How To Prepare For An Interview

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There is one thing all interviews have in common and that is the need to prepare. Adequately preparing will put you in the best possible position when walking in for the interview, not to mention it will do wonders for your confidence – an interview skill in itself. If you have a big interview coming up follow these tips to prepare so you won’t be left searching for the signs you have got the job – because you will have the confidence in yourself not to need it. That said, there are some tale-tell things interviewers say when you have got the job and there is no harm in looking out for them, for peace of mind.

Know Yourself

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It sounds silly but first and foremost is you must know your resume and application inside out. It is likely you will be questioned on any or all of your application documents so be sure you know them. It might sound simple because your resume is your story but if there are details on there that are a little hazy or you need to remind yourself of then make sure you do it before the interview. You want to be able to answer any questions regarding your resume quickly and coherently, it is not a hurdle you want to fall down on. It is also a good idea to marry up the job description and requirements with your previous history and current skillset so you have this fresh in your mind as it may well come up in the interview. 

Research the organization and the role

One thing that is universally accepted is that prospective employers love candidates who know their firm and have spent time researching it. Carry out thorough due diligence of the company and the industry as a whole as you may be asked about it, together with the contribution you could bring. Consider the company itself and the role as a wider part of the industry it functions within. For example, if you're looking to secure a job in the fast food service sector, you might want to research what is demanded of the role industry-wide, this might give you a better answer to the query of “what questions might Chick-Fil-A ask?” if you were interviewing for them. If you were interviewing for another business in the same sector, most of your learned knowledge of the expectations of the role would carry over, this can be beneficial if you interview for several different roles, as you'll only then have to research the specifics of each business to tie everything together. Another popular question is why you would be a good fit for the role and the business itself. So, the more you can tie in your qualifications with the job role and give solid reasoning for wanting to join the company, based on your knowledge of it the more your interview will stand out. Showing you have spent time learning about the company, the industry, and the role will show your passion for the job and earn you some serious brownie points with interviewers. 


Make a list of questions that you think are likely to come up in the interview and spend some time writing out answers and practicing them. That is not to say you need to learn your responses verbatim, rather you just need a solid direction in which your answers are likely to go. Here are some typical questions that are often asked and having skeleton answers for these types of questions will always stand you in good stead. 

  1. Why do you want this job?
  2. Why do you think you would be a good fit for this job? Company? Position?
  3. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  4. Tell me about a time when [insert relevant situation to the job in question]
  5. What motivates you?
  6. What are your long-term career aspirations?

It is also a good idea to put together a list of questions you would like answers to yourself, as this will really impress prospective employers. 

Be Personal + Specific  

When answering questions try to be as specific as you possibly can. Tie in answers to examples or personal experiences relevant to your career history. Employers are put off by generic wide-ranging answers. They want detail and career confidence from you to show that you know and have what they are they are looking for. A great way to narrow down your answers is to give examples where you can be as specific as you can to make your interview stand out and be one that they remember. 


Finally, there are few housekeeping rules to abide by when undertaking an interview. A few simple things you can do beforehand to ensure you are prepared and ready on the day;

  1. Don’t drink alcohol the night before, it will make you tired and leave you feeling a bit fuzzy on interview day. You certainly won’t be on your a-game with a hangover.
  2. Get a good night’s sleep, being over-tired will not do you, your interview technique, or confidence any good.
  3. Relax, try your best to stay calm and collected. Consider using apps such as Headspace to help keep you calm and relaxed beforehand or the night before. If you have done your prep you can walk in knowing you have done your best and that you have the toolkit to get through. 

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