How to Master the Art of Interviewing

How to master the art of interviewing

Mastering the Art of Interviewing: Tips from a Mindset and Leadership Coach

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences for both interviewees and interviewers (yep, even Hiring Managers admit to getting butterflies before an interview!). We get it; interviews can be a whirlwind of emotions. The pressure to make a positive impression, showcase your skills, and secure the job can be overwhelming. But we’ve got just the thing to help you ace your next interview – insights and tips from the fabulous Mindset and Leadership Coach, Chloe Bannister!

I had the pleasure of chatting to a great friend of Octopus Personnel, Mindset and Leadership Coach, Chloe Bannister, to explore her invaluable insights and tips to maximise your interview success. Chloe’s got the inside scoop, having spent years on the hiring side of the interview table. I caught up with Chloe to tap into her wealth of wisdom and practical advice that’s sure to take your interview game to the next level.

With the right guidance and preparation, anyone can master the art of interviewing. So, let’s delve in and read what Chloe has to say about mastering your next interview!

Understanding your value.

K: Confidence plays a crucial role in interviews. It can make a significant difference in how you present yourself, communicate your qualifications, and handle challenging questions. But how do we ditch those pre-interview jitters?

C: Well, first things first, I don’t think you’re ever going to overcome nervousness and anxiety completely. I think that it’s a sign of care – it shows that you want to make a good impression and are really interested in the job. So, the key is to work with them, not against them. I always go back to the phrase ‘proper prior planning prevents poor performance’! Catchy, right?

K: That’s certainly going to stick in my memory! So, how can we channel that nervous energy into something more productive?

C: It’s all about self-awareness. Understand what’s making you nervous, and you’ll be better equipped to tackle it. It might be a feeling of imposter syndrome or you’re not as good as other candidates. A self-awareness helps to focus on what is within your control, which is prior planning.

I think that if you really understand what is needed from you for the job, you can work out what you can actually offer to it. Understanding your own value and uniqueness is key.

This is what coaching can do. We help people to understand what their strengths are, what they might need to do a bit of work on, and where their little brain worms come from that are causing that anxiety and self-doubt – what we would call a limiting belief.

K: How can you tell when its more than a bit of interview nerves?

C: There’s always a baseline of nervousness that comes naturally from caring and wanting to do a good job. But if they morph into thoughts like ‘I’m never going to be good enough for the job’ that’s when we need to shift gears. Is this true or is it a limiting belief? In my sessions, I would explore that and understand what you’re going for, why you’re going for it, what you’re going to bring to it and working with you to turn that limiting mindset into positive beliefs. In my coaching sessions I don’t assess anyone’s strengths and weaknesses. Instead, I facilitate people to assess themselves. No one knows the answers better than you. My job is to help you focus to find those answers in a relaxed, non-biased space.

K: You also offer group sessions Chloe. How does that differ from your 1:1 sessions?

C: It works a little bit differently. It’s still client-led, but it’s a bit more open. There is a small group, maybe 5 people, and there’s a lot of camaraderie in listening to other people describe how they’re feeling. People start to go, “oh, its not just me who thinks that”. There is real value around having an open conversation, learning, and communicating with others in a safe space. Listening to others gives you perspective on what’s in your control and what’s not. People worry so much around things that are entirely out of their control within an interview situation, and coaching helps them gain the perspective of what they can focus on.

Chloe’s top tips for job interview success.

K: There’s not much you haven’t seen in your experience as a Hiring Manager. What’s your biggest tip for mastering an interview?

C: I think the biggest common mistake is that people don’t prep before they come to an interview. Research the job you’re going for and really think about what you bring to the table. What are your values? What do you want from the job? What kind of company culture are you looking for? What can’t you bring to the job? Think about these things before the interview and there will be very few unexpected questions. And you’ll help the nerves by focussing on what is in your control. So yeah, prior preparation is a massive one.

There are also just really simple things like turn up on time and show interest. So many people don’t have questions, but potentially you’re going to be working there a long time. The interview is a two-way conversation. Its not just whether I want you on my team. Its whether you want to be in my team – so what do you want to know about working there?

K: Are there any big no-no’s during an interview?

C: I think the main thing is to be respectful of previous employers. Explain why you left if you’re asked but don’t dwell on it. Focus on the job you’re applying for and what you want to know about it. Showing genuine interest is impressive and will win you some serious interview brownie points.

K: What’s the one question everyone should ask their interviewer?

C: I think it’s a really good idea to ask the person interviewing you what they like about working there. What is it that keeps them with the company? I think, personally for me, culture is so important, you want to feel comfortable and happy where you work, right? So don’t shy away from asking questions that matter to you.

The Power of Preparation.

Now that you’ve got the scoop from Chloe, it’s time to rock your next interview! Remember, preparation is your secret weapon in mastering the art of the interview. Researching the company, anticipating common interview questions, and thinking of some of your own for the interviewer are all integral to mastering the art of interviewing.

Don’t forget that interviews are a two-way process. Its just as important for you to find out whether you want to work for the company and your interviewer will appreciate your enthusiasm and interest. The right prep will give you confidence and help you focus on what is inside your control. Try not to worry about things that are outside your control and remember that nerves are a sign that you care. And we all get them!

A massive thank you to Chloe for sharing her incredible insights to master your job interview. If you’re interested in finding out more about Chloe’s 1 to 1 sessions and online group workshops, check out her brand new website Make sure you follow Chloe on LinkedIn for expert insights and advice, webinars, offers and more.

Happy interviewing. You’ve got this!


Want to read more interview tips, check out these handy Octopus blogs Nailing an Online Interview in 4 easy steps and Craft the perfect interview response or go to our Blog and search on Candidate Top Tips.

Katherine Bending

About the author

I oversee the office and work from home jobs here at Octopus, including finance, sales, marketing, buying and admin roles.

The team are absolutely fantastic here at Octopus.  I love that the same level of care and support between our team is mirrored in our client and candidate interactions, which is what sets us apart as a brand.