T'Interview Techniques

Captain Qahn's picture

Four key management positions have been posted by York Potash : http://siriusminerals.com/work-with-us/jobs/current-vacancies/

Given the prestigious nature of these highly sought after positions; developing and constructing the worlds largest producing potash mine right here in the wonderful weird world of Whitby and the rather quaint National Park overlooking procedures is it prudent to have some professional interview skills to hand?  Fiddlesticks. 


STAGE I : Prepare

Firstly create some scenarios and visualise how you expect the T'interview to work.   Most interviewers decide within 9 seconds of meeting and greeting if you will 'fit in' ... sending an E-Fit along with your CV is not a good idea, either its a Brinx Mat fit out aka 'golden' (old flake - fake) or you look like a worn out Brangalina.  Your local casino pass should verify your identity and any risk aversion but a passport (choose carefully) would not only prove handy but a statutory requirement.  Whilst a Co that may seem to have a cabbage as their logo lends to appearances won't count for much... it could be a Yorkshire flag or red rag to a bull.  Any embarassing tattoos need covering up....    'Love n Hate' on the knuckles or 'cut here' sewn around the neck whilst sitting on your hands won't quite do and might prove tempting fate too far.  Tattoos covered in the corporate logo may appease, appearances can be deceptive, as can boy scouts and girl guides. 

When preparing your CV try to design your own wanted poster.  Something that stands out.  Short not sweet.  Cut to the chase and assess your self worth, what you can bring or add  (no need to list your assets) and evaluate your own expected salary. It may cut the 'conversation' dead but hey whats another goldfish. Don't be put off or out.  It's the inbetween bit that counts, ya know bogus, bonus, meeting targets, peeks and perks can all add up.  Bold declarations will be verified. Keep it relevant. Experience. Skills. Focus.  Know your own worth.  When forwarding your CV/application make sure they get it, post and portals can be unreliable. Making demands into their schedule can be cumbersome. Stating what time and place you are available and you can fit them in at short notice only if they pop around to your place is a No No.

Check out the environment.  Where is the T'interview to be held?   It may start at The Nest, The Manor, Hyde Park, China, Brazil and end up in A&E under an oxygen tent. You can't smoke down a mine btw but that shouldn't be a problem, you have two years to quit any nasty habits. Concentrate.

First impressions count, it take 3 seconds to 'know' if you like someone and as previous 9 seconds to shortlist.  Know your gnomes.  Name dropping is not your place.... neither is being startled.  Deer stalkers.  Under current employment equality and diversity law,  Brexit may drop a few clangers, a change should be a challenge over clumsy.  Wotever fits.  Try not to have one.  Should you need to learn to do the walk and do the talk  John Wayne, Clint Eastwood are preferrable to Tinkerbell, tis a mine they are building not a cat walk.  

Remember impersonation is the most flattering thing however there are limits, Single White Female and Devil Wears Prada maybe old hat .... but then so was 101 Dots on a dog.  T'is not a good idea to turn up better suited than the boss, something simple.  Gucci and Dolce Gabanna are out .... neither should you look like a Burtons dummie, order a Saville Row hand cut from Singapore or Jaeger should suffice.  Obviously looking like Indiana Jones or Crocodile Dundee is a No No along with any tin foil, shoulder pads, gas masks, stilettos, winkle pickers or heels.  The Boss may be 6ft 2 but he wears boots.   So thats the suit n boots sorted. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32WlcyR25ok 

Razor time, beardy, ex beardy or moustachio may prove rather challenging and a lived in look may just be the order of the day. Think family not familiar.  Hats too maybe challenging, unless of course its a turban though a flat cap could be quite interesting.  Deer stalkers are so in vogue ...   Remember anything is possible.  For the guys I guess the formal black, grey black with a blue check should suffice.  Anything by Wu should be aesthetically pleasing.   All very angular and shaped.  Think structured.... and remember to sew up your pockets.  Pocket fiddlers won't do and professional gunslingers always wear a halter. Hands count, you may have to do some heavy lifting or somin, they should check out  the knuckle duster, broken, chewed or polished nails, finger clippings, warts n all, ya know the usual, so No gloves.  Soft pale hands may be in fashion but has this person ever actually done a days work no one cares if you play a banjo or joanna, and callises aside, do they scrub up and try not to rub 'em up the wrong way. 

Stage II  - The Interview

Assuming you make it through to the interview 'round' remember interviewers always have a few tricks up their sleeves to distinguish between the over cocky and confident and the mild with merits.  It will be a meritocracy.  If its a hot day the heating system will be on full, and vice versa ...  elemental. 

T'is a stressful process on both sides, very time consuming and highly charged.  Should nerves get the better of you, opt for one of the trio (usually three interviewers) that you instantly can connect with, not necessarily the boss.  This should take 3 seconds.   Shake their right hand (if you have one) and say 'I am very pleased to be here'.  Shouting 'Good Day Sport', shrugging shoulders, slinging a right hook, and bear hugs are a No No.   You will be offered a tea or coffee before being shown the hot seat.   A glass of water is easier to handle and will ease the frazzle should the chair be wired up to the circuit, be it CCTV, youtube or DC.  

