Job interview skills from Canva

Interview Skills

LET"S BE HONEST... JOB INTERVIEWS ARE DESIGNED TO MAKE YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE. It is a competitive job market out there, and employers want to see how you handle stress.

Nonetheless, it is helpful to think of your interview as a negotiation, rather than an interrogation. You want to appear confident, not desperate. Before going to an interview, you should have a rough idea of the usual salary for this type of job, because that will be for negotiation too. Avoid giving long, repetitive answers to open-ended questions, because that is a sign that you are trying to seek approval.

While there are a variety of interview types, and many types of questions asked, basically, they boil down to two questions: do you have the right skills, and do you have the type of personality that will fit our culture?


Competency based questions can help be used to determine the candidate's personality. To pass competency based interviews, you should follow the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method. You will also need to identify your core competencies.

Resumes and Cover Letters

THE TOP ONE-THIRD of the first page of your resume should comprise your Mission Statement. Your Mission Statement should be exciting to read, and powerfully convey your personal brand, as well as your core competencies.

It is usual in English-speaking to send a cover letter along with your resume when applying for a job. Your cover letter demonstrates to the employer that you both understand the nature of the position that you applying for, and that you have the skills to do it. For that reason, when writing a cover letter, you should mention the job you are applying for in the first paragraph.

Suppose you were interested in responding to the following job ad:

"We are seeking experienced Gold Mill Operators for a 2/1 FIFO roster from Perth only. The role(s) are commencing in Jan 2016 for a new mining operation in the Goldfields.
"Minimum 2 years process plant operating
"Experience in CIL Circuits, Crushing, Sag & Ball Milling
"Police Clearance Current drivers licence..."

When following Guerilla tactics, you can start your letter like: "I read your article in [name of publication] which prompted me to write to you."

General Questions

If you know how to determine other people's communication style, you could match their style in the interview, it would be good if you can switch to match your interviewer's communication style.

1. Why did you choose to become a doctor/lawyer/accountant?
2. Tell me about yourself/Walk me through your resume. (For one minute)
I have a Masters Degree in Marketing from Sydney University with six months of internship and work experience...

3. What do you consider your most significant accomplishment? (For one minute)
4. What do you like/dislike about your current (or previous) position? (Eg: liked challenges, disliked bureaucracy.)
5. How do you handle pressure? Do you like or dislike pressure?
While I can certainly deal with stress when it arises, I believe that with good planning it can be prevented altogether.

6. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years from now?That depends on where this company will be in four.
7. Do you prefer working as part of a group, or as an individual contributor?
8. Do you work well with others, and why would you say so?
"Effective teamwork is like a symphony. Each team member has their own part to play, but they must also be aware of the other players and listen for cues to adjust their performance accordingly. The harmony of the team's work depends on the ability of each member to collaborate and communicate effectively. Just as a symphony cannot be played by a single instrument, a successful team cannot be built by one individual. It takes a concerted effort from every member to create a masterpiece..."

9. How do you accept criticism?
10. How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?

10. What have you done to further your professional development in the past 5 years?
11. If selected for this position, can you describe your strategy for the first 90 days?
12. What are three things your former manager would like you to improve upon?
13. What would your good friends say about you?
15. Tell me about the different animals that you have worked with (for veterinary assistants)?
16. What qualifications do you need to become a veterinary assistant?
17. How would you achieve a good working atmosphere in a multinational company?
26. Please tell me about a time when you had to deal with a confidentiality issue?


ACADEMIA HAS been described as a cloistered world. It is an ivory tower, to be sure..
Jobs include research fellows, associate professors, lecturers, ...
1. If I walked into your classroom during an outstanding lesson, what would I see and hear?
2. Please describe your research background to date (for Post-Doc positions.)
3. Tell us how your research has influenced your teaching?
4. Tell us about your publishing experience?
5. What is the most exciting thing you have discovered in your research?
6. Tell me about a time when you influenced the outcome of a project by taking a leadership role.


ENGINEERS NEED to be able to solve complex, specialized problems -- therefore, creativity is an important asset. Food technologists review all aspects of food production. Some additional interview questions for an engineer.

