The most effective interview advice

Over 30 years and thousands of interviews I have experienced pretty much every variation of good and bad imaginable. I have researched hundreds of articles and, allegedly, best advice, but in my experience, 3 facts stand out more than most. In particular – the first – likeability.  Over 80% of the time, the decision goes in favour of the person clients like the most, not necessarily the candidate who seems to be the closest match.

I hope you find the following tips helpful at your interviews. Trust me they work!


Although you may have the academic achievements and work experience, likeability is more important.

  • What do you genuinely like about the company?  Let it be known!
  • Feel free to give a genuine compliment to the interviewer;
  • Chat about a non-related job topic that you and the interviewer find interesting;
  • Be interested in the interviewer and their task – what type of person are they looking for and how does the position fit in the overall organisation?
  • Be enthusiastic about the position and the organisation;
  • Smile and maintain eye contact!


  • If you do have a weakness, give your credibility a boost and discuss early;
  • For your positive aspects, modesty is vital.   Always try to retain your strongest attributes until the end of the interview.


  • If you make what seems like a major mistake, don’t over-react. The chances are that it is far more noticeable to you than to others, and an excessive response or apologising could just draw more attention. Instead, acknowledge if appropriate, and continue as if nothing had happened.


Mike Johnson's photo

Mike Johnson

Founder at JOHNSON BIM