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How do you prepare for an interview?

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Palak’s Answer

Interviews are typically behavioral based. Employers want to know how you acted in specific situations. I utilize the STAR method when interviewing - discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation.

I suggest thinking of 3-5 different eventful scenarios in your life (work, personal, school). In most cases, you will be able to frame those examples to answer the behavioral questions. For ideas on types of behavioral questions - a quick google search will do.

Best way to practice is in front of a mirror. Smile when answering the question (especially on the phone - it will reflect). Dress of the job - both in person and on the phone.

Best of luck!

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Kim’s Answer

Review the company's website! You do not want to ask questions that are readily answered on the website. You need to show that you want to work for THAT company, you are not just after a job. I was asked once, "What can you tell me about my company?" No, I had not memorized the names of the top executives, but, I did know the area it serviced (electric company), other services it provided, their community outreach, and where it was I wanted to be in 5 years (school safety programs!)

A client once interviewed at a credit union. They asked her the difference between a credit union and a bank. She did not know. . .

So basically, do your homework about the company. And, as the other answer says, do your homework about yourself. Know what is on the resume/application you gave them. Have an elevator pitch, a short answer to "tell me about yourself" and answer for "We are interviewing 3 candidates, why should we hire you?" Your strengths and weaknesses, etc.

When you give your answers, do not recite them from memory. You need to speak candidly, the answers need to sound fresh.

Now, I usually recommend that people interview someplace they DON'T want to work, prior to interviewing with "the dream job." I call it "the practice interview." Don't feel bad about "using" them. Companies do it to us all the time. They already know who they want to hire, but, are required to do three interviews, so , you get the call. . .

Hope this helps!

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Carissa’s Answer

Here are some helpful things I did to prepare myself for an interview

- Try to remember any conversation you had with a recruiter previously. If applicable, bring it up in an interview. This isn't to name drop but simply to show that you are paying attention and interested. For example, when I first met with a recruiter for my current job, I saw him at the career fair and he was showing interested students a medical device. This was odd because it was a business fair, but I paid attention and remembered what the device was, and was able to talk about it in my interview. The interviewer was extremely impressed that I remembered what it was and that I showed genuine interest in the company.

-Do your research on all fronts. You should know about the company, their values and what they say they stand for, and any major headlines that have come up in the industry or about the company recently. Also, please know the job description inside and out! If you know what specific skills they talk about in the job description you can use the same language in your interview when talking about your experiences and it'll be like buzz words for the interviewer

- Dress for success! Be comfortable and conservative. You don't have to over think this but I would suggest looking at maybe some google images of people in your field and how they dress. It's better to be overdressed than under-dressed.

- You don't have to be rehearsed, but definitely think through your answers to some of the major questions. For example, have an answer to the "tell me about yourself" question. You're going to want to be concise, but detailed at the same time. Some of the answers before mentioned the STAR method and I highly recommend researching that and practicing answering questions in that format

- be confident and smile. Never underestimate the power of a smile. It put everyone at ease and helps relieve some of the tension during the interview. Try to be as conversational and go with the flow as possible. It's harder than it sounds, but try to treat the interviewer as just a random person you're talking to (professionally speaking) instead of someone giving you a job.

Good luck!

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Jackie’s Answer

There are a few steps to take in order to prepare yourself for an interview:

1. Professional Appearance: first impressions are key in an interview make sure you are dressed according to the job description and are groomed appropriately as this is deemed of importance in professional mannerism

2. Be Prepared: ask yourself any questions you believe this employer may ask you and make sure you have a clean cut answer. Creativity is also key during this process because you want to stand out to other employers; therefore, add an experience or a story, something you believe can really have them remember your interview process

3. Know your audience: I would advise you know who you are talking too; if you can do research about the company the property, the employer, etc., anything you think that will impress them because your interest in the company should show how much you know about it.

4. Body Language: make sure you are tentative during this process with proper posture as well as eye contact, engaging in what the employer is saying and what he is looking for in your application.

Always remember to relax and smile, guide your way through the nerves you've got this!

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Nicole’s Answer


There is a lot of valuable information in the comments below- I would definitely agree with prepping 1-2 scenarios for every experience in your resume, using the STAR method, and doing research on the company website. As a recruiter, here are some other tips I have picked up:
1. Look up the company on glassdoor- often previous candidates post interview questions on there so you can practice.
2. If you know who is going to interview them, look up their profile on LinkedIn beforehand and see their experience- you may note some similarities that you can casually mention to make you both more connected and it will help you feel more comfortable knowing a little more about the person you will be chatting with
3. Grab key points from the job description- often, the managers will work with HR to write the job description so there are a lot of insights in there as to what exactly they are looking for in a candidate
4. If it is a phone interview, always stand and smile while answering questions because it changes the way you sound

Good luck!

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Silas’s Answer

I would recommend looking up all the people you are speaking with on Linkedin. Additionally, you should come prepared with extra copies of your resume and questions specific to the role that are insightful and relevant. Lastly make sure that you are prepared to discuss why you are not just interested in the company but what about the role interests you.

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Kalie’s Answer

I would start by reviewing the company’s website and getting a very brief overview of the industry they are in and what their core values are, which can be found in their mission statement.

Next I would make sure your resume is up to date and you are very familiar with what you have listed. Be prepared for the interviewer to ask you about anything on your resume and have 1-2 lessons/stories on the lessons you learned from that experience.

