Job interviews are stressful. A little preparation can help you feel more confident.

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For each interview, create an Interview Prep Document.

Try It!

  • Start a new document on your computer in Word or Google Docs.

  • Title it “Job Interview Prep - Company Name."

  • Add to this document as you read each section below.

Employer Information

Interviewers like candidates who are interested in their organization, not just any job.

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Try It!

Spend an hour reading the company website and take notes.

Find and add to your document:

  • Mission, vision, and values

  • Hiring process

  • Benefits

Annotate The Job Description

Review the responsibilities and qualifications in the job description. Compare them to your own skills and experiences.

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Try It!

Copy the job description to your document for easy reference, then add related comments and questions.

Write down for each:

  • Your related experience

  • Gaps in your experience

  • Clarifying questions for the interviewer

Sample Job Description

The Dino Zoo is seeking an experienced Dinosaur Trainer to empower our dinosaurs to grow and to educate the public about dinosaur awareness.

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Responsibilities

  • Implement strategies to keep dinosaurs within their habitats.

  • Teach young dinosaurs to communicate with humans.

  • Present educational talks on dinosaur-related topics.

  • Write quick reference guides on dinosaur facts.

Quiz

Which previous job example would you highlight to show that you have applicable skills to keep dinosaurs within their habitats?

Herded cats at the Cat Sanctuary

Taught a monkey sign language

Gave presentation about dog facts

Wrote job aids at vet office

Answers To Common Questions

After a detailed review of the job description and your notes, prepare possible answers to common interview questions.

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Try It!

Use your notes and the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Results) to write at least 5 stories from your experience related to the job description.

Practice

Write down your answers and practice them out loud. This will help you remember them and pick the most relevant experience to share during the interview.

Questions For The Interviewer

Remember: You are interviewing the company too. Ask questions to learn more about the job and the company. This will help you figure out if it's a good fit for you.

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Try It!

  • Collect questions from your notes

  • Group related questions

  • Prioritize questions per interview phase (recruiter, manager, coworker, offer)

Sample Questions

  • What's most challenging about this role?

  • What should I expect to accomplish in the first 3-6 months?

  • What do you like most about working here?

Take Action

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Now that your research and preparation is done, you are ready to approach your interview with confidence.

Next, prepare for behavioral interview questions by learning more about the STAR technique.

Before each interview, review your Interview Prep Document for that job so the information is fresh in your mind.

Good luck in your next interview!

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This Byte has been authored by

KA

Kitzzy Avilés

Learning and Development Leader and Facilitator