Right...erm... it has to be a young woman that we interviewed recently. And she had all the usual academic qualifications which you have to do to even get through the selection process. But something that really shone for her in the interview was that whenever she talked to answer a question, she gave us a very concrete example of something that she had done. And this allow us to really understand how she would tackle a project, what kind of things she'd do, how she'd involve other people. So this approach of being very specific with examples really... erm... made her sort of experience in her skill come alive. Even though she wasn't actually very experienced, she was able to talk about it really really well.
Right... em.... I think something that comes across when you asked a question and you don't actually have the experience in that area to say "yes I can do that"... erm... I am thinking of a young guy recently who tried to bluff his way through the question and to claim that he could do something that clearly he had never done. As soon as people start to talk about things when we ask specific questions... if you are telling a lie, it is obvious to the people interviewing you. So I think he would have been much better off to say "actually I've never done that, but I have done this" and to be honest than to try and bluff his way through answering the question. You... you don't go into every job interview having done everything before. You're usually going for a job that's gonna stretch you and take you to the next level. And that's perfectly acceptable.
Um... I think... I think what happens in an interview is... I want people to be able to get over that initial nervousness. Everyone's gonna be nervous but I want them to be able to get over that quite quickly and to talk with you quite honestly and openly about what they've done, how they'd do it and what they'd like to do. I think we're trying to get a sense of how well this person will fit in with our organisation. Erm... and that comes often down to not just experience but also attitude to their flexibility - their ability to listen to you in the interview situation, their ability to express when they don't understand something - to ask a further question. So I think what I'm often looking for in people is that ability to cooperate and to really talk with me in that situation, so that I can gauge what kind of team they could join and how they're gonna operate when they're actually on the job.