Interview preparation is the main reason some people are successful in interviews and others aren’t. Many people don’t prepare properly, and stumble through interviews, mumbling stock answers, and wonder why they never get the jobs.

Let’s be clear about this – Simply reciting common answers to interview questions really isn’t good enough. The interviewers have heard these standard answers many times before, and they really don’t impress. How impressed would you be if you heard the same answer to a question 20 times in one day?

Lack of preparation also creates some serious vulnerabilities for interviewees who will inevitably be caught out by unexpected questions. You can’t really parrot your way through an interview and expect to succeed.

There’s no such thing as a One Size Fits All interview preparation. Every job is different, every interview is different, and if they have a few things in common, that doesn’t mean the right answer for one interview will be right for another.

You need to prepare for every interview. You need to research the job, ask questions about it, and consider your answers. Don’t get lazy, get busy. It will be worth it.

Preparation basics

We’ve created a few interview preparation tips to help you. When you’re doing your job interview preparation, be prepared to put in some time to prepare well. Best practice is to do your preparation in stages.

First stage: Researching the job.

When preparing for an interview, start by thoroughly checking out the job description. The job description contains a lot of very useful information, including essential job skills and desirable skills. It also contains a valuable overview of the role, which is critically important to your preparation.

Find out what the job involves; the type(s) of work and duties you’ll be doing, and consider the description of the role in context with the business of the employer.  As an experienced person, you’ll be able to join the dots and visualize the job and the priorities of the employer. In an IT job, seeing job descriptions including “system maintenance” and “Help Desk” will tell you a lot, for example. Pin down the really crucial, high value work related to your job.

Second stage: Preparing for interview questions

Focus on the essential skills in the job description. These are the top priorities for your interviewers. The most important interview questions and answers will definitely require you to demonstrate these skills. Problem solving, “going the extra yard”, and other practical questions will naturally relate to these skills.

OK, how do you show that you can do the job? By giving examples of your skills and knowledge. Seems simple, but remember– You need to include this information in your answers. How do you demonstrate your Help Desk skills, for example? How do you put these skills in context with the job description?

These are the things you need to consider when preparing for your interview. Plan ahead, anticipate the questions, and consider your answers. Show your best skills and knowledge in all your responses to interview questions.

We hope you find these interview preparation tips useful. Be prepared, and you’ll succeed.