How to prepare – 5 core questions to be ready for.

In this, the first of many in the “How do I prepare for an interview” series, we cover some good starting points in your preparation for the interview. This article covers some general preparation questions that should be thought through no matter what type of job you are applying for.

We have chosen five questions that you should be prepared for and should have compelling answers to:

  1. Walk me through your resume
    Have a succinct answer to this (2-3 minutes). You can start with the “Summary”. e.g., “If you look at my experience to date, you’ll see that my focus has been onn building exciting, user-focused products in a scalable way.”  Think about how you can follow this up with topical but interesting stories.
  2. Why do you want this job?
    A good way to structure this answer is in two parts. First, why you want to work for the company and are passionate about the mission / business. Second, why you think the role in particular is a good fit.
  3. Why should we hire you?
    There are many ways to approach this one, a good way is to summarise what you know about the role and what you can bring to their team. Something like: “From what I understand about the company and role, it seems you are looking for someone with x, y, z. If you look at my experience and interests, I think you’ll find strengths in all three of these areas. For example, …”
  4. Give some examples of when you have done [skill they are looking for] in the past
    Prepare 2 or 3 interesting stories about when you’ve demonstrated a similar  project in the past. People see past success as an indicator.
  5. Do you have any questions?
    If you haven’t already, get the interviewers background. Have two or three insightful questions about the company, which demonstrate why you are passionate about the place.

Things to remember (before, after, and during the interview):

  • Be passionate about the company. This is so important. Resist the urge to be aloof and cool
  • Show interest
  • Stay positive
  • Always be honest
  • Relax and have fun
  • Thank the interviewer(s) for their time

Remember that all you can do is give it 100%. If you try as hard as you can and still don’t get the offer, there is always the next opportunity.

Hints & Tips, Hints for the Interview