How to Prepare for an Interview: Our Best Practices
As a recruiter, I get a surprising amount of questions from my friends and co-workers about the secrets of my profession. People often wonder whether this or that is a red flag. Is it ok to swear during an interview? They like to ask about the funny anecdotes from my job. What was the worst interview of your life?
But, on top of that, people seem not to understand the goal of most of the interview questions. Do you create some kind of a psychological profile?
If you have similar uncertainties, this article will hopefully help you understand what recruiters look for during the interview and help you prepare for the role of the interviewee.
Your motivation to change the job is the key topic of the agenda of every interview. We want to find out whether we, as a company, can give you the opportunities you are looking for. We also want to see whether similar motivators drive us.
How could you prepare? Try to think through the answer to the four questions below. What is it that you:
- Don’t have now, but you would like to have in your next job?
- Don’t have now and you wouldn’t like to have in your next job?
- Have now that you would like to have in your next job?
- Have now that you wouldn’t like to have in your next job?
You can refer to company culture, relationship with peers and manager, benefits and compensation, learning opportunities, localization, work-life balance, the size of the company, the technologies used, the projects, etc.
Try to focus on both the positive and negative sides of your previous job experiences. Even though, in my opinion, it is acceptable to criticize some aspects of your previous companies, you should be as constructive as possible.
Do you know the “Give me an example of a time you had to…” type of question? They are called behavioral questions, and they are, for sure, puzzling because you have to remember a particular situation from your work experience.
Why do we ask them? Because we want to assess your soft competencies and by analyzing particular situations from your past, we can understand how you acted and if you demonstrated the needed skills.
**How could you prepare? **The crucial advice here is: be honest. If you talk about a situation that hasn’t really happened (or has not happened to you), you will probably be disclosed by the interviewer. One thing you can definitely do to prepare for behavioral questions is to recall several situations where you:
- proposed a solution and took the initiative,
- faced a conflict with a co-worker,
- failed at something,
- were overwhelmed by the number of responsibilities,
- achieved something you’re proud of, or
- had to work under pressure.
The exercise of writing down the specific situations from your work-related life will help you crack the interview, as well as become more aware of your weaknesses and strengths. Having done this preparation, you will probably be able to come up with interesting and valuable answers for most of the behavioral questions.
It’s always disappointing for a hiring manager to realize that the candidate doesn’t know anything about the company they are applying for. Rarely do we expect advanced knowledge about our mission, history, or services, but the basic knowledge about the company profile is a must.
How can you prepare? The easiest way is to visit the company website and read the “about us” section. If you would like to do more, it’s always cool to:
- look for the current company’s employees on LinkedIn,
- check the company’s Social Media,
- look for the company’s profiles on external websites
If you’d like to work at Polidea, you could take a look at our profile on justjoin.it.
At Polidea, we always reserve the last 15 minutes of the interview for your questions. Often, candidate’s questions are so relevant and interesting that they definitely raise their chances of being hired or invited to the next stage of the process. The good questions show that you want to make a conscious decision, and you know your priorities.
What can you ask about? It makes sense to ask about the company:
- the number of employees,
- plans for the future, company values.
You can also ask role-specific questions about:
- what tasks will I have,
- who is going to be my direct manager,
- what would be my career path.
You can, of course, ask about perks and benefits, but I would not recommend choosing these as a subject of the first question.
If you’d like to get to know more tips on how to prepare for the interview, check out this article written by our CTO. It will give you a nice sneak peek into the recruitment process specific to Polidea!
People & Culture Lead