1. How do you handle a subordinate whose work is not up to expectations?
I would try to reduce their workload...

2. Can you explain the process of hydrometallurgy?
3. What does safety mean to you in regards to mine operation?
4. How do you go about improving metallurgical balances?
5. Can you explain the effect geological barriers have on groundwater flow and solute transport?
6. How did you go about deciding what strategy to employ when dealing with a difficult customer?.
7. What is the difference between carbon steel and alloy steel?
8. What are the primary considerations when designing a highway?
9. Can you explain the principles of fluid mechanics and how they apply to civil engineering?

Finance Industry

THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY refers to a range of businesses and institutions that are involved in managing money and financial transactions. This industry includes banks, credit unions, insurance companies, investment firms, brokerage firms, asset management firms, and other financial institutions.

The financial industry plays a crucial role in the economy by facilitating the flow of capital and credit, providing financial services and products to individuals and businesses, and managing risk. Financial institutions help individuals and businesses to borrow money, invest in assets, and manage their financial affairs.

1. Why is it important for a company to estimate its value?
2. Can you describe some different types of operational risk (accounting)?

Human Resources

HUMAN RESOURCES (HR) departments typically encompass various roles and responsibilities to manage the organization's human capital effectively. Payroll officers, for example, are responsible for ensuring accurate and timely processing of employee salaries, wages, benefits, and deductions.

1. How do you approach the recruitment and retention of maritime professionals, considering the industry's specific skill requirements?
2. How would you fire someone?
3. How do you handle discrepancies or errors in payroll data? Can you provide an example?
4. How do you ensure accuracy and timeliness when processing payroll for a large number of employees?

IT Industry

MANY GRADUATES start off doing software testing, or working in technical support. For some common interview questions for entry level software developers, click here. Coders can hone their skills by taking part in Google's annual Code Jam competition, or contributing to GitHub. This can also be a good way to get yourself noticed. If you ever need to prepare for an interview at companies like Facebook or Google, click here.

1. What programming languages are you comfortable working with?
I am proficient in Java, Ruby, and PHP, etc...

2. What is your troubleshooting process?
I first gather details from the customer, then diagnose solutions...

3. What are the 6 steps of troubleshooting?
4. What is your design process (for UX/UI)?
5. Behavioural interview questions: Medusa's Cave

6. Which network topology is best and why? (For IT workers.)
7. Describe how you develop a project team's goals and project plans (for project managers).
8. How can you be proactive with product ideas and opinions?
I might challenge existing specifications and suggest alternative product approaches...

9. What is Sprint Planning?
10. What is multithreading (for fullstack developers)?
11. What are the responsibilities of a webmaster?
12. How does technical debt occur?
13. What are the responsibilities of a data analyst?


ENGLISH SPEAKING countries generally follow common rather than civil law. On the continent, they follow civil law mostly, while Brazil supposedly uses a combination of the two. Whatever your country's system of law, it has a huge impact on such fields as business, immigration and the import/export industry, among other things.

Human Resouces (HR) professionals need to comply with employment laws and regulations, and are responsible for a wide range of tasks, including talent acquisition, training and development, compensation and benefits, as well as employee relations.

Warning signs that the interview is not going to plan: see here.


1. In this position (Patient Care Coordinator), you may find yourself dealing with conflicting demands from patients, their families and health care providers. How do you handle situations like this?

Public Sector

THE PUBLIC sector refers to the part of an economy that is owned, operated, and controlled by the government. It includes various governmental organizations, agencies, and institutions responsible for providing public goods and services to the citizens of a country or region. These services are funded through taxation and other government revenue sources. The public sector offers a wide range of job opportunities across various fields, from administrative and managerial roles to specialized positions in different sectors.

Engaged in international relations, diplomats represent their country's interests abroad and work in embassies and consulates.

On the intersection of the private and public sectors, Government Affairs Managers are responsible for managing an organization's interactions and relationships with government entities, policymakers, and regulatory bodies.

Scrummaster Interview Questions here!

See here.

Also: here.

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Xing (Germany)
Universitas 21 (Global Academic Collaboration)

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