Tag Archives: interview tips




See below a useful matrix or table to evaluate roles of interest and prepare a tailored CV that resonates with role requirements and helps with preparing for interview :

Some examples of skill types/experience required  are shown for context but you should include

the ones specific to the role

Skills and Achievement Mapping against role/job description to prepare for interview

THEY WANT : Skills type ( generic ones shown but  you add  the specific role requirements)plus experience
YOU HAVE THESE SKILLS & Experience that maps to their need Your related achievements – evidence of skills in action

·         Establishing new vision/shaping strategy

  • Bringing the vision to life
  • Innovation /Creativity
  • Thought leadership
  • Big Picture thinking
  • Use of strategic models and excellence/best practice
  • Dealing with complexity and risk



·         Political acumen

  • Spheres of influence
  • Relationship building
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Customer service excellence
  • Mandate winning
  • Leadership ability ( clarity, purpose, direction/winning hearts and minds/gravitas)
  • Equal amongst peers
  • Advanced communication skills
Analytical ,Synthesis

·         Use of models to analyse complex data

  • Research, Synthesise/interpret information and generate weighted options/recommendations



·         Process –continuous improvement / step change

  • Development of new systems/policies/procedures



·         P and L influence (investment/ revenue growth/cost management)

  • Budget management
  • Business case construction
  • Product and services development



·         Defining projects and programmes

  • Securing and mobilising resources
  • Organisational skills
  • Making it happen




·         In depth specific technical skills


Impress at your next job interview by following these 10 golden rules says Ros Toynbee, director of The Career Coach…

  1. Do your research – You can’t do enough research on the organisation first. Read the trade and financial press, not just the website. Quiz your recruiter and/or people who work for the organisation if you can do that. Your answers – and your questions – should reflect that you have done your homework. That’s what really impresses, as does showing commercial awareness in the current climate.
  2. Prepare properly – Successful interviewing is 80% preparation. Prepare for the three key areas which all interview questions fall into: 1. Can you do this bit of the job (or learn it fast)? 2. Do we like you? Will you fit in here? 3. Will you be motivated by this job, our company?
  3. Understand the role – Have an answer to the question ‘Tell me about yourself’. Identify three things that you think reflect the purpose of the role well and what you bring to it. Be ready to have examples to back up your claim.
  4. Show competence – Most interviews these days are competency based interviews which means they want to hear your stories of how in the past you have demonstrated that particular skill – and at which level. They want to assess your track record to predict how well you will perform here.
  5. Know your value – Know why you want this job and be willing to explain it not just in terms of what it will do for you, but the VALUE you look forward to creating for the organisation.
  6. Rehearse answers – Use the ‘SCO’ formula to tell your stories. ‘S’ for situation (the problem you/the company had); ‘C’ for contribution (what you did, with respect for what you did as part of a team); ‘O’ for outcome (the results you created for the team, company, clients). Go through the job description closely and write out as many examples as you can for each skill, quality or competency listed. Rehearse with a friend or in front of a mirror and tweak until you have said it concisely and well.
  7. Be honest – Have authentic answers ready for the tough questions they might ask you, about gaps on your CV or why you are leaving your current organisation. Reassure, then move on. Be honest about redundancies.
  8. Bide your time – If you don’t understand a question or suspect there is a concern underlying it, ask for further clarification. It’ll buy you time and ensure you answer it properly. Eg. “can you give me an example?”
  9. Ask key questions – Have great, even challenging, questions to ask them at the end. Remember you are two professionals working to see if you are both suitable for each other.
  10. End strongly – Don’t be afraid to ask for the role at the end if you want it and to ask what the next steps will be.


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My career experience includes HR Director and senior executive roles in Barclays plc and Tesco plc leading major transformation and complex change programmes reporting at Board level .I have an MBA, BA and I am a member of the CIPD and Association for Coaching. I am an accredited coach with over 12 years of private client coaching experience and as an associate consultant with Penna (UK) dealing with career, life,executive and business coaching and counselling. I work in mentoring and coaching partnerships with executives to help achieve gains of importance to them.I help people of all ages, different cultures and job levels to understand more about themselves, their impact on others and how to develop across major dimensions in life.
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First 100 days
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10 Interview Tips


Also Enjoy  the FREE Flipboard Magazine :  Achieving your Next job and Career Progression

10 interview tips.

