How to perform well in an interview

Dora Wang September 19, 2017 3 mins read

Recently, I’ve been asked by many candidates how to perform well in an interview. Some of them have several interviews on hand but never get positive feedback, which makes them really annoying. I also met some people who have shiny profile but perform average.

Why does that happen? Is it because the job is not suitable for him or her or the interviewers are picky? Most of the time, if you get the opportunity of being interviewed, it means that you have passed the CV screening and you are at least 70% matching the job. Thus, if you failed in the interview, it is only because you don’t stand out and impress the interviewers.

How to impress the interviews is always a topic which deserves our discussion. How to stand out among people who have similar working experience is the key to successful interview. Here are some tips to help you perform well.

1. Go through your CV first and try to find areas to highlight 

It is possible that some people may have no idea about the CV even though they have polished it several times. The interview process is about digging out the candidate’s advantages and differences comparing with others. Thus, before the interview, it is highly recommended to carefully go through the CV and choose 2-3 impressive projects or cases that you have dealt with. Most of the time, how you deal with challenges attracts people more than the result itself. Morgan Mckinley suggests candidates to use STAR model: Situation, Task, Action and Result. Situation is the challenge you have faced with (Why does it happen, why it is urgent, etc ), Task (what your boss expect you to achieve), Action(What you have done, trying to present your logic of your actions), Result(It can be positive or negative, just to show your effort and proactive attitude)

2. A thorough research

There are lots of people who are always looking outside and willing to try any opportunity. Before an interview, they even can’t remember which company it is and which industry it belongs to and the specific job responsibilities. How can you perform well under the circumstance of knowing nothing about the interview . What I will suggest is doing a thorough research about the opportunity (The company, the job scope, and the career development, the line manager, etc) before an interview, which will help understand more about the opening and make sound decision in the later stage. 

3. Your attitude really matters

Sometimes, some people especially the young potential ones are overconfident during the interview. HRs and line managers may have the concern of stability and teamwork regarding these candidates. Showing the interviewers your willingness to learn more, your humble attitude and your previous teamwork related experience is always useful. To be noted, expressions like “I think”, “It should be”, “I don’t agree” need to be avoided. Interview is about choosing the right one rather than the best one. Thus, showing others you are suitable for this position is more important than simply highlighting your achievements 

Dora Wang's picture
Senior Manager | Finance & Accounting Recruitment
dwang@morganmckinley.com