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Staying on Track and Answering Questions Effectively in an Interview

Scitex has been helping candidates get into exciting roles in New Zealand for 36 years. Over time, we’ve gathered rich insights into how job seekers can perform well when interviewing and what it takes to succeed. This series is designed to help candidates preparing for interviews, with the aim of supporting you to perform at your optimum so you give yourself the best chance of a job offer!


So, you’ve been selected for an interview – congratulations! This is a fantastic achievement and a testament to your skills and qualifications. No doubt the Managers meeting you are excited to learn more about you and how you can contribute to their team. To help you prepare and perform as well as possible, here are some tips from our Talent team to help you answer interview questions more effectively and stay on track.


  • Time Management: Keep track of time during the interview – aim to answer questions within 2-3 minutes, unless the interviewer indicates they want more details.
  • Let the Interviewer Lead: Allow the interviewer to guide the conversation and ask their questions – avoid going off on tangents or steering the discussion away from the intended topic.
  • Focus on Specific Information: Recognize that the interviewer has information they want to gather from you. Address the specific points they inquire about without providing excessive background.
  • Seek Clarification if Needed: If a question is unclear, politely ask the interviewer to rephrase or clarify it, avoid making assumptions about what they meant to ask.
  • Confirm Understanding: After answering a question, inquire if your response addressed their query adequately. This shows attentiveness and gives you a chance to adjust if necessary.
  • Prepare for Common Questions: Anticipate common interview questions and practice concise responses in advance. Tailor your answers to align with the specific job requirements and company values.
  • Pause Before Responding: Take a moment to process the question before providing your answer.
  • Follow a Clear Format: Answer questions briefly and directly first, then provide relevant background information if needed.
  • Recognize Rambling Signs: Be aware of signs that you might be rambling, such as people losing interest or trying to interrupt you.


Remember, staying focused and concise during an interview will showcase your communication skills and make a positive impression on the interviewer. Practice these tips to improve your interview performance and increase your chances of success. Good luck!


To learn more, here are some more articles in the series:

💡Tips for In-Person Interviews

💡How to Improve your Confidence at Interviews

💡Tips for Virtual (online) Interviews

Or, if you’re at an earlier stage in the process, here are a couple of articles helping you improve your CV: level one here and level two here. Once you’re happy with your CV, if you’re seeking a new role and you’d like our teams help, we suggest joining our talent pool, here.



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