Top four tips for preparing for a job interview

May 23, 2017 3 mins read
Top four tips for preparing for a job interview

Passing a job interview could be considered an art form. Condensing your entire job experience into one hour not only requires the interviewer's skill, but also the interviewee's co-operation and ability to make a lasting impression, too.

Although the specifics of an interview vary enormously based on the company and position in question, there are always fundamental elements to every interview that you can prepare for.

1) Motivation for the job

These days, employers put considerable emphasis on the candidate's motivation for the position. "What attracted you to this position?" "Why are you leaving your current position?" "What is your planned career path?" are all examples of conventional questions that an employer may choose to ask you. What you need to pay attention to when preparing for these questions is the congruity and consistency between your answers. In order to respond adequately to these questions, a candidate needs to simultaneously analyse their motivations, the background of their potential employer, and the requirements of the job advertised. I would advise candidates to compare the differences between the responsibilities outlined within the job description and the responsibilities of their current position.

2) Past job experience

Describing your past job experiences is usually the focus of a job interview. The employer (especially if they are not just your employer but also your potential new boss) will require you to describe your past work experience in a relatively detailed way. Some employers may choose to ask you to describe a particular project or job you worked on in order to guide the interview. I would advise the candidate to mentally organise their work experiences and past work procedures, such as previous projects that they participated in or the core work functions that they fulfilled during their time in a particular position. Because this question and the necessary preparation for it differs depending on the position advertised, here are a few examples: for an investment management position, the employer may be inclined to ask more about your past investment cases; for a job as an analyst, they might be more inclined to ask about your analytic research methods or your knowledge of a certain industry; an interview for a management position might require you to analyse possible scenarios, etc.

3) Ask yourself: If I succeed in getting the position, how will I go about performing my new job?

Think about what elements will be intuitive from the beginning versus which ones may pose a challenge; are there any responsibilities that you are not sure about? Asking yourself this question can help you to better understand both the position and themselves—as well as providing them with potential questions that they may want to clarify during the interview.

4) Don't be long-winded when discussing yourself and your work experience; however, don't be laconic, either. Be sure not to spend too much time on one question: seize the point of the question, and then provide a fitting, logical response.

Alan Li's picture
Alan Li
Operations Director, Greater China