Interview Techniques and Advice

Your job interview is an opportunity to convince the potential employer that you are the correct candidate for the role.

Yet, time and time again, job seekers turn up to interviews unprepared.

Preparing for the Interview

Preparing for the interview is key to ensure you create a good impression. The employer will be looking for a proactive, organised and well-presented candidate who is ready for the interview. See it as an opportunity to set out your stall and demonstrate why the employer should hire you.

Before the Interview

Ensure you have a copy of the job description and candidate specification. Match the required competencies and experiences with anecdotal examples drawn from your work experience and write them down.

If you identify competencies in the job which you do not possess or do not fully possess – don’t panic! Employers recognise the rarity of a perfect fit. They just need to believe you are able and willing to learn.

  • Take a copy of your CV with you to the interview.
  • Ensure you have the correct address and aim to arrive 30 minutes before.
  • Dress appropriately in smart business attire.

In the Interview

Have your CV to hand alongside a list of questions you intend to ask. Inform the interviewer in advance that you may refer to pre-written notes.

Sit up straight, make good eye contact with the interviewer (without staring!) and be sure to smile.

Answering Questions

Your answers should be more than simply stating facts, they should be persuading the employer to hire you.

The most effective way to do this is to provide anecdotal evidence to back up your response. For example:

Q: Would you consider yourself to be a highly experienced Information Security Consultant?

A: Yes, I am an experienced Information Security Consultant. I am SSCP and CRISC trained. I have five years’ experience of working on security projects for major organisations. In my previous work I identified weaknesses and potential threats to existing information security toolsets. I implemented the hardening of network security controls for *Client Name*, leading to a 50% reduction in incidents. I used my solid communication skills and expertise to translate technical information into business familiar language etc…

Dealing with Mistakes

Being nervous for an interview is totally normal, and any good interviewer will be aware of this. Everyone had been in the hot seat at one point in their life. So don’t panic if you make a mistake, see it as an opportunity to demonstrate your mature attitude. Show the interviewer that slip-ups don’t faze you. However, it is important that you own up to the mistake by identifying and correcting it within the interview.