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Candidate Interview Preparation by Ventula Consulting

Interview Preparation Check List

In the Days before the Interview
  • Write down a bulleted list of what the employer is looking for based on the job specification and a bulleted list of the qualities you possess that fit those requirements.

  • Research the company, the industry and their competition.

  • Prepare your 60-second answer to the "Tell me about yourself" question.

  • Write down at least five success stories

  • List 5 questions to ask the interviewer about the job and the company

  • Get permission from your references to use their names.

Before You Go to the Interview
  • Take several copies of your CV on quality paper.

  • Take a copy of your references or formal qualifications.

  • Prepare and plan your travel.

Upon Arrival
  • Review your prepared responses to the most commonly asked interview questions.

  • Go to the restroom and check your appearance one last time.

  • Announce yourself to the receptionist in a professional manner.

  • Stand and greet your interviewer.

During the Interview
  • Try to focus upon the points you have prepared without sounding rehearsed.

  • Relax and enjoy the conversation. Learn what you can about the company.

  • Ask questions and listen; only answer the question asked.

  • At the conclusion, thank the interviewer and qualify the next steps in the process.

  • Ask for the interviewer's business card and give them yours (if applicable).

Most Popular Interview Questions

Tell Me About Yourself?

Prepare a concise response highlighting your professional attributes. For example, "I thrive in team environments and excel in interpersonal communication. Outside work, my

involvement in team sports showcases my competitive nature.

Why Did You Leave (Are You Leaving) Your Job?

Keep it positive. For instance, "I navigated through corporate downsizing but now seek a team-focused environment to leverage my experience."

Why Do You Want to Work Here?

Demonstrate your research and enthusiasm. For instance, "I'm excited about your recent partnership with (partner), offering growth opportunities aligning perfectly with my career goals."

What Are Your Strengths?

Highlight two or three key strengths relevant to the role, supported by specific examples.

"What Are Your Weaknesses?

Minimize weaknesses and focus on professional traits. For example, "I'm continually refining my presentation skills, leveraging opportunities like speaking engagements with PMI."

What Are Your Goals? (Where Do You See Yourself in X Years’ Time?)

Discuss short-term and intermediate goals. For example, "My immediate goal is to contribute to a growth-oriented company, with aspirations for increasing responsibility as the company expands."

Why Should We Hire You? (What Makes You Unique?)

Summarize your experience and impact. For example, "With five years in financial services and a track record of cost-saving, I'm confident I can make a significant contribution to your team."

What Salary Are You Seeking?

Know the market rate and be prepared to negotiate. For example, "Based on my skills and experience, I believe XX is appropriate. What is your typical range for someone with my


Online interview essentials

Treat online interviews seriously, just as you would a face-to-face interviews Online interviews can seem informal that it can be easy to fall into the trap of assuming that it will be easier. Do not become complacent. Be sure to research the company, study the job description, and practice your responses to anticipated questions, just as you would for any other interview.

Test Your Technology

Ensure your internet connection, camera, and microphone are working properly before the interview. Test your video conferencing software to familiarize yourself with its features and troubleshoot any potential issues in advance. It is advisable to use a desktop or laptop computer to conduct a video interview, rather than a mobile device.

Choose a Professional Setting

Select a quiet, well-lit space for the interview. Avoid distracting backgrounds and ensure there are no interruptions during the interview time.

Dress Appropriately

Just like in-person interviews, dressing professionally is important for online interviews. Choose attire that is suitable for the role and projects a polished image to the interviewer.

Maintain Eye Contact and Body Language

Look directly at the camera to simulate eye contact and maintain a confident posture throughout the interview. Non-verbal cues like nodding and smiling can help convey engagement and enthusiasm.

Minimize Distractions

Close unnecessary tabs or applications on your computer to minimize distractions during the interview. Silence your phone and any other devices that could interrupt the conversation.

Standard Interview Format

Most interviews will typically follow the format below:

1.Introduction and standard interview questions

Following a brief introduction, the interviewer will most likely ask a series of standard questions that all applicants are asked at first stage. This may include the important “Tell me about yourself” and “What do you know about us?” questions and others surrounding your current situation, details of your role and your reasons for leaving.

2.Specific questioning related to skills and experience

You may then be asked specific competency based questions related to the role requirements. This may include your current strengths and weaknesses, career aspirations, why they should hire you for the position, and what you can bring to the table. Be prepared to give specific examples surrounding your answers.

3.Information exchange

The interviewer may then wish to give you an overview of the role and where it may fit within the organisation, whereby you may be asked to respond with how you see yourself fitting into the overall structure. Be sure to listen to the information given and show genuine interest in all facets of the role.


You will then most likely be asked if you have any questions – make sure you do!

Answering Difficult Questions

In an interview situation, many prospective employers will seek to test your ability to think on your feet and express yourself by throwing one or two harder interview questions into the mix. See below some examples of this type of questions and how to best tackle them:

What Motivates You?

The worst thing you can say in this situation is “salary”. The interviewer is looking for an insight into your aspirations and work ethic. The key to successfully answering this question is to answer with the interviewers’ goal in mind. So if they are seeking somebody who can ‘get the job done’ or a ‘team player’, keep this in mind.

How Do You Handle Criticism?

Obviously the key here is show that you can take constructive feedback on board and move forward. A good answer would be “I am happy to take on board constructive criticism and feedback on my performance; I find it gives me motivation to refine my skills and improve moving forward.

How Do You Cope Under Pressure?

This question will only be asked if it applies to the role in question. Always respond with a positive – “I find I work well under pressure as it gives me an impetus to meet deadlines and strive to achieve targets”. Be prepared to give examples of when you have worked in a pressurised environment and succeeded.

What Have You Done About Your Job Search So Far?

You want to show the interviewer that you have been proactive in your search and are in demand. Indicate to them that you have entered the process with other organisations and are interviewing elsewhere. Do not make it seem like you are on the verge of accepting another role, as this can look staged and like you are trying to force them into a decision. There is no need to divulge who you have interviewed with, you can avoid this by stating that the roles weren’t advertised and you don’t feel it fair to disclose the details. You can however give details of the industries / size of companies involved to give an overview of the types of organisations you have targeted.


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