Interview skills

1. Do your homework

  • Read the job description and requirements, to understand what the employer is expecting
  • Do background research on the employer (website, news, from friends and family), to succeed in the interview and to see whether the job meets your own expectations
  • The more you find out, the more advantage you’ll have over other candidates

2. Match yourself to the job

Make a list of your assets, including:

  • skills
  • knowledge
  • experience
  • qualifications

Make sure your list matches the job requirements

Be prepared to answer any job specific questions

Include your relevant experiences and qualities in your answers

3. Practise for the interview

  • Practise at home with a friend or family member
  • Answer the most common interview questions
  • You can anticipate job specific interview questions through your background research
  • Practising will help build self confidence and calm down your nerves

4. Dress for success

  • Make a good first impression
  • Have your outfit ready in advance
  • Dress smartly, whether you are applying for a professional or casual job
  • Dress in business attire depending on the type of job
  • Don’t forget to smile – it’s your most valuable accessory

5. What to take and what to avoid

  • Take a file or portfolio containing extra copies of supporting documents (CV, certificates, etc.)
  • Take your own pen and notebook in case you need to fill forms or note down something
  • Switch off your mobile phone and keep it out of sight
  • Do not take any food or drinks

6. Be professional

  • Be polite and courteous, yet enthusiastic
  • Do not forget to smile, greet and introduce yourself
  • Firmly shake hands with the interviewer and maintain eye contact
  • Listen carefully and act interested
  • At the end, you may ask when you may expect to hear from them
  • Remember to thank the interviewer for their time and for giving you the interview opportunity

7. Be prompt

  • Plan ahead and arrive a few minutes ahead of your scheduled time – to catch your breath and relax before the interview, and if needed, to freshen up in the rest room
  • It is very important to know exactly where you need to go for the interview
  • In order to avoid any unexpected delays, such as traffic jams, try to leave your home at least 15 to 20 minutes in advance, not including the time it takes to get there
  • Have their number handy in case you need to call

8. Be relaxed and don’t panic

  • Pay attention and listen carefully to the interviewer
  • Once you hear the question, take a few moments to mentally prepare/organise your answer
  • If need be, you may politely ask the interviewer to repeat the question
  • Your responses should be in the form of a two-way conversation between yourself and the interviewer. So you should have your own questions ready to ask at appropriate and relevant times throughout the interview
  • Towards the end of the interview, make the interviewer know that you are interested in the job and that it matches your qualities

9. Follow-up

If you do not get a response regarding the outcome of the interview, within the allotted number of days, you may call the office and inquire, as well as reiterate your interest in the post.

Most Common Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Why did you apply for this job?
  3. What are your strengths?
  4. What are your weaknesses?
  5. What are your goals for the future?
  6. How do you handle stress and pressure?
  7. Tell me about a problem you faced, and how you solved it.
  8. Give an example of how you worked with or led a team.
  9. Why should we choose you?
  10. How will you apply your experiences to this post?
  11. What will be your biggest contribution to this company?

Other common questions

  1. Why are you leaving your current job/why did you leave your last job?
  2. Are you willing to travel?
  3. What relevant experience do you have?

Additional scholarship-specific questions

  1. Why did you choose this course?
  2. How are your academic and professional goals related to the developmental goals of the Maldives?
  3. What do you think will be the greatest challenges in studying in a foreign country? How will you address those challenges?
  4. What do you look forward to most in studying in a foreign country?
  5. What are your plans immediately following your completion of studies?
  6. What will be your biggest contribution to your country once you return after studies?