Interviewing is not an easy task for either interviewer or interviewee.

Sometimes one loses sight of the fact that the interviewer has also a degree of pressure. A pressure to interview fairly, to give and receive correct, relevant feedback and then hopefully select the candidate that best matches the position and the company.

So the pressure is two- way but here I will concentrate on the interviewee.

Many web sites will advise on the technicalities but few will outline the parity in the aspirations and input of each party to get the best out of the interview.

Likewise, few will advise on the right mental attitude and preparation for the interview.

These are two aspects I will explore in more depth but before that I would absolutely recommend these tried and tested preparations;

· Arrive early for the interview—check out the location beforehand if uncertain.

· Do some research on the company, its products/services and its goals.

· Be prepared to talk through your CV in a positive and enlightening manner.

· Do show you are capable and willing to learn and progress in the role.

· Do not be reticent to point out your strengths.

· Have you got your own goals for the interview clearly outlined in your mind?

· Don’t be concerned about a little nervousness—it is natural –and shows you care and if the company would rate you negatively on that —is it a company you would like to work for.

· Likewise –don’t expect or try to prepare for trick questions –as this type of interview technique is largely a thing of the past. As above if the interviewer is keen to unnerve or pressurize you –is this culture or company you’d be interested in.

Given the preparation as above now we can give consideration to the following:

You are intending to offer your services to a company which you may know little about. A lot of candidates are so concerned with predicting the questions and learning the perceived optimum answers that they forget to consider whether this is a company they would dedicate their resources to for the next 3 to 5years.

Is this a business, a product or service towards which I have something to offer? Is the location suitable and does the job content, the package and the culture match your expectations?

Too often the emphasis, the pressure, the concentration is on landing the role and being able to advise all (especially at home) of success at interview.

Potential employees, remember you are a key resource, you have the abilities and drive to help the business progress. You are in an equal position at interview to ask key questions and to investigate the position offered.

“I am also interviewing them (potential employer)” – this can be a good mantra to have.

Instead of waiting to be asked the perfunctory ‘Have you any questions for us’ you should have these relevant questions in mind ahead of the interview. Treat such questions as an integral part of the process. These questions should be delivered in a courteous manner at relevant points throughout the interview if offered the opportunity.

Let the interviewer know you that you are trying to establish if there is a good match between you, your skills and the position offered. Don’t avoid asking about staff turnover, staff loyalty, staff interaction.

Don’t resist asking about the package, the hours, the holidays, the benefits if these are important to you as they may well be.

In all of the above the advice/suggestion is not to be arrogant, combative or show less respect that one would expect to be given.

Remember the corporation will survive the interview, continue along its planned goals and that you as an individual have if anything a greater stake in the outcome.

Be positive, prepared, and confident in your own talents.

Even if offered the position –do not accept without due consideration.

Safer to hold onto your values, targets, options than just opting for a position in fear of not being employed in the short term.

My advice to both parties would be to concentrate on the positive and share the information that would be relevant to a possible sustainable and trusting contract.

Business or individuals –if you would like a more in depth follow up on any of the issues raised here you can make contact through these means:


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