Top tips for successful job interviews

This week I had an interview for a job. Although I haven’t been actively looking for a permanent job, I have been feeling a tad lonely working at home, and was thinking it would be nice to have some new work friends, a reason to wash my hair every day, and someone else to make my coffee now and again. So when this opportunity came along, and I was asked if I would be interested in applying, I thought I should go for it.

I’ve always enjoyed job interviews, with much the same perverse pleasure that I get from exams. At heart I am a over-competitive, under-confident exhibitionist. It sounds like an odd combination, but it isn’t really – I love being marked, being praised, and I strive to do well so that people will tell me how clever I am.

What fits slightly less well with this picture is the rather cocky, informal persona I often find myself adopting in these situations, the kind where you are supposed to make a good impression, like interviews and first dates. Perhaps it is a defence mechanism – a detached but challenging front put up to hide a fear of failure. Or maybe it is just my strong attention seeking streak – ‘Look at me! Look at how charming/borderline inappropriate I am!’

Just in case my potential future employers read this though… let’s just put it down to nerves…

Overall, it would be fair to say that I gave a true reflection of my personality. Whether of not it was a good one we will only know tomorrow when they have made their decision. The way I look at it though, these are people I would have to spend a large chunk of my working week with, so it’s only fair they know what they are letting themselves in for.

Throughout the interview I cracked a string of bad jokes and waffled terribly, much like I do when I have to leave a message on an answer phone – ‘so, um… yes, that was all really, give me a call back if you have time, or whatever… hope you’re well… I should probably stop now… by-eee!’

Here are a couple of questions I think I answered particularly well:

Director of Fundraising: So, can you tell us why you decided to apply for the job?

Me: Well, I’ve been working at home for a while now, and I really miss getting dressed up to come into an office…

Senior Trust Fundraiser: Can you tell me what you would expect from me as your line manager?

Me: [looks thoughtful] Treats?

I can only assume that this level of childishness must mean that subconsciously, I really want the job. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the highly competent yet decidedly immature combination is just what they are looking for.


I’m Jo and I am a single, work-at-home mother to two gorgeous, spirited girls. Bee is 16 and Belle is nine. Bee was born when I was 17, and by 19 I was a single parent for the first time. I became a single mum for the second time in 2008. It is hard work, harder now than at 19, but I manage to juggle family, work and home commitments by pretending I don’t notice how dirty the house is. I am also a freelance journalist, specialising in parenting, breastfeeding and issues affecting women. I am available for any kind of work involving research, features, comment and commercial copywriting. I am basically a word whore. You can find my blog here.


9 thoughts on “Top tips for successful job interviews

  1. Katrina Bradley

    The best tip to take on or before a job interview is to be confident with yourself,you got to have that A-game once you go for an interview.Be focused and confident!

  2. Jenny Brown

    YOur responses makes me think you’re an interesting person.. haha! But anyway, thank you for the tips! Im also thinking about dressing up and go to the office, haha 🙂

  3. Webnoxs

    I appreciated your knowledge about qualified interview. Great blog! Quite analogous are the many things you mentioned here. I enjoy reading your blog, thanks a lot. =)


  4. mangalashtak

    Just added this blog to my favorites. I enjoy reading your blogs and hope you keep them coming!


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