Interview Tips: Key Questions to ask and NOT to ask

Written by: Maine Tucker
Published on: 26 Aug 2014

Maine Tucker


Congratulations on securing an interview. Interviews can be a daunting experience, so it’s really important that you prepare for it well in advance. Not only can preparation make a great difference to your confidence, it is also proven to enhance your chances of being offered roles by up to 40%.

We at Maine-Tucker are always on hand to help our candidates prepare and we always like to call you before you go in, but here are some of our tips…


Before the interview:

  • Research: Take time to research as much as possible about the organisation and the interviewer’s background. Try to find out about the company’s history, products, recent changes, projects, culture, competitors, and clients. Check their website and also speak to your consultant.
  • Plan: Ensure you have all relevant details such as time, date and interview location, as well as the interviewer’s name.  Plan your journey and keep extra time in hand for potential delays. Make sure you know the name of the person you are going to see, exactly where they are located and how long it will take to get there. Ensure that you have the company’s telephone number with you in case of an emergency.
  • Prepare: Make a list of your strengths against the job description and the responsibilities of the role and read them out loud. This will help you to start becoming ‘fluent’ in selling yourself and help with your confidence.


During the interview:

  • Body Language: Shake hands firmly with the interviewer(s) at the beginning and end of the interview; a friendly expression will indicate that you have a positive relationship led approach; and always maintain eye contact.
  • Smile:  When a candidate arrives at our office an instant tick box for us is a candidate who smiles. It seems simple it is! Just do it!  Nervousness can often be misconstrued as aloofness, disinterest or a range of other negative emotions. If you remember to smile no matter how nervous you feel, this will help you.
  • Enthusiasm about the JobAnother key thing clients often tell us is that a candidate was not offered a job because they didn’t know if they wanted the job. It’s absolutely key to get across that you want this job (if you do of course), be blunt and tell them! There is no need to play hard to get.
  • Keep to the point - but be yourself: Keep your answers succinct and don’t go off on a tangent.  Give yourself time to think and collect your thoughts, especially when asked a complicated question. If you don’t know, admit it – never lie.  Be yourself!  That’s who they want to see and in the end, it’s who you need to be if you are going to be happy in this role.
  • ASK QUESTIONS: Always ask questions, it shows your enthusiasm for the role and also will help you to learn more about your potential new job! Be careful what you ask though, here are our list of do’s and don’ts:


DO Ask:

  • What would a typical day look like for me?
  • What will be the biggest challenges of the role?
  • What could I do to really add some value to the team within the first few months of joining?
  • Where would you expect to see me in the business after 2 years?
  • What is your management style?
  • What gives you the edge over your competitors?
  • Why should someone come and work for your organisation?
  • What made you want to work for this company?

DON'T Ask:

  • What will I be paid?
  • When will I be paid?
  • How often does the team go out drinking?
  • Why would you not hire me?
  • How much do you spend on the Christmas party?


We hope this has helped you to prepare for your interview. GOOD LUCK!!