• Philip O'Connell

6 top tips for improving your interview technique

Updated: Jul 20, 2020

Over the last few years I have worked with a great number of people looking for guidance and support on how to improve their performance at interview and thought it might be helpful to summarise some key advice. Hopefully you will find it useful. Below are my 6 top thoughts.

Practice: know your CV and that doesn't just mean remembering what is on the written page. It means being able to speak fluently starting from any point and seamlessly talking through your experience and strengths. Think about it in terms of being able to naturally run through your career from left to right, right to left and back to front. Doing this will avoid it sounding rehearsed.

[Be] Concise: you should be able to outline and sell your experience, whatever the length in years in no more than 5 minutes. This may seem short, but remember in the actual interview you will most likely be interrupted by probing questions, or you will add detail based on the information shared within the interview to that point.

Content: talking through your experience should typically provide context (business, environment, challenges). Explain your role and articulate how you performed well in the positions. And remember, justify your moves.

Questions: don’t forget that this is a two-way interview, it is your career. Really think these through in advance and write them down in order for you to review and memorise them. Having these will help you to engage with the interviewer more effectively so as to ensure that it remains a conversation, rather than an interrogation.

Focus: as we all have drummed into us from our time in academia, make sure that you answer the question. If unsure, check. If you go off topic, you need to make clear why to the interviewer.

Research: go far beyond just checking out the website, financial statements and news articles. Try to get a real feel for the business model and the challenges in the role (any recruiter you are using should also be helping you here, so push them to do so). Use this to understand how you might be involved, what questions you might face and also how you can help. It will also assist you in presenting your experience and framing your own questioning.

So remember P.C.C.Q.F.R. Sorry I was never very good at coming up with acronyms…..

If you would like to talk in more detail about how you can improve your interview approach to be more successful, please do get in touch at or on 07912578162.

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