More than 10 years ago, whilst I was preparing and working on my scholarship interviews, I actually wrote to give some advice around those interviews. The fact that it’s been more than 10 years ago scares me but the points that I gathered in the piece is relevant, even for job or work interviews.
I quote some of the points I find really powerful and applies very much to just about any interviews:
Remember there is no right or wrong answers in an interview so never look as if you regretted something you just mentioned (if you really do, please correct yourself immediately on the spot) and in many sense, as long as you are sure what you’re saying, you’re giving the right answer.
Don’t appear self-important but show the interviewers what you are willing to do to serve them and what you’re not willing. When you’re given the tough questions, ask for time to think about it. You could say, “Wow, that’s a big question, give me a moment to organize my answer” or something like that. Try to think about the tough ones beforehand so that you’re more prepared to handle them. Don’t bet on them not coming out.
Don’t hesitate to clarify their questions; if you don’t know what they’re asking, ask them questions to clarify; sometimes the question they’re trying to pose is more close-ended than it seems.
The underlying premise is that we should just be ourselves, and really chill. There is so many different tactics to do well but what they all don’t replace is good and strong preparation coupled with alignment of your skills and experience for the role you’re gunning for.
With so many jobs requiring practical wisdom and intelligence in dealing with problems, interviews have shifted to lean heavily on looking at role playing and situations. Developing that ability to help everyone be at ease and chill; inserting appropriate humour, would be really useful.