This article is part of a series that highlights key themes from our student library – a collection of documents that helps you navigate updating your resume, preparing for interviews, and meeting with future employers. Sign up for Vocate, complete Level 2 and receive full access to our student library. These short posts provide a snippet of our resources that can help you unlock your potential. For more information, be sure to sign up for Vocate.
Interview Prep Overview
Interview prep can easily seem overwhelming. But if you follow our guidance, we can help you efficiently simplify your preparation. Your overarching goal during the interview is to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job. You must do this while the interviewer assesses whether you’re fit for the position. She will ask you questions that evaluate your skills, cultural fit, and career goals. The purpose of an interview from an employer standpoint is to mitigate risks. Therefore, it is imperative you think critically about your responses to these themed questions, as the employer wants to ensure you are not only the right person for the job, but also the right person that will stay with the company for a while.
There are three key areas to study during your interview prep. First, you need to thoroughly research the company. You should have an understanding of the company before going to the interview. Study their basic information such as year founded, mission and values, users, products and its industry. Then you can expand your research to learn about the company’s competitors and where it stands in its respective industry. Next, you should have comprehensive strengths and weaknesses identified (for more info on crafting strong strengths and weaknesses, read this article). Finally, prepare a personal story. Vocate can help you compose a short and clear personal story during a student interview.
These three areas of preparation will help you coast through common interview questions. Interviewers will ask you three types of questions. Future employers will usually prompt you with Fit Questions. These are fairly straightforward and begin with “Tell me about a time you overcame a setback, solved a problem…” Your response should stress how you overcame the hurdle, because the interviewer is most interested in your course of action. Next, your interviewer will challenge you with a Brain Teaser. These are oddball questions designed to assess your logic and thought process when faced with a seemingly impossible question to resolve. Finally, interviewers will ask Case Questions. These are extensions of Brain Teasers that are more applicable to the company. The employer will ask you to solve a business problem that she has spent a great deal of timing thinking about.
If you study the three critical areas during your interview prep, you will be properly equipped to answer the three most common interview questions. For a more comprehensive interview prep read the overview in our library, available to you once you reach Level Two on Vocate.