Think technical. Breathe in your surroundings and don't forget to breath out.  Smile on the out breath it makes you appear very humble, relaxed and open to question.  No spitting. Leaning forward slightly shows you are willing to interact, keep your ankles crossed as a wide horse stance could be denoted as a threat, and an invitation to a swift boot.  Who is the Boss.   Do not lean back into the chair  even if medically challenged ergo you've had a heavy night.  Rigidity will make you appear cocky, aint that bovvered or just plain lazy. Move around a bit without fidgeting.  Show some generic interest without focussing on the baubles.  Fiddling with your hair won't do,  don't touch the nose, chin stroking is slightly intimidating, if so use the thumb not the finger. ... it expresses thought over provocation.  If you need to be propped up with accessories a pair of spectacles should suffice.  Cut the glass as necessary.  Fiddling with bandanas, neck braces, loosening of ties etc can be a sign of pressure,  string out or strung up they will spot it and push it (be very glad your pockets are sewn, thumbs in pockets show arrogance) Should you be wearing a halter, mobile, ipad etc place it on the table in full view.  No tricks up your sleeve cos tis not your party.. and not your family gathering.  Leave any overt jewellry, shrunken skulls, shark teeth etc at home.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIWx3YupzoQ 

Also watch out for any 'background noise'  any structured interviewer worth his salt would stage an impromto situation... actions speak louder than well versed words.  That old favourite ... the fire alarm going off is old hat.  Flinging yourself thru the nearest window without assessing the siutation first would be quite foolish.  Expect some tasks.  Recognise the pressure points and use them.   If after nine seconds you feel like you want to leave then calmly stand up, press the emergency button and walk in jerky movements out of the door.  That should give them a clear message and no doubt a huge sense of relief.  Fifteen minutes is an accepted norm to stick it out. Sticky or gritty. If you feel in the wrong place wrong time exit. Trust your instinct.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7psffhcZj30.  Don't beat up your inner boss. 

An old fashioned clean cotton hankerchief (no rabbits or canaries) would be sensible. Masking a sneeze on any twitchy (wot you alone may find hysterical) moment is optional. Wheezing is not. Wear a nice invigorating scent and douse the hanky in it too.  A wee sniff is a good sign of positive nervousness, mind too much snivelling could reveal your coke habit or that you are way out of your comfort zone.  Forget Bridget Jones and any other sob story.  Any awkward silences should be dealt with by the interviewer not the interviewee.  A silent slight tilt of the head is worth more than time wasting waffle.  


Finally, on exit shake the hands of the 'other two', you should have already made eye and much verbal contact,  not unlike a family gathering, save any explicitives until after the warm  'I am very pleased to have met you' or the chilling 'thank you' (your time is up) . Be polite be courteous and should the temptation to mutter 'Boulby inadvertently dug up half your Poly' and or any other cursing and cussing,  on the way out be too much, resist. It may just be you that ends up in stitches... it is often the Boss's boss that escorts you out of the building and asks how the interview went.     


Note -  If you've been called for interview they've already checked your qualifications, references, linked in profile, facebook page,  twitter account, name rank and number.  That process should take 7 minutes.

If not, then hey ho ;-))


As prestigious are these 'job's' are ... if you've been your own Boss then following instructions, schedules and having the discipline to work as part of a tight knit team may seem quite appealing but think twice it could be equally appalling.   These are senior management positions, albeit executive, they require confidence and a huge contractual commitment.

Dimple in chin.

Good Luck.





Benefitz Betty's picture

The Wrong Trousers

The Hiring Squad


"1. You ignore the total package.

Every employee has to follow company rules and guidelines, whether formal or unwritten. Still, some people can't... or just won't.

The skilled engineer with an incredible track record of designing new products while berating support and admin staffs won't immediately turn over a new interpersonal leaf just because you hired him. The programmer who only works Selene hours as if she'll melt in sunlight won't magically transform into a standard-issue 9-to-5er....

Don't assume you can change them. You won't.

... If you desperately need engineering skills you might decide to live with the proven engineering superstar's diva behavior. In the same way, letting a vampire-style programmer work nights may be fine

2. You hire for skills and ignore attitude.

Skills and knowledge are worthless when they aren't put to use. Experience, no matter how vast, is useless when it is not shared with others.... transferring those skills to others is relatively easy. But you can't train enthusiasm, a solid work ethic, and great interpersonal skills.... The vast majority failed due to problems with motivation, willingness to be coached, temperament, and emotional intelligence....   impossible to train attitude.

3. You sell your business too hard.

... Good candidates have done their homework. They know whether your company is a good fit for them...

4. You reflexively hire friends and family.

Sure, some successful businesses look like an ongoing family reunion...  Three relatives working in your six-person business may end up wielding more effective power than you do.

5. Ignoring gut feel.

Nothing beats a formal, comprehensive hiring process--except, sometimes, a little dose of gut feel and intuition.

Always weigh impressions against qualitative considerations. And feel free to run little "tests."

6. You take the wrong chance.

... Why do you take bad chances? You're desperate. Or you're lazy. Or you have "better things to do." Or you figure a bad apple won't spoil the bunch for very long because ..."

The Firing Squad




Ah, so ....



Captain Qahn's picture

Trump 'Sniffles'

Blaming the 'tool' ...


"He also said his microphone was "terrible" and crackled, and that his volume was lower than Hillary Clinton's microphone. He blamed this for what some listeners thought were sniffles by Mr Trump during the debate..."

Hares n Graces

Wi ist trying YCR's 'Be Kint to each other Week' btw ... tis v  triiing.

Bit of ven in Rome n all that ;-)




Ha Ha theres now't like a good old squirm ... as the worms come crawling owt :-))

Rockets n Pockets