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What is the best way to prepare for an interview

#interviewing-skills #interviews

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Aoife’s Answer

Hi Samuel,

To prepare for an interview I always suggesting doing this.
Take 4 pieces of paper and putting the following headings on each - 1. The company. 2. The role. 3. About you. 4. Why you are right for this role.

1. Under the title company write down as many things as you can think about that organisation. Who are they? What do they do? What is the product or service that they sell? Who are their competitors? Is there any recent news about them? What markets do they operate in? What challenges are they facing? Keep thinking of points, at least 10 points but more if you can.

2. The role - now do exactly the same thing. What is this job? What is the function? Why is it important? How does it impact the company? What are the skills required? What qualifications? Who do you interact with in this role? What is the career progression? etc. Again at least 10 points.

3. About you? What are your skills? Experience? Qualifications? Achievements? Really think about your own background, experience and how that matches up to the requirements of the role?

4. Why are you right for the role? Write everything you can think of. Your soft skills, your knowledge, your potential, your desire and your future career aspirations. What can you bring to this role and benefit the company? Why should this hiring manager hire you above another candidate?

Then keep reading those pieces of paper. Take them with you on your journey to the interview. Read them again in the waiting room and then put them away. You will find that most likely you will be able to answer any question that comes up in the interview.
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Robert’s Answer

Hi Samuel, first prepare and practice your answers to the 8 Questions You’ll Be Asked in Nearly Every Job Interview:

1. Why are you interested in this job?

2. Why are you interested in this company?

3. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

4. Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?

5. What are your strengths?

6. What are your weaknesses?

7. How do you handle mistakes or conflict?

8. Why should we hire you?


Subscribe to Ladders.com and Glassdoor for guidance answering these questions and other work-related subjects, like researching the organization’s culture and core values to see how you fit in.


Finally, prepare questions to ask the interviewer(s). What are they looking for in an employee? How do they promote work-life balance? Consider your needs and ask to determine fit. Again, Glassdoor and Ladders are great resources for knowing what questions to ask.

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Georgie’s Answer

Hi Samuel!

Great question- no matter what level you are in your career, it is always nerve-racking to interview so don't let the nerves get in your way !

However, it is always best to be prepared. Prepare and learn about the company, what is the companies vision, what do they do best etc. Also, prepare to answer questions that can explain what you are saying. For example, if you are talking about how you work well in a team, have a specific example of when you have applied yourself well in a team. I personally used to refer back to when I did school camp and we would have to work in a team to get each other through the daily hikes and lean on each teammate when we were feeling down.

Also, be curious and remember that you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. You need to know the value you have for a company and make sure you make the best decision for yourself.

The more you interview, the better your interview skills will get and your confidence will come through. Also, practice with your family and friends!

Best of luck with it all :)
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Gloria’s Answer

HI Samuel,

You have gotten great advice. I wanted to add my two cents with areas where I have struggled in the past.

- Make sure that you can discuss key elements of your resume. Sometimes you are asked to verbally go through your resume. That is not a reading of the resume. It is how you would explain your experience. They are listening to hear what you consider important about your accomplishments since you are not going to want to spend a long time talking about every detail.
- Prepare questions for your interviewer. You are naturally going to have questions going in, but these are not really meant to be about benefits or salary. This is again your chance to think about something that is important to you that usually goes below the surface of the interview. This question will depend on who is interviewing you. Sometimes your first interview is someone in Human Resources, not the actual hiring manager. This person you might ask about the culture of the company or more important initiatives for the coming year. If you are talking to the hiring manager, you might shift your focus to a more personal question, such as "How would you describe your management style? How do you like to manage your team?" It is just as important for you to like the person that would be hiring you in an interview than them liking you. As you work through your career, you are going to learn that there is an old adage that is true "People don't leave businesses, they leave managers." Your relationship with your direct manager (supervisor, boss) is always the most important one in any job. Learning about how that relationship will go early can keep you from making a mistake.

Good luck with your interviews.
Gloria
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Alexys’s Answer

Hi Samuel,

This is a great question!


Here are some things that I was consistently asked throughout various interviews for both professional roles as well as interviews for student organizations while I was in college. You should think about how to thoughtfully answer these questions prior to going to the interview.