Finally be confident! Remember you are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you! Be sure to ask questions that are meaningful to you and think about what you are looking for in a company. It probably would not be a bad idea to write down a few things you would like to see in a company (such as work/life balance, culture, growth, etc.) and be sure to get an idea of the interviewers views on the company.

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Joseph’s Answer

Whenever I want to prepare for an interview I tend to take the steps below. I try to keep things simple and always remember to be honest. Lying in an interview will only hurt you in the long run and give your employer a false sense of what you are able to do.

1. Research the company. Understand their business model and get to know what makes their product special. Always read their mission statement it gives you a great idea of what that company is about.
2. Research the industry. What are 5 things going on in that industry?
3. Look up the person who is interviewing me. I will always check their linkedin and better understand where they have worked and what their role in the company is. Then I prepare 5 questions for them. I want these questions to be unique for that person due to their role in the organization.

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Bailey’s Answer

Hi Kim,

When preparing for an interview I typically start by researching the company, see what they're working on, see what initiatives they're taking that you can bring up and ask about in your interview. I also look up the position at the business on glassdoor. Often times for bigger companies, someone who has interviewed there will post their interview questions so other applicants can better prepare. Once I have those questions, I try to think of answers that I can then tie back to experiences on my resume. Having good examples of skills you have on your resume really bring your experience to life. I also always make sure I have a good answer for these 3 questions as they have been asked on most all of the interviews I have had:
1. What is your greatest strength? (Have an example)
2. What is your greatest weakness? (Be honest, but also provide an example as how you are trying to overcome it.)
3. Give an example of when something went wrong at work, how did you handle, how did it turn out?

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John’s Answer

Write down five sentences you want to make sure to say during the interview. If you can't give them as specific answers, add them on to other answers. "One thing I'd like to add is . . . " You can also mention one or two of them as the interview winds up.

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Doreen’s Answer

1. Do research prior to the interview.
2. Be as knowledgeable as possible.
3. Be confident. But not arrogant or cocky.
4. Practice answering the questions in the mirror.
5. Anticipate questions and take notes. Ask permission to use your notes.
6. Have a firm hand shake and good eye contact.
7. Ask a little about the interviewer.
8. Prepare at least three relevant questions.
9. Ask for next steps.
10. Thank the interview and don't forget to send a handwritten thank you card.

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Jamie’s Answer

i usually look up different STAR questions (Situation, Task, Action, Resolution) and find an example from my own career. I continue to write out my questions and answers so i can build them into memory. Also creating a 30,60,90 action plan for the desired position. Be sure to have a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses . Make sure to shadow a few people in the role you are looking to obtain. Do you research on the position!

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Emily’s Answer

Hi Kim,

I agree with all the above answers. One thing to add is to bring a list of questions of your own. Most interviews end with the interviewer asking you what questions you have. At this point you should have 2-5 questions (depending on length). I would recommend preparing more than this as some questions can get answered prior to this point in the interview. Good luck!

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Dalena’s Answer

Are you asking about how to prepare for interview for college admissions, or for a job?

The good news is the prep isn't too different - there's a lot of advice earlier about how to prepare for a job interview, if you translate that to the college e.g. research on the college and its history, its strengths. Prepare answers to generic questions like:
- Why did you apply to this college
- Why did you apply to the course you did
- How do you think you can contribute or be an amazing addition to the college

Also what Palak said above about behavioral-based questions is very true. I work as a recruiter so my job is literally to interview people day in and out for my company....we are usually looking for some hard skills (which should be reflected on your resume or application already - this usually gets you shortlisted for the interview) and more importantly to suss out your traits, values, personality and behavior from the interview. So you might expect some past scenario questions to see how you handled some situations and your learning points. And you may also expect some hypothetical scenarios thrown at you to see how you think on your feet.

Good luck!

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Estelle’s Answer

Have an adult you respect work with you to fine tune questions and answers. Most interviews ask similar questions, so an adult who has interviewed applicants & been interviewed is a good source.

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Yumin’s Answer

The preparation for an interview really depends on the position, company, and industry that you are interviewing for. There are two main kinds of interviews: behavior and technical. I will share some high level information about technical interviews here.

For Software Engineers positions in many high tech companies, interviews of fresh out college graduates are mainly about coding without requiring particular domain knowledge. Candidates will be asked to solve general technical problems to demonstrate their capabilities in at least the following 5 areas:

Design data structures and algorithms to solve the problem
Write the code
Test the code
Analyze runtime and data complexity of the solutions
Describe possible adjustment if the original problem is tweaked a little bit, such as what if the problems size grows by 1000X

Early preparations for such technical interviews are mainly about knowing data structures, algorithms, and being proficient in at least one coding language, such as C++, Java, or Python. Then do at least one mock interview by describing what data structure and algorithms to use, writing clean code on a white board, and answering questions from the mock interviewer.

Of course, throughout the interview, candidates are also demonstrating how they communicate with others, how open they are to feedbacks, and how effectively they act on feedbacks. Ultimately, interviewers need to decide whether they feel confident that the candidate is competent for the position, whether the candidate is a good fit for their projects, their group, and their company. Candidates should also use the process to see whether they are inspired to work with the interviewers and their group and company.

So for technical interviews, prepare early to be technically strong and be your true best self during the interview. Best of luck!