How to prepare for an interview

how to prepare for an interview

There are few things in life as daunting as the dreaded job interview, especially for that job you really, really want. Many people feel intimidated by the interview environment. Unfortunately, for those of us living in the real world, job interview is hardly avoidable. And yet they never seem to get easier! With that in mind, here are a few tips to help get you prepared for that tricky process.


Do your research

It may seem obvious, but make sure you know exactly what you’re applying for! Not only the job itself, but also the company, the team you’ll work with, and what is going on in the industry. This will help you to answer the most important question – why you want the job.


Make the interview a conversation

Remember, while your interviewer may not be as nervous as you, they’re just as keen for everything to go smoothly. It can’t be much fun repeatedly asking the same questions to a handful of candidates, particularly if the answers are short and brief. That means giving some depth to your answers, and providing examples to back up your statements – not simply saying yes or no!

If during the interview you find anything interesting, or you’d like more information, ask! It will help the interview flow more smoothly, and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job. It’s also a good idea to have a few questions ready before you get started.


Structure your answers

You should also make sure your responses are well-structured, particularly where you’re required to demonstrate how you would tackle certain situations. Many experts recommend the STAR technique:

    Situation – What was the context of your story? What was the problem needed to be solved?

    Task – What exactly did you have to do?

    Actions – How did you go about tackling the problem or achieving your aim?

    Result – What did you achieve? (This ought to be something positive, obviously!)

Answer the question

With that said, if an interviewer asks you a question, it’s usually because they want to know the answer! Don’t feel you must dive in straight away; there is nothing wrong with pausing to give the question some thought. And, if you’re not entirely sure about the question, clarify with the interviewer before answering. Once you have got your answer, don’t be afraid to speak for a while. However, answer only with irrelevant information and always stay on topic!


Have some questions ready

There comes a point during the interview where the hiring manager asks if you have any questions.

Our advice: if you respond with “no” that is not the answer they’re looking for. Have some questions ready! They don’t have to be all about the job, but can be more human, too – for example, you may wonder what the interviewer enjoys most about the industry, or what the working culture is like at the company. Questions that show you’ve really thought about working there.

Good luck!


This article was originally published on TURF, Hong Kong’s office property and lifestyle hub.