Preparing for your Interview – a 3-ish minute guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you’ve completely left it to the last minute to prep for your interview, have been given basically zero notice, or you just don’t want to read a longer guide. Welcome to the quick and dirty guide to getting ready for your interview. This isn’t going to prepare you to give the greatest interview that has ever been but you can complete all the prep on this list in about 30 minutes, including reading this article. For more comprehensive interview guides, watch this space – we’ll be posting them soon!

Research the company you are interviewing for.

  • Read their website, get familiar with the product.
  • Learn the names of your interviewers.
  • Check out their social media streams, see how they portray themselves online.
  • Read any recent news about the company – have they been in the papers or published any press releases.

Read the job spec

  • People rarely have everything on the spec but be prepared to be asked about anything on the spec.
  • What is the skill you’re weakest on? What will you say if you’re asked a question on it? Prepare an answer. Having the confidence of knowing you can talk about the subject you know least about will buoy you up for the rest of the interview.
  • Think about projects you have worked on that used each skill/technology.

Answer questions concisely

  • Keep your answers to a few short points highlighting the relevant portion of your experience
  • This isn’t a hard and fast rule but 3 points or 2 minutes of talking.
  • Think about how long a good anecdote would be if you were talking to a group of people you don’t know very well.
  • You want to give enough details that everyone understands what happened but there’s no need to describe what you had for breakfast that day.

Use the STAR method to answer situational or competency based questions

  • Be specific – talk about a particular situation rather than speaking in generalities.
  • Scribble down 2-3 example situations now and your future self will thank you.
  • STAR format
    • Situation – set the context for your story.
    • Task – what was required of you.
    • Activity – what you did.
    • Result – how well the situation played out.

Be yourself!

  • A company wants to hire you, not a weird robot you.
  • There’s no point to suppressing your personality in order to get a job, only to be miserable when you start because it’s a bad culture fit.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

  • An interview is a two way process – you need to see if you’ll like working there too!
  • If you’re the type of person who blanks when you are asked “Do you have questions”, write some down now.
  • We’re actually telling you to ask questions – if you don’t ask any questions at all, they’ll think you’re completely disinterested.

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