This is a collection of different tips and advice I’ve given to help prepare for interviews. I've summarized it here and will work to update it when relevant. Feel free to message me if you have questions or want to suggest changes.
Get Advice and Be Yourself
If you are working via a recruiter or a referrer, I recommend calling or meeting with them a few days before the interview and after reviewing these details. Remember to be yourself, come prepared and treat the interview as a discussion.
The 'Interview' is a Conversation
You want this to be a conversation about yourself, the managers and the company and what you both might be able to do together. Ideally, you want to be able to build a basic relationship with the people involved. An interview is an opportunity for the future as well.
- 2 x Hardcopies of your Resume/CV.
- Additional portfolios, letters of recommendation or project documents that you feel will be relevant to discuss during the interview.
- Notepad/Notebook for taking notes during the discussion.
- Any application forms or additional documents requested by the company.
- Research the company website, online search about the company and any relevant projects, announcements. ContentGems is a great place to pull in various news sources.
- Research the backgrounds of the interviewers including their past companies, educational background and recommendations on LinkedIn, the company website or another platform.
- Prepare at least five questions specific to the role, company and/or research which aren't answered on their website. Good question: why did the company decide to pivot into gas filtration recently? Bad question: where is the HQ for the company?
- Plan how to get to the interview location so you reach at least 15 minutes early.
- Business professional attire/outfit/clothing matching to the industry. When in doubt on the ideal dress code for the interview, talk to someone in the same company or who knows the business.
Key Areas - All interviews revolve around a few key points. Make sure you are clear about these points and ready to demonstrate them before the discussion.
- Your interest in their model and focus in the market.
- Your listening, communication and troubleshooting skills.
- Your thoughts about challenges, issues and barriers to what they are doing and how you think it can be overcome.
- Your relevant experience in similar areas and projects.
- Your motivation to take on the challenge that this role offers.
Common Questions - It is helpful to prepare or review answers to common interview questions.
- Tell Me About Yourself? Prepare a 2 to 3-minute overview of your background, expertise and interest in having this discussion.
- What do you know about our company? Reference your research on the company and background. Mention 2 or 3 key points and what you are interested in about the company.
- How did you learn about this position? Use this as an opportunity to mention a few points about what it is about this role that interested you in exploring further.
- What is your current salary? Recommend keeping this to a range at this point in time. “I make around 200 to 250K per year depending on incentives and base salary”. Consider reading about the ethics of salary negotiations.
- What are your compensation requirements? Recommend keeping this open at this point in time. “I’m generally open to a fair package inline with my experience and the structure here. I do think its a bit early for me to say what salary will be right. Salary is important but getting the right role is most important for me.”
- Why are you looking for a new position? What is it you are looking for in terms of challenge, growth, opportunity. Recommend keeping this to things that are possible in the role. Practicality wins out during first discussions.
- What are your strengths? Think through 2 to 3 things that you feel are strengths in terms of your ability to do the job. Ideally, these are things which you have evidence for. Consider reading about how all strengths are weaknesses.
- What are your weaknesses? I recommend talking about 1 or 2 things that are known development areas for you that you are working on and have evidence of addressing them. I do not recommend choosing “fake” weaknesses like “I work too hard”.
- Do you have any questions? Prepare based on the checklist items above.
These are some links to additional resources to help prepare for your discussion.
Quora Interview Tips / Questions - https://www.quora.com/topic/Job-Interview-Questions
Career Adivce on Forbes - http://www.forbes.com/careers/#6fc3824a5384
Career Planning from HBR - https://hbr.org/topic/career-planning
Interview Tips from the ‘Interview Guys’ - http://theinterviewguys.com/