Faq of job interview commonly asked questions. Detailed answers given covering various types of questions. If you would like to improve your job interview technique, see our career workshop section which includes in-house seminars on job interview.

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Job Interview Faqs

Answers to common job interview questions

What if I tried to find the location of the company in the A-Z and I am not sure how to get there?
Usually, employers will send you instructions on how to reach an interview with your Invitation Letter for the interview, including either written instructions or a map illustrating proximity to mainline stations and bus routes. If this is not the case, you must telephone the contact person on the Invitation Letter and ask if there are instructions. Perhaps the person sending the letter simply forgot to put instructions in your envelope. If there is no written instruction, it is acceptable to ask for instructions over the phone. Make sure to write down the instructions carefully, and do not become self-conscious that you are keeping on that person's time.

What if my interview date was set long before I had an unforeseen

In extreme circumstances, an emergency prior to or on the date of an interview may prevent you from attending. There are various types of emergency, perhaps a child has become suddenly ill on the day or perhaps your child minder is unable to attend to him / her on the interview date.

If you believe you can still cope with attending an interview after dealing with an emergency, remember to notify and explain the situation to the employer. If you believe there is risk that your interview might not progress well because you are too anxious, inform the employer of the emergency, negotiate re-sitting the interview on another day. Many employers recruit within specific timescales, so you must inform the company as quickly as possible on the day of the interview so alternative arrangements can be made.

What if I am invited to attend an interview but I have work commitments on that day?
Again, inform the employer as soon as possible about your circumstances. The employer would have already realised you are in full or part-time employment when you applied for the job. Invitation letters are normally sent out two weeks before an interview date. Make sure to check your work commitments and take the time off well in advance so that you will not be included in any work schedules on that day.

Employers have limited time to interview many clients, and if they believe your postponement does not adhere to their own timetables, they might be reluctant to offer you another date.

What if there are more than one interview dates and I am unable to attend at least one of the dates?
Telephone the employer as soon as possible to notify him / her of your unavailability on that particular date. Make arrangements for another date and make sure you are able to attend at that time. At all times, remember that the interview is more important to you than the employer. You cannot ask to postpone an interview simply because you have to go to the hair-dresser or even the doctor on that date.

What if I arrive too early for an interview?
This happens on numerous occasions when the location is much easier to reach than previously expected. Do not arrive at an interview more than ten minutes early. If you arrive half an hour early, do not enter the building. You may wish to take some refreshments at a nearby café or a brief walk in the area to pass the time and focus your mind on the impending meeting.

What if I arrive too late for an interview?
How late do you think is reasonable? If you arrive within half an hour late, interviewers might still grant you an interview, although it is taken in consideration about your punctuality. Make sure to apologise for your lateness and remember to give a sound reason rather than attempt to make one up when you enter the room.

What if I have not heard from the company long after I attended an interview?
At the end of the interview, the interviewer will usually inform you of the notification period. If the employer states a time period, for instance, "within three weeks", allow for that time to elapse. If the employer does not inform you of the notification period, make sure you ask about their procedures before you leave the interview. That will determine whether or not, or indeed, when you should telephone the company if you have not heard from them.

What if I believe I did well at an interview and I am unsure as to the reasons I was not short-listed?
In that case, ask the employer for a "feedback" on your interview. Many employers are willing to issue you appraisals via the telephone or send a written feedback upon request.

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