Interviews - English Oral Skills Notes

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  • Have you ever attended the formal meetings where you are asked questions and are expected to respond to them? More than once you will be invited to attend interviews. You can also invite someone to interview. For this reason, you should some interview tips.
  • The two participants in an interview are the interviewer (at times a panel of interviewers), and the interviewee.

Tips for the Interviewees

Job Interview Preparations

  • If you really want to be considered for a particular job following an interview, you have to adequately prepare to succeed. The following are the preparations the interviewee would put in place before the interview:
    1. Contact your referees to alert them that you will be interviewed and they are likely to receive a call.
    2. Prepare your documents. Make sure they are neat and well arranged.
    3. Know the location where you are having the interview. It will help you know how long it will take you to reach there.
    4. Do some research about the organization.
    5. Prepare what to wear and how to groom.
    6. Anticipate potential questions and prepare answers correctly.
    7. Arrive early enough for the interview.
    8. Prepare questions to ask the interviewer at the end. It will show how much you are interested in working there.

During the Interview

  1. Greet the interviewer.
  2. Knock on the door and wait for response before you enter. Shut the door behind you quietly.
  3. Wait until you are offered the seat before sitting.
  4. Sit or stand upright and look alert throughout.
  5. Make good eye contact with the interviewer to show you are honest.
  6. Explain your answers whenever possible and avoid answering questions with yes/no as answers.
  7. Answer questions honestly. Don’t ever lie!

Common Blunders you MUST Avoid

Avoid falling foul of the following:

  1. Turning up late for the interview.
  2. Dressing and grooming inappropriately.
  3. Giving simple yes/no as answers.
  4. Speaking negatively about your previous employer.
  5. Sitting before invited.
  6. Discussing time-off or money.

Tips for Interviewers

Before the Interview:

  1. Write down questions to ask.
  2. Call the prospective employee’s referees.
  3. Prepare the place for the interview.
  4. Alert the interviewee about the interview. Mention the time and place.
  5. Arrive early for the interview.

During the Interview:

  1. Allow them enough time to respond to questions.
  2. Encourage them to speak by, for example, nodding your head when they answer questions.
  3. Speak and ask questions politely. Be friendly but formal as much as you can.
  4. Make eye contact with the interviewee to show you are listening to them.

Exercise 1

you are the secretary of journalism Club at Maembe Dodo Mixed School. On Friday you would like to interview your school Deputy Principal on the issue of Students’ Discipline.

  1. Write down any three questions you would ask him/her.
  2. Other than writing down questions to ask, how else would you prepare prepare for this day?
  3. State four things you would do as you interview him.

Exercise 2

Read the conversation below and then answer questions after it.

Ms Naomi: Welcome to our Doctor’s office.
Mr. Josh: Nice to be here.
Ms Naomi: I see from your resume that you are a cardiologist with 1 0 years of practice.
Mr. Josh: That’s right.
Ms Naomi: This interview is just to get to know you a little and then there are follow up interviews. So what do you do in your free time?
Mr. Josh: I like golfing and swimming. I also like to read newspapers.
Ms Naomi: Why did you want to be a doctor?
Mr. Josh: Actually I love helping people get well. I think cardiology has made great strides recently and I would like to share my findings with others.
Ms Naomi: Have you written in any scientific journals so far?
Mr. Josh: Not yet. But hopefully soon.
Ms Naomi: OK, we’d like to learn more about you. Let’s go for lunch wwith our colleagues, if that’s OK.
Mr. Josh: That’s fine, I am free.

  1. What two things qualify Ms Naomi as a good interviewer?
  2. Identify two evidences of interview tips displayed by Mr. Josh.
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