FIMO English Club: Developing Interview Skills

Why do we need to build interviewing skills?

The art of job searching and job acquisition requires more than a great resume, attractive cover letter and perfectly completed application. A great interview is an essential component in the job search equation:

job identification
+ great resume
+ great cover letter
+ great application
+ stellar interview

The application, resume, cover letter and references are only an introduction. The interview frequently tips the scale between getting a job or head-in-hand reflection.

It is true that most people who are granted an interview have already satisfied the basic qualifications for employment. However, poor interview performances can keep prospective employees from being hired.

“Like any good performance, a winning interview requires preparation and rehearsal.”
— Perlmutter Block

How to prepare for an interview?

  • Introduce yourself
  • Remember what you’ve done.
  • Answers and remember general questionnaires relating to technologies you’ve studied/practiced.
  • Get interviewer info and their purpose

How to introduce yourself?


Show your working experience?

  • Employment History
  • I have been working in software development for xxx years…
  • From 200x-200y, I worked for a company named…
  • Then I joined FIMO from … to …
  • Technical Skills
  • I have … years working with Java, .NET, Testing,…
  • I know some technologies/frameworks such as MVC, Struts, Spring,
  • WCF, WPF,…
  • I already work with Oracle, MS SQL Server,… databases
  • I have lot of experience developing web-base application…
  • I also know some about Design, UML, Linux,…
  • Projects what you’ve done

Preparing for interview questions?

One of the best ways to prepare for an interview is to anticipate questions the interviewer may ask. This will allow you to give thoughtful and organized answers during your interview.

Here are some questions you should be comfortable answering:

  • Why do you want this job?
  • How did you become interested in this field of work?
  • What do you have to offer this organization?
  • What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What do you see yourself doing in five years?

Here are some tips to help you strengthen your answers to potential interview questions:

  • Review your experiences at work, at school, and in volunteer activities.
  • Think of examples and situations that demonstrate your abilities or strengths (for example, a time you demonstrated good judgment, initiative, responsibility, or communication skills).
  • Make a list of your accomplishments or achievements to reference during the interview.
  • Think about challenges you’ve faced in the past, and be prepared to describe how you dealt with them and what you learned.

Preparing questions for the employer

At the end of an interview, you are typically asked if you have any questions about the organization or job you’re applying for.

Your job interview is not only an opportunity for the employer to interview you—it’s also an opportunity for you to interview your employer. By asking thoughtful and appropriate questions, you are showing the employer that you’re interested in being part of their organization.

Things you could ask the employer include:

  • How is the organization structured, and how would my role contribute to the work of the organization?
  • What is a typical day in the life of a person who works in this position?
  • How would this position allow me to learn and grow?
  • When do you anticipate making the decision about hiring for this position?

Key points & Tips

  • Be confident

– Be relax, natural, nice… It is not a fight!

– Positive thinking

– Highlight what you are good at

  • Show that you are reliable

– Be on time

– Don’t look away

  • Show an interest

– In Company, In people, In role

– Open to learning more

  • Show ability in communication

– Speak slowly and clearly

– Answer the question directly – right to the point

– Avoid a single Yes or No answer. Try to have a brief discussion or provide a reason for Yes or No

– Avoid long silence

– Ask if the question is not clear or you cannot catch the point

– If you do not know the answer, say you do not have the answer right now but will study later.

– Use Body language if necessary.

– Explain some difficult things by drawing to board/paper.

After the interview

Although the actual interview is over, the process isn’t totally over. It’s a wise idea to reflect on the experience and review your next steps.

Immediately after the interview, you may want to do a personal evaluation of how it went. Write down some of your answers to questions asked, and assess them to see if they were the best possible answers. This will help you learn from your mistakes and prepare for future interviews.

Usually, an organization will provide you with a date when they expect to make their decision about hiring. If you haven’t heard from them by this date, consider contacting the organization to follow up.

If you didn’t receive a job offer, consider asking for feedback about how your interview went and how it could have been better. This will provide you with information on how to have a more successful interview next time.

Even if you didn’t get the job, try not to get discouraged. Like any new skill, you need to practise to get better. Interviewing is the same. The more you do it, the easier it will become.