How to be Prepared for the Interview


One of the most exciting, and sometimes stressful, parts of the process of finding a new career is the interview. For many job-seekers preparing for the interview is equally as difficult as the interview itself. It can be almost impossible to prepare for EVERY question you may be asked during an interview so the key here is to be prepared to discuss you as an individual as well as what you bring to a potential employer. Instead of worrying about a wide variety of questions, we’re going to go over a few of the key questions a majority of employers focus on and what they’re looking for in their top candidates

  • Why are you interested in this position?
    • An overwhelming number of candidates are NOT prepared to answer this question. Instead of answering with what series of events has led you to this interview, be sure to focus on what interests you about the position and the company itself.
    • Example: DO NOT say:
      • I’m looking for a new job because I recently was fired
    • Example: DO say:
      • I feel like I can bring a lot to your organization. I have _______ years’experience in ___________ (field related to the job) and I’m looking forward to being a valuable member of your team!
  • Tell me about a time when you failed. How did you respond?
    • This is an absolute TEST. Focusing on the positive(s) and how you overcame adversity is the answer your potential employer is looking for and the one you should be prepared to deliver.
    • Example: DO NOT say:
      • "I thought the drywall needed 8 nails, my boss told me it would need 12. I went ahead and used 8 nails and the drywall ended up caving in."
    • Example: DO say:
      • Through my years of experience I’ve learned what to do as well as what not to do. I’ve learned to follow plans and specifications to their requirements and to ask my supervisor if I have any specific questions.
  • How did you hear about this position?
    • This question seems very easy, however, as with many questions it’s important to answer in the most positive manner.
    • Example: DO NOT say:
      • "I was filing for unemployment after being fired. I saw an ad in the paper and figured it was worth a shot."
    • Example: DO say:
      • I saw the posting online (or in a particular publication) and felt like I would be a great fit for your company.

While there is no guarantee of what will or will not be asked during your interview. They key here is to be knowledgeable about the position you’re applying for and to be sure you present yourself as well as your answers in a positive light. Just be certain that you do not go out of your way to shine a light on negatives about yourself as a candidate. Make sure you are applying for a position you are qualified for and be sure you’ve noted any questionable items on your resume and/or application. From there it’s as simple as just being yourself. You and your new employer will both appreciate a positive, knowledgeable candidate.