Preparing for an interview can be overwhelming, but there are several steps you can take to improve your confidence and approach.

In this article, we create a 5-point interview checklist.

1.   Review the details of the job description and research the company. Do this with purpose and focus, make specific notes.

  • What is the company’s challenges? / What problems will they be expecting you to solve?
  • What hard/technical skills will they value?
  • What soft skills will be important?
  • What words and phrases do they use?

2.   Identify your 3 key strengths that are relevant to the role.  Using the notes from your research, identify your key experience relevant to the role.  Identify hard skills (i.e. project/client management, specific IT skills) and soft skills (i.e. collaboration, teamwork). Consider why they are important to this role and how you can demonstrate these strengths in a relevant context. Practise Answering – What key skills to you bring to the role?

3.   Be clear on why you want to work for this company and why this job.  Be specific.  Identify as many reasons as you can, write them down, then choose the most interesting, the reason that most resonates with you.  Be authentic, specific and be honest. Practise Answering – Why do you want to work for this Company?

4.   Be ready to answer the behaviour-based questions.  Behavioural questions are based on the idea that past behaviour can determine how you will react when faced with a similar situation. They usually start like,

  • Describe a time ……
  • Can you tell us about …….
  • Give an example of when ……..

Hiring Managers are looking for actual examples and details.  Your answers should showcase the key skills required for the role i.e. project management, problem-solving, data analysis.  The STAR or CARB method provides a simple framework for providing a detailed and easy-to-understand example.  Using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) or CARB (Challenge, Action, Result Benefit) approach, give examples of your work which demonstrate context appropriate to the role.

5.   At the end of the interview you will have an opportunity to ask questions. Be prepared.  Your questions should demonstrate your interest in the role and provide an opportunity to check if the company is the right fit for you.

  • How do you evaluate success in this role?
  • What personal qualities are the most important for succeeding here?
  • How would you describe your organisation’s culture?
  • What do you find most challenging about working for this organisation?

Our final tip…

Prepare, practise, practise and practise.