  1. Create a ‘to be’ list

Entry is everything so think about how you want to “show up” at the interview. What qualities do you want to demonstrate? Decide in advance how you intend to come across – for example as confident, reliable, and dynamic.

Write a ‘to be’ list and identify ways you can transmit the qualities you want to broadcast. For example, to show confidence, make sure you can talk fluidly about your strengths and successes without bragging.

  1. Make it more of a conversation

The more you can make the interview a two-way exchange, the more likely you are to relax. Make the most of this opportunity to gather information, get to know your prospective colleagues and catch a glimpse of the way they do things.

Come to the interview with some insightful questions prepared. Don’t trot out the same old questions that every candidate is likely to ask (such as what the opportunities for promotion are). Read the company’s website and research their performance, whether on the stock market or the league tables, so that your lines of inquiry are on point.

  1. Be comfortable talking about money

Even if the job comes with an advertised salary, you may be asked what your salary expectations are. Anticipate this question and, off-line, practise saying your answer out loud. If you want to be paid more than the ad suggests, be prepared to give your reasons as you’ll need to justify your request.

Do some market research and find out what the going rates are. Check out how much equivalent jobs at other organisations pay by looking at job adverts or online salary surveys. Having this data at your fingertips will increase your confidence at striking a deal that feels good to you. It will also help you to come up with an original response to that interview classic – “Why do you want to work for us?”

  1. Know your strengths/brand

Be prepared to articulate your ‘unique selling points’. Give this question serious consideration. Think about your own combination of strengths – for example, are you that rare individual who is creative, proactive and reliable.

Before you go to the interview, complete this sentence, ‘I am someone who…’ Write down your answer and reflect on your response. Think about feedback you’ve had from friends, family and other people who have affirmed your sense of who you are.


  1. Be prepared to talk about your weaknesses


Anticipate being asked about your shortcomings. This is a sensitive subject that needs a careful response. Don’t be insincere, such as saying you’re a perfectionist if you’re not. Be honest about your areas of development. If attention to detail is not your strong suit, say so and then indicate how you plan to address this. For example, you could say that at times you might ask a colleague to check over a critical document to make sure that you’ve attended to all the detail.

  1. Value the non-verbal


When you talk face-to-face, it’s not just about the words you use. We’re social animals so body language, eye gaze and gestures all play their part. If you find it hard to look someone in the eye, you risk being judged as untrustworthy or as having something to hide. Sit in an upright posture without leaning forward – you don’t want to come across as a people pleaser. Do your best to sit still without fidgeting as this will make you look nervous. Hold the other person’s eye gaze until just before they look away to send the message that you can hold your own without being aggressive.

  1. Tailor how much you talk


It’s easy to fall into the trap of talking too much during an interview. Sometimes a question needs only a short response. Develop the ability to be concise. If a longer response is needed, you could structure your answer by indicating, for example, that there are three points to consider. Help the other person to follow what you say by using some signposting such as ‘firstly .’, ‘secondly…’ and ‘finally…’.

Varying the length of your input will help to make the interview more of a conversation. Listen carefully to what the interviewer has to say and, if needs be, check your understanding before answering.

  1. Have a get-out line


Think through how you’ll respond to a question you don’t know the answer to. Instead of fudging it, have something prepared. You could say, for example, ‘Please can we come back to that question as I’d like a little more time to gather my thoughts?’

Do your best to stay composed. If you suddenly freeze, take a couple of deep breaths and ask them to repeat the question.

  1. Ask for feedback


Towards the end of the interview, say that you’re keen to get some feedback on how you did (if this hasn’t been offered). Find out how who to follow up with and get their contact details. Do this in a respectful way so that you come across as keen to learn without being pushy.

10. Personal psychology – cultivate an attitude of ‘You win some, you lose some’


Have the intention to get the job without having the expectation that you will. Go into the interview with some degree of humility – arrogance is a big turn off for any employer.

Decide ahead of time that you’ll accept the outcome, whether you are successful or not. If you get turned down, be philosophical and resolve to reap the benefits of the experience next time you’re faced with an interview. If you do get offered the job – congratulations! – Time to go out and celebrate!

See more great interview insights here and other useful hints here