Ambit + Blog

Question Time

In May 1977, the disgraced ex-president Richard Nixon agreed to be interviewed by the popular talk show host David Frost.

It was supposed to be an exercise in reputation-building for Nixon, who was famously silver-tongued. What transpired is that Frost upped his game, ambushed Nixon, and extracted from him the incredible admission that ‘if the president of the United States does it…well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.’

It is regarded as one of the best interviews of all time.

Whether you’re face to face with a world leader, or trying to find or fill a CFO position in Toronto, interviewing well is a skill – a talent, even – but even so there are things worth bearing in mind.

In our last blog post we talked about how to dress for an interview, the point being that you want people to focus on you rather than your clothes or style. In our experience there are lots of good ways to run an interview, but what sorts of questions should you ask? Should you use a panel or should it be one-to-one? And what about sophisticated psychological testing like Myers-Briggs?

In a nutshell, here are some pointers we think you’d do well to think about.

DO: Try and make a connection.

DON’T: Get too personal. Know what you’re allowed to talk about.

DO: Read the resume and know who you are talking to.

DON’T: Ask trick questions – the outcome may not yield the answer you’re looking for. Remember, the candidate is interviewing you too.

DO: Let the conversation flow: you can have a framework but interviews that are rigid are often not effective.

DON’T: Be late, take calls or check emails.

Leave a Comment

Other Blog Posts
+View all blog posts
+View all opportunities