How do I prepare for an interview?

Answer by Matthew Wyndowe:

I find the best way to effectively prep for an interview is to have answers to the below five questions. Having good answers to these questions will ensure that you have done your research adequately.

1. Walk me through your resume.
Have a succinct answer to this (2-3 minutes). You can start with the "headline". e.g., "If you look at my experiences to date, you'll see that I'm very focused on building exciting, user-focused products in a scalable way."  Make sure your answer has some interesting stories.

2. Why do you want this job?
A good way to structure this answer is in two parts. First, why you want to work for the company and are passionate about the mission / business. Second, why you think the role in particular is a good fit.

3. Why should we hire you?
One effective structure for an answer goes something like this: "From what I understand about the company and role, it seems you are looking for someone with x, y, z. If you look at my experience and interests, I think you'll find strengths in all three of these areas. For example, …"

4. Give some examples of when you have done [skill they are looking for] in the past.
Prepare 2 or 3 interesting stories about when you've demonstrated a similar  project in the past. People see past success as an indicator.

5. Do you have any questions?
If you haven't already, get the interviewers background. Have two or three insightful questions about the company, which demonstrate why you are passionate about the place. Then end with one of these "what are you most proud of since you've started working here?", "where do you see this team/company in 5 years", or the best: "how would you describe the ideal candidate for this position?" (if they remotely like you they will describe you.)

Things to remember (before, after, and during the interview):
– Be passionate about the company. This is so important. Resist the urge to be aloof and cool.
– Be interested in the interviewer.
– Be positive.
– Be honest.
– Relax and have fun.
– Be thankful for people's time.
– Remember that all you can do is give it 100%. If you try as hard as you can and still don't get the offer, that's life.

How do I prepare for an interview?


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