So just what is the one thing your interview panel will dread?
For an interviewer, there isn’t anything much worse than boring answers – that can be a killer after days spent asking the same questions. And this is the big thing your interviewers will dread!
Don’t worry though – being prepared and brushing up on your interview style and technique can make sure you don’t send the interview panel to sleep!
Make it conversational
Avoid monotone, generic answers at all costs. Saying things like, ‘I’m reliable and trustworthy’ or ‘I work well within a team’ are predictable and don’t set you apart from the crowd.
Present yourself confidently, respectful yet relaxed, and you’ll be able keep the interviewer’s attention. Try to keep the interview flowing like a conversation; you should be lively and chatty while remembering you’re in a professional environment. Don’t cross any boundaries by appearing too casual!
Show your personality
It’s fine to show off your knowledge, but don’t waffle on about procedures or recite a lot of fact-based information. This is guaranteed to put your interview panel off – and this also is a big thing your interviewers will dread. They want to see your character and personality, not just a list of tasks and technicalities.
The same can be said about acronyms and workplace jargon; they might sound good on paper but will probably make the interviewer’s eyes glaze over. Make sure you explain everything rather than assuming the interviewer knows what you’re talking about.
Give good examples
Put yourself in the situation by giving real-world examples and evidence of things you’ve actually done.
Taking a story-telling approach to the interview is also a great way of creating a connection with the interviewer, as long as everything you say is relevant to the role in some way.
Introduce the situation, set the scene, detail what action you took and then wrap it up.
‘When I was working as a football coach, an argument broke out. I intervened and managed to resolve the issue by individually speaking with each player and then persuading them to calmly explain their side. By encouraging this communication, I was able to ensure the match continued smoothly.’
You demonstrate your abilities by sharing your experiences and therefore make yourself more memorable. It’s a win-win!
Answer the question!
After spending a lot of time preparing for an interview, it can be tempting to memorise certain things you want to say ahead of time, but be careful. You don’t want to go off on a tangent, or panic and automatically deliver a memorised answer when it’s not specifically what the interviewer has asked.
Listen to the question, think, and respond carefully and precisely. If necessary, ask the interviewer for clarification; it’s better to pause to think than to babble on irrelevantly.
When talking about your experience, establish the scene so the interviewer knows what you’re referring to. Explain what the company did briefly, or what your job involved. Don’t assume they will know just because it’s industry-related or referenced on your firefighter application.
Repeating lines that the interviewer has probably heard all day is boring for them and unhelpful for you. For example, ‘I work well independently,’ ‘I’m committed and hard-working’ or ‘I’m honest and respectful of others.’
Keep your answers evidence-based rather than making general statements. You need to provide real examples of your skills and abilities.
Want to be extra prepared for your big interview? Our study guide is crammed full of helpful advice and exercises to guide you to success – and help you avoid the big thing your interviewers will dread!