  • Can you walk me through your resume? With this one, you must understand that the interviewer has likely already viewed your resume. They really want to hear you speak to your experiences that you have written about so that they can understand how you were personally affected and how you grew from the experience. Be sure that you don't spend too much time doing this. Also, do your best to do it from memory and make consistent eye contact rather than using your resume and pointing at things. This should feel like more of a conversation about your resume.
  • Why do you think that you would be a value add to our team/company? This is your chance to humbly explain the value that you will bring to the team. You can speak to your passion about the subject as well as some of your strengths, and how your background might assist in your success at the company.
  • What is one of your weaknesses or a time that you failed or fell short with something? How did you learn from that experience? What might you do to improve upon that weakness?

Furthermore, I would stress the importance of doing your research for the interview. You should do research on the company, the job, the team, and even if given the opportunity, the person that you will be interviewing with. You might start by looking at recent news or publishing's that the company has released. Look at LinkedIn to see if the employees have shared any insight or experiences. Overall, be well rounded in your understanding of the business units and company goals. Relate this to how you might be able to add value or what skill sets you believe you will bring to the table.


Lastly, always have questions to ask the employees throughout the interview or at the end of the interview. This shows that you want to continue to learn more about them and the company.


Best of luck in your internship search and throughout the interview process! You will be great!


Alexys recommends the following next steps:

Prepare thoughtful answers to common interview questions such as the ones mentioned above.
Print multiple copies of your resume.
Do your research.
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Anita’s Answer

Be prepared - know who you are speaking with - check out Interviewers Linkedin Profiles etc
Research the company know exactly what the company does and what the role involves
Prepare sample q'sand go through them with someone before your interview
Give yourself enough time to get to the interview - try to arrive 10-15 mins early so you can relax and prepare
Have questions prepared in advance
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Rita’s Answer

Hi Samuel,

here's my advice. Hope it helps!

Rita recommends the following next steps:

Know the person you are interviewing with and anticipate the questions
Research on the company. Why are interested in joining them?
Why you are a good fit? What skills you have? What past experience?
How this role meet your long-term career goal?
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Chris’s Answer

Hi Samuel,

In my experience, I have found the below the best way to prepare for an interview.

- Research the company, not to an excessive degree but have a good understanding of what they do. I always find having some good facts up your sleeve is beneficial eg, company milestones, company numbers for the last year, number of staff globally, company goals etc .
- Know your CV, I have been surprised by the amount of friends I know who cant talk through their CV. This should be the easiest part, its all about you and you should enjoy talking through your skills and experiences. Have something interesting from your personal life to talk about in a skills and hobbies section. It could be something you think is completely irrelevant but its great for an interviewer to learn something about you.
- Understand the job description you are applying for, prepare yourself to be able to link your skills and experiences from your CV to the job role.
- Come prepared with lots of questions for the interviewer, it keeps conversation flowing and ensures an interview is not all one way.

The biggest thing of all I find with an interview though is to try and enjoy it... I know this sounds crazy as they can be a daunting prospect, but I look at it like this.. An interview is an opportunity you have been provided, the worst thing that can happen is you don't get the job, What you will have gained though is experience and confidence. which you will take into the next interview opportunity you are given.

Good luck!

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Adam’s Answer

I find that the best way to prepare for an interview is:

1. Research the company that you are applying to. You should understand culture, what they do and any other pertinent information that you can find on their website.

2. Understand the position that you are applying for (believe it or not, I have had interviews where the candidate said, "I am just looking for a job and someone called me to show-up here". Needless to say, this didn't go well for the candidate.

3. Make sure your resume is succinct and that you can explain/justify everything that is on there. Remember, the resume is to get you into the interview room. How you explain and promote yourself once in there, is all up to you.

4. Spend some time thinking about the questions that they could ask you. Obviously, there will be technical questions about the actual position, but there will be the dreaded "strengths or weaknesses" question that candidate often feel uncomfortable answering. You don't want to memorize a response so it sounds forced, but you want to be able to talk about it.

5. Remain confident and try not to be worried. Every interview isn't going to result in a job. Take each one as a learning experience and hone your skills. Trust me, the more you do it, the more comfortable you will be.
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Rosalind’s Answer

1) Preparation is key to a successful interview! Take time to know the history and goals of the company you are interviewing with. Ensure that your resume is clear.
2) Make sure to provide detailed information when responding to the questions. Provide what tasks/actions you took for any particular question that you're being asked.
3) Be specific with how you you were able to improve a process, fostered teamwork and how you took the lead, facilitated or assisted with a project to get to the desired end result.
4) Be confident and clear in your responses. Try not to second guess your answers. The interviewer will ask additional follow up questions if needed.
5) Don't be afraid to ask questions.
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Vincent’s Answer

Hi Samuel !

