How to Interview

Step 4: How to Interview for Jobs


  1. Copies & Folder.  Make copies of all your relevant documents and bring them in a folder.  Some HR people even assume that you will provide them with a copy of your resume at the interview.
  2. Confirmation.  Call the evening before the interview if it’s in the a.m. or call the morning of the interview day if it’s in the afternoon to confirm.  (This makes you look organized and professional.)
  3. Show-up 5-10 minutes early.  Showing up too early sends a bad message.  It puts undue pressure on the Hiring Manager to accommodate you and it actually shows that you’re not a good manager of your time.
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We also like to go the day before to look around and get a feel for it all.  Like a trial run.  It makes the actual process run much smoother and stress free

Mock Interviews

Interviewing is like anything else, you get better at it with experience.  If you haven’t interviewed in awhile, we suggest finding a friend to run you through a Mock Interview using something such as

The fact is, you just don’t know what the interviewer is going to ask.  Assume they are going to ask the questions you least want them to ask and have answers ready.  HR types look through 100s and 1000s of resumes, and can sort through the BS at a glance.

What to Wear?

It partially depends on the job.  If it’s a management job or one of the better teaching English jobs, go with a suit, tie, and dress shoes.  If it’s a job with an agency, a suit and tie sans jacket is more appropriate.

Keep in mind that teachers in Thailand are expected to wear a dress shirt, tie, slacks, and dress shoes to work.  You might notice that the Thai teachers are not similarly dressed.  Well, they’re also making 25% of what you’re making.  So deal with it.

What to Do?

  1. Smile (After all, this is the Land of Smiles.  And don’t think a smile to the Thai staff will go unnoticed/unappreciated.)
  2. Be polite and courteous while you wait.
  3. Expect to shake hands with the interviewer.  Not too hard and not too limp.  There are many psychological studies that have shown that jobs are won or lost on this interaction alone.  Occasionally, the interviewer will be a Thai, but as it’s likely to be a Thai accustomed to Western culture, he’ll expect to shake your hand.  On the other hand, if he ‘wais’ you, then reply accordingly.  Above all else, don’t force a Thai to shake your hand if they don’t want to.
  4. Eye Contact.  While shaking hands, make eye contact.  Maintain eye contact throughout the duration of the interview.
  5. Hands.  Keep them comfortably in your lap.  Don’t put them over your face.  Don’t put them in your pocket.
  6. Speaking.  Speak clearly and confidently
  7. Be comfortable.  You’ve read this blog and followed our advice.  You’re ready for this interview, and you’re going to get this job!

What to Say?

Realize that the interviewer has spent countless hours reading through emails, cover letters, and resumes.  They’ve spent countless more replying to job seekers and scheduling interviews.  And now they are spending even more time doing interviews?

What’s the point?  Their time is limited and very valuable.  They know what they’re looking for and what questions to ask in order to get a feel for you.  So, let them lead the interview.  Don’t take over the interview.  Don’t go on 5-minute diatribes, story-telling, etc. to answer a simple question.  More talking does not equate to a better answer.  Sometimes more is less as they say.  With every word you add, you have as much chance of doing harm to your candidacy as improving it.

Remember, it’s a dialogue, a conversation.  It goes both ways.  Engage in a conversation as you would normally, with a slightly greater amount of deference for the interviewer.  But don’t over do it.