to have offers from more than one company so that I can compare them and make sure I join the one with the best fit.”

Any company that thinks such an answer is a bad answer probably has very little concern for the welfare of its employees.

As an employer, I wanted my staff to want to work for me as much as I wanted them to work for me. Staff who don’t want to come to work in the morning are worse than useless but they are hard to get rid of.

Third rule: don’t cross your legs or your arms. They create a barrier that tells the interviewer that you are either hiding something or you are likely to be unresponsive to instructions.

Men, don’t spread your legs.

Don’t slouch, even if the interview is conducted in easy chairs or on sofas.

If it’s on bean bags, well, who knows? I’d never get out of the damned things and I’d be rolling around on the floor for hours until someone rescued me. Interviews should never be like that but some some idiots think it’s a good idea and you should be prepared for it if you are seeing a company that thinks it has a trendy image to uphold. From my point of view, it’s a sick joke and shows disrespect for the candidates.

Making eye contact is vital. When people introduce themselves, look at them. Look at them when they speak to you and look at them when they say goodbye.