See below few steps to prepare an interview :)

Vincent recommends the following next steps:

Do your research on the company
Be aware of the skills needed for the applied position
Practice the basics questions with a friend or a member of your family
You have to be able to present yourself in less than 3 minutes. (where do you come from, studies, why this career path, why this position ... )
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Katcha’s Answer

Perform some research about the company; know some basic facts/info and understand what you like about the company that can be highlighted during the interview.

Understand the role and basic requirements.

Be prepared to speak about your experiences and resume content.

Ascertain skills required for the role and based on previous experiences, highlight transferable skills such as problem solving, collaboration, accountability, communication etc.


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Anita’s Answer

Hi Samuel, First of all I would like to tell you that it is a great question to start your preparation. I also read all the answers and you have got very good pointers from everybody. I would just like to add my inputs on the question - what is your weakness? Pl. keep in mind this is a very common question and hence you should be read with your professional weakness which you can share. Most importantly you need to mention what have you done or what are you doing to overcome it. Never say that you don't have any weakness as everyone has weakness but while answering try to focus on how you are working to overcome it. Hope this helps, thanks !

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Nandita’s Answer

The best way to prepare for an interview is definitely practice, practice, practice. What helped me a lot was responding to popular interview questions out loud and in a front camera, so I can see exactly what an interviewer would see when I am speaking. Recording these responses allows you to watch them back and notice things like eye contact, presentability, and other minor details you may not notice by just thinking of a response in your head. Aside from this, it definitely helps to know your resume well and have an elevator pitch ready to go, with your name, majors, studies details, work experience, etc. - this should be something you are confident in!
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Anahi’s Answer

Preparing for an interview is crucial to increase your chances of success. Here are some steps to help you effectively prepare:

1. Research the Company: Learn as much as possible about the company you're interviewing with. Understand their mission, values, products/services, target audience, recent news or developments, and company culture. This knowledge will enable you to tailor your answers and demonstrate your interest.

2. Review the Job Description: Thoroughly analyze the job description and note the key responsibilities, required skills, and qualifications. Identify examples from your own experience that align with the requirements and be prepared to discuss them during the interview.

3. Anticipate and Practice Common Interview Questions: Develop thoughtful responses to commonly asked interview questions. Prepare examples that demonstrate your skills, achievements, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork. Practice your responses out loud or with a friend to refine your delivery.

4. Highlight Your Accomplishments: Identify your accomplishments and be ready to discuss them in a concise and compelling manner. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your answers, focusing on the impact you made in previous roles.

5. Prepare Questions to Ask: Prepare a list of thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer. This demonstrates your genuine interest and engagement. Inquire about the company culture, growth opportunities, or specific aspects of the role that you would like to know more about.

6. Dress Professionally: Choose appropriate attire that aligns with the company's dress code and industry standards. Dressing professionally shows respect for the interview process and leaves a positive impression.

7. Practice Non-verbal Communication: Pay attention to your body language, maintaining good posture, making eye contact, and offering a firm handshake. Practice maintaining a calm and confident demeanor throughout the interview.

8. Research the Interview Format: Determine if the interview will be in-person, over the phone, or through video conferencing. Familiarize yourself with the platform or technology to ensure a smooth experience.

9. Prepare Necessary Documents: Organize any documents you may need, such as copies of your resume, portfolio, reference contacts, or identification. Bring them in a professional folder or briefcase.

10. Take Care of Logistics: Plan your route in advance if the interview is in-person, ensuring you arrive on time. If the interview is virtual, ensure your internet connection and equipment are working properly.

Remember, interview preparation is key, but it's equally important to stay authentic and be yourself during the interview. Present your qualifications, skills, and enthusiasm with confidence, and demonstrate your genuine interest in the position and company.
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Simeon’s Answer

The most important tip is to network; make as many friends as you can related to your field. Reach out to those people you felt comfortable around and shared good chemistry with. If you make a connection with someone in the company, the pressure to perform perfectly in the interview won't be as high.

Interviewers know it's difficult to really know a person during an interview, so they are usually scanning for basic interpersonal skills. Show that you can work well with others, motivate yourself, and push through stressful situations calmly and efficiently. Try to have four or five stories about yourself from the past and try to redirect questions toward these stories during the interview. Make sure to choose instances from your past that highlight your positive qualities, including your ability to learn from or perform during difficult situations.
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