Interviewer: Can you tell us about one interview candidate who impressed you and why?
Tony: There was one person I interviewed quite recently who I think did a very good job. Basically he gave very short, 1)concise answers. He was very well-organised in what he was saying.
Some of the other candidates tended to 2)waffle a little bit—maybe give a bit too much information. Now 3)bearing in mind that for this particular post, we were interviewing over two days and I think we interviewed nine...nine or ten different people. So actually, from a personal point of view, I was quite tired of listening to people talk, and it was quite a relief actually to have somebody that kept things very concise and very to-the-point!
Interviewer: What things generally are you looking for from an interview candidate apart from the obvious?
Tony: I think there's one thing that we're always looking for, that you can't really get across in an application...on an application form or in a covering letter, and that... that's your genuine interest in a job or your enthusiasm for a job. I think when we interview people, we're never really expecting to get the finished article, to get a fully qualified person with loads of experience. In fact, if we did interview somebody for a post who'd already been doing something similar or was very experienced in that post for several years, I think we might actually question why they were continuing and perhaps not looking to improve themselves or get a better post.
Interviewer: Interviewees are often asked to talk about their strengths and weaknesses. What's the best way to talk about your weaknesses?
Cindy: In a situation where somebody asks you about a skill or a strength or experience and you don't have it, it's OK to say, “I haven't done that direct thing before, however I would try and make a weakness...something that you feel is a weakness, a learning opportunity.” So don't talk about yourself negatively, that's not necessary. You could talk about what you would do in order to gain the experience needed.
Tony: Related to that actually is an interview I did recently. When asked about experience for a particular job, he was very honest and said that he didn't have any experience in that area at all. But what he did was that he told us about the skills that he has that would suit that job. I was very impressed with the way that he dealt with that question with honesty.