Home | CV/Resume | Interview

Letter of Application

The Interview

Interview Advice 


We are assuming that your Cover Letter and CV have got you an interview. Don’t be late! Do a ‘dummy run’ the day before if you can. Make sure you know your way. In terms of gaining points out of ten you will lose six or seven if you are late no matter how ideal you are. This is especially relevant within the animal husbandry industry.


Sadly, some interview processes are a mere formality, something that has to be gone through but they already have somebody lined up for the job. If that is not the case then the person they have in mind for the post is YOU! You got the interview, right? They want you. They want you to show them that they have made the right choice. So go for it!


You really need to prepare for interview. Be prepared to answer questions AND to ask them too. Don’t leave it to the last minute. You did your homework researching before you applied for the job, right? There must have been questions which sprung to mind. No doubt others will spring to mind during the interview process. You will be given your opportunity to ask questions once the formal interview is over.


Under normal circumstances your interview will be ‘one to one’ but sometimes it will be an interview panel. Whichever it is, stay calm, breathe slowly and steadily and free your mind of ‘junk’ thoughts. Listen, think! Then answer clearly.

The worst type of interview is when several candidates for the same post turn up together and are expected to ‘compete’ for the position.


During your time of interview you may be introduced to other members of staff, left with them for a while perhaps…it may be the secretary in the zoo office or someone else. Be aware that they may be weighing you up. These full time employees opinions count. Be friendly, be honest.


Shake hands with your interviewer. Maintain eye contact…but don’t stare like a mad thing. Remember that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.


For a zoo post you would not normally be expected to wear a suit for interview but you must be neat and tidy. Bring with you any relevant paperwork. Letters of reference are not usually expected these days but your interviewer will telephone and talk to your present and past employers.


Don’t smoke (even if asked). Switch off your mobile. Find, and use, a toilet before the interview starts.




The possible questions that you may be asked at interview are endless, they are determined by the interviewer, and everyone is different. How to answer? Pause. Think! Then answer truthfully.


See sample questions


What are your Weaknesses?

What are you most unhappy about in your current job?

What do you know about our zoo?

Where do you think your strengths lie?

Why should we hire you?

Why do you want to change jobs?

How do you feel this interview is going?

What, about the advertised post particularly appeals?

How do you cope with workplace conflict?

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?


Try and think of the five worst questions that the interviewer could ask you. Only you know what these are. If you can answer them satisfactorily to yourself you can be confident you will perform well.


Answer clearly. Be precise as possible but avoid one word answers. Never lie! You will be found out! Watch your body language. Show some enthusiasm. You applied for the job…you want it… right?



The interview is over. Normally you will be told to expect a phone call or letter within a week. If not, ask when you can expect to hear from them.


Good Luck.