Interview Myths #2 – ‘Interview preparation is all about memorising’

The detail required to prepare for an interview largely depends on the level/band of the job. For instance entry-level roles require basic preparation, whereas advanced level roles require more detailed preparation. The same preparation used for an entry-level role cannot be extended to that of an analyst level role.

In addition. there are basics that everyone must know for any interview these are the

  • company’s name
  • what services/products they provide
  • basic history of the company.

This is information everyone should know about their company at the bare minimum. Often, knowing the bare minimum for an interview is not sufficient. This is where the purpose of this post comes into place, listed below are important interview questions to practice/prepare for any interview. 

Questions:

  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. What is your greatest strength?
  3. What is your greatest weakness?
  4. Why should we hire you?
  5. Why do you want to work here?
  6. Describe a time you demonstrated leadership skills.
  7. Describe a time you worked successfully in a team.
  8. How would your co-workers describe you and why?
  9. Why do you want to change your current role?
  10. Describe a challenging situation you encounter and how you overcame it.
  11. Describe an accomplishment you are most proud of.
  12. What are your interests outside of work?
  13. Describe a time you had to deal with different priorities
  14. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  15. Tell me about your leadership style
  16. Describe a time you made a mistake.
  17. Describe a time when you worked with a person with a conflicting personality.
  18. Describe a time you had to learn something quickly
  19. Do you have any questions for me? (the hiring manager)

It is important to note, preparation does not refer to memorising information about a company. Although, memorising and practising interview questions help with preparaing for interviews. But,  I like to think of it as a thoughtful process of understanding more about the job and industry you have applied for; identifying how your current skills are aligned to the job you would like to enter. Ultimately, the interview process assesses how well your current skills/experience fits in with the company, and communicating the potential that you have as a applicant. For instance, a Financial Analyst role requires applicants to possess numerical skills so in the preparation stage applicants needs to reflect on whether they have such skills; to what degree, do they feel like they can complete some of the tasks listed in the job description and so forth. 

When preparing, practicing, and eventually answering interview questions, the STAR technique is very useful click here for more information on the STAR technique. Also, there are standardised answers online to the questions below, in case you are unsure about the best way to structure your responses.

In summary, preparation is important for interviews at all levels. However, preparation does not mean memorising; but rather a thoughtful process of assessing how well your skills and experience are aligned to the company you would like to work for. 

– Sarah Ngan

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