Interview skills

I was in a panel interview yesterday interviewing three research analysts in my unit for their promotion. 2 were in 40s, 1 in early 30s. With one of them, I felt so sorry, it was so painful to watch her struggle, panic, and trying her best to stay on course although her best was disappointing for all of us.

Being on the other side of the interview teaches me more about how to interview than I thought. If I go back to 2007 (for my job in the Philippines), I could see myself making mistakes that they did yesterday.

When I came home, I told the girls that they’d need to learn early on how to speak confidently about themselves… maybe too early. but I really hope they don’t get to their 30s or 40s with none interview skills.

Anyhow, I think for a good interview there are few key elements (maybe specific to work in my organization)

  • confidence.
  • preparation. it’s so easy to tell if the interviewee did proper preparation
  • structured answers, and numbering (1-3 points max).
  • smile. soft skills, in general, to make a good impression
  • prepare a good last question for the panel, although this is a bonus and cannot be the decisive factor.
  • technical questions are the main course, one really needs to master them. Behavioral questions are less important.


I am grateful for the opportunity to learn through others, and remember skills to help my girls to build.

p.s. I’ll try to do one gratitude per day/post a la Kae 🙂

4 thoughts on “Interview skills

  1. Oh gosh, interviews. Those can be so hard!!! I totally agree with you that I hope my boys will have good interview skills, but I don’t know… I have one that is NOT good at this point with speaking to adults/ public speaking type situations, and one that I think will be more natural. We’ll see- I really hope they develop this skill. It’s a hard thing to practice. My one that isn’t so good even clams up and acts really awkward like at doctor’s appts, etc- instead of just openly talking and conversing with the doctor, he acts shy or kind of mumbles… it drives me crazy!! I always talk with him about it after, but it seems like he just can’t help it. It’s like he feels uncomfortable really talking to someone he doesn’t know well (an adult).


  2. I think I am a pretty good interviewer. I think what kind of helped me was being good at public speaking. That sounds kind of odd but if you can present to a big group, you can probably do well in an interview setting in terms of projecting confidence. In grad school I was taught to prepare hardcore for an interview and anticipate questions. My interviews haven’t been been very technical in nature though. I mean I have to know the bond market but soft skills are way more important in my role because I work with sales and clients and ultimately need to help sell our products. I really didn’t even interview for my role though. My former boss lobbied to hire me and I had met with the hiring manager several times before the interview. The interview was almost a formality and a chance for me to ask questions about the role like travel expectations, etc.


    1. I fully agree, at certain level soft skills are more important than technical ones. And public speaking skills are so important!!! I tell Sofia that two skills are needed for any job, public speaking and good writing. Hopefully she learns both starting from now.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s