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Interview Preparation Template

Posted on 12 June 2021 by Wallace Myers Team

Introduction

Preparing for an interview can be a daunting task. Taking stock of your entire career and what is needed for a new role can be a large endeavour, so it’s important to have some sort of plan to tackle it.


If you’ve been called for an interview, you should have the full job description for the role. This document is very important as not only does it outline most of what your new job will be, it can also serve as an indicator for some of the questions you may be asked. Read through it carefully, think through your experience and see if you can match your skills and abilities to what is required. A great way to do this is to prepare examples of times in your working life that you have demonstrated certain skills and competencies (further detail later). It is impossible to prepare for every single question that could be asked, so prepare for the obvious and be confident in the fact that you will have covered quite a bit.


This company is an excellent company to work for and I imagine the interview will be tough, so I would suggest that you thoroughly prepare for the interview. Below are some guidelines to help you prepare.

About You

1. Be able to explain your previous roles clearly and concisely, outlining daily, weekly and monthly responsibilities while also highlighting the parts of the role that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.

  •  Be methodical in how you communicate this, it is important that you can clearly talk through the process of a particular task. Only then will the interviewer feel confident that you have done and can do it!

2. Think of the context of your previous roles i.e. why you joined the particular company? Why you left each position.

  • Again try keep it relevant to the position you’re applying for and be positive. There is no need to give too much information, and anything negative could hurt you.

For example: Interviewer - Why did you leave your last position?

Wrong Answer

  • The department was very busy, and unstructured. The systems were also very poor so I wanted to move on.

Here you are highlighting challenges that they may be facing so it’s important to stay away from anything that could leave you exposed.

Correct Answer

  • I really enjoyed my time with the company and left on very good terms and I’ve got very good references from the role. I learnt a lot in the role and decided to leave in order to develop my career.

Whilst this is quite general, it is important that you try and put a positive spin on your answers. For example: It was a contract role – I enjoyed my time there and they did want to keep me but unfortunately they weren’t able to make me permanent.

3. Prepare for questions that are less task focused:

  •  Examples of working as part of a team, communication skills, interactions etc.
  • The structure of previous companies/roles and more importantly where you sat within that structure. It is very important that they can see that you can work in a similar structure to theirs.
  • Future endeavours i.e. where do you see yourself in 2 years?
  • Answer in such a way that shows that you are hardworking, realistic, but also have a desire to progress.

For example: Interviewer - Where do you see yourself in 2 years’ time?

Correct Answer

  • Hopefully in a role like this for a company like this. I’d like to come in and pick things up fairly quickly and within the first year I’d really like to get a full grasp of things and be in full control over the position. Maybe in the second year if there was any extra responsibility I’d welcome it. If after 2+ years if there was an opportunity of promotion of course I would be delighted. After that, who knows.

An answer like this shows that you are realistic, hardworking but still want to progress in due course.


The questions for the above may be structured in a competency or behavioural based manner. The STAR Method is a great way for preparing and answering these kind of questions.

Situation/Task: Think of a situation or a task where you demonstrated the skill/competency in question (this sets the scene of the example).
Actions: Identify what action you took
Results: Outline the results of your actions; what positive impact was had due to your action

Don’t try to memorize your examples word for word. It will not sound natural to the interviewers’ ear.

 

About the Company


1. Research the company - memorise some important facts about their business.

2. Think of some genuine reasons why you want to work for them

3. Make it clear that you are interested in the role be sure that you can explain why.

For example: I am looking to work for a multinational in an SSC environment. The company have a good reputation and I was very excited when Tarik called me about the role. It’s a good fit for my experience and what I was looking for.


Questions You Can Ask


Don’t forget that interviews are a two way process. They are as much of opportunity for you to learn about the company and judge whether or not you want to work them as much as it is a way for them to assess you. Asking questions can also help you to tailor your achievements to exactly what they need. Below are examples of questions you could ask:


1. Why has this position become available?
2. What are the 3 most important things that need to be achieved by the person in this role in the coming year?
3. What type of person is successful at your company?
4. How is success in the role measured?


I hope this helps your preparation. Good luck!!!

 

Next blog: Wallace Myers Interview Tips

 

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