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Friday, January 9, 2009

Interviewing in 2009: Let’s get Ready….By Lucy Zhuang

You may have interviewed numerous times and gained solid interview skills in the past, in this article I want to share some of my experiences from a Recruiter’s point of view and share some ideas on interviewing successfully with Oracle.

1. Be prepared – I am not focusing on interview skills like eye contact, dressing accordingly, being confident, etc… Other than those, please really be ready for any single interview mentally. Don’t let good opportunities pass you by because you already have a wonderful job. I have some candidates who are not quite motivated to change their jobs currently, so they just go to interviews very casually without any preparation. If you are not motivated to move, tell the Recruiter politely that you would like to try some other opportunities later on. Don’t go to an interview knowing you are not ready to move from your current role. You may end up damaging your personal brand with that company and potentially lose the opportunity to explore future opportunities as you may be perceived (correctly or incorrectly) as “the sheep that cried wolf”.

2. Tell a story and paint a picture - Understand what behavioral based interviews measure. Behavioral based questions are designed to assess individual competencies by measuring your past successes. Using S.T.A.R. a well known and also my favorite method to give an example you can recount your experiences and provide examples of how you overcame challenges at work? I found many candidates with great experience failed to give good examples to demonstrate their experience. S.T.A.R method, that is Situation – Target - Action - and Result, can help you. Use one or two sentence each to describe the Situation and Target, put most emphasis on Action part, and one or two sentence to give the Result. This can make your example expressed in a clear and logical way.

3. Have an open communication with your Recruiter. The Recruiter should know the job requirements. Open and honest communication with Recruiters can definitely help you to win an opportunity. Many of my candidates try to collect information from their friends who used to work with Oracle or guess by themselves what we are looking for. Sometimes, the information is correct and helpful but sometimes not. Talk to the Recruiters directly if you have any questions or concerns regarding the position, and I am sure they are willing to help. The best thing to do is to have open and honest communication so we can ensure you have the information you need to be successful.

4. Write a “Thank you” letter promptly after the interview. In China, it is not very popular to write a Thank You letter however, a Thank You letter is not meant just to say Thank You but you can also highlight or re-emphasize some of your skills/experience required that you noticed the hiring managers focus on during the interview. It is a professional and polite way to engage with the Company and genuinely thank someone for their time.

The author of this article has been with the Oracle China Recruitment Team for the past two years and can be contacted on


  1. Nice suggestions.

    Here in Australia, if an interview is arranged via an agency, then subsequent contact without the agency is forbidden. So thank you letters are often hard :-(.

  2. Hi Alec, Yes I agree, I think one of the benfits of Oracle having an Internal Recruitment Team in Australia is that we are able to be more transparent in the recruitment process than if a 3rd party was involved.

    Thanks for the comment...David Talamelli

  3. The only advice on interview skills I can tell you is just study what questions will most likely be asked. If you study those over and over along with answers it might help a little. I also get very nervous durring and interview. Dont say "umm" a lot. Thats one of my problems.
    Interview Tips


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