Job Interview Preparation Checklist - (2023)

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1 Job Interview Preparation Checklist

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Preparing for a job interview can be nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t know where to start. Job interviews, in general, are for a lot of people a stressfulexperience. Your key to success is to keep your anxiety under control in such a way that you can manage your stress. Solid preparation can contribute to this and will help you sharpen your focus during the job interview. In other words, good preparation helps you beat your pre-interview stress.

If you’re well prepared for your interview, you can actually use your natural stress level to your advantage. An appropriate amount of stress can increase your productivity level and keep you on your toes during the interview. This is when you’re the sharpest version of you, and you will perform at your best.

In this blog, an 18 question job interview preparation checklist is discussed. Make sure you know how to answer each one of them in general. If you can do this, you have a good indication of what the company does, what markets they’re active in, what they’re company culture is like and who you will be talking to.

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If you know the answers to these questions, you’re already one step ahead of the competition. Of course, there is a lot more work to do after this, but it can be used as a solid foundation to build your further preparation upon.

18 steps to a successfuljob interview

  1. What does the company do?

First off, start by finding out what the company actually does. Do they sell products or services? What are these products or services? Try to find out what it exactly is that they do. Write down the name of their (most popular) products/services to get familiar with what they do.

Research the company website and about us page. Also, Google them to see what comes up.

  1. What industries are they active in?

When you find out what they do you most likely understand in which industries the company is active. However, make sure to dig a bit deeper to find out all the activities of the company and in which industries they sell their products and/or services. Again, make sure to look up the company website, particularly the about us and company strategy pages.

  1. Do they have any subsidiaries?

How is the company organized? Where are they exactly located? Is the company part of a larger organization or do they have any subsidiaries? If so, what do their subsidiaries do? In which markets are they active?

  1. How many employees do they have?

This question speaks for itself. Find out how large the company is. Try to find information about the specific department in which the position that you applied for became available. This information is usually available on the company website. If you can’t find it there, try a Google search to get more information about the size of the company and its departments.

  1. Who are their biggest clients and competitors?

By knowing who the company’s biggest clients and competitors are you can get a more clear image on who the company is selling their products too and who is

  1. What is their company mission?

Interviewers like to ask job applicants what they already know about the company. Again, this question has asked for two reasons. Firstly, to see if you did your homework and took the time to research the company. Secondly, the interviewer wants to find out what’s important to you based on the company mission and if there’s a match.

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The mission of a company can usually be found online on the company website and/or social media accounts.

  1. What are their company values?

During your job interview, it’s very likely you will get values-based interview questions. These questions are asked to identify if you share the same values as the company. If you share similar values, the chance is higher that you will fit better into the workplace. In turn, this increases the chances of you staying with the company for a longer period of time. Therefore, it’s important for companies to ask such questions to job candidates.

Therefore, always expect to get value-based interview questions during your job interview.

  1. What is their company culture like?

Just like values-based job interview questions are questions that regard the company culture asked to ensure that a job candidate they hire will be a good fit for them. Prior to your job-interview make sure you look at the company website, and social media accounts for clues to get an idea of the company culture. Try to get an idea of daily work practices, previous successes and how they were celebrated and any other news or stories that could give you some more insights into the organization.

Also, make sure you ask questions during the interview to get to know more about the company culture. Think of questions such as:

  • What was the last big achievement for the company that was celebrated?
  • How does the company measure success and over what time frame? How are these metrics determined?
  • What learning and development opportunities are there for employees?
  1. Is the company more corporate or more casual?

To get an impression of the dress code,have another look at the social media accounts of the company. Also, review the company website to see if there are any pictures of the employees and the office itself. This way you will get a good impression of how the employees dress and how you should dress to the job interview.

It’s important to remember that without even saying a word you already made an impression based on your interview attire. Therefore, make sure you dress the way as is expected from you.

  1. What do the employees say about the company?

Researching what (former) employees of the company have to say about them will give you valuable insights into what working for the company is really like. On websites such as Glassdoor, you can read actual company reviews by employees. You can learn a lot from other people’s experience within the company to get a better view of what working there will be like.

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  1. Is the company currently expanding?

This question is important to get to know if the company is growing or has the potential to grow. For you, as a job candidate, it means that you can grow with the company if they’re expanding. The company career page will give you a good view of the current job openings. If there are a lot of openings in a lot of departments you can ask questions about this during the interview too. Ask questions such as:

  • In what ways did the company grow in recent years?
  • How does the company view employees being a part of the growth?
  • What’s the company’s view on future expansion, growth and reaching into new markets?
  1. Has the company been in the news lately? Why?

Google the company, check news sites and the company blog. This way you can show that you are aware of recent company developments during the job interview.

  1. Did the company host or participate in any large events recently?

Were they for instance present on any trade fairs or exhibitions? Did you see them there or did you hear about it from someone else? Check the social media accounts, company website and their blog for any news or updates about any large event where the company has been preset.

  1. Who are the company’s competitors?

Chances are that you will get a question about who the company’s competitors are. This question is asked to see how well you know the field and the companies with which the company is competing. The answer you give to this question shows whether you’ve had a good preparation for the job interview and have some global understanding of the industries in which the company is active. Therefore, it’s important not to only research the company to which you’re applying but also it’s main rivals.

  1. What are the company’s unique selling points?

What does to the company do that is unique? In addition, what makes their products and/or services different that their competitors? A unique selling point is a unique quality and explains how that specific quality benefits the customers of the company. Check the company website to figure this out and try to get your hands on some marketing materials used by the company.

  1. What distinguishes the company from its competitors?

The unique selling points, also called unique selling propositions, as described under 15. are what makes the company’s products or services different than the ones of the competition. For instance, does the company use differentiation to provide superior value to its customers at an affordable price? Are they using different differentiation strategies for their products, services, distribution channels, etc? Do your research so that you get to know this.

  1. Who will interview you?

If you figure out who will interview you, you can do background research on them. If you don’t know, ask the recruiter, human resources department or your contact person who will interview you. Make sure to figure this out up front so that you know if you willbe meeting with one or more interviewers. Figure out what their names, titles, and roles are within the company.

  1. What does the interviewer do in the company?

Find out what the interviewer exactly does within the company and what their history is. You can use this during the interview if there’s any common ground between you and the interviewer.

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Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers

Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!

  1. Accomplishments
  2. Adaptability
  3. Admission
  4. Behavioral
  5. Career Change
  6. Career Goals
  7. Communication
  8. Competency
  9. Conflict Resolution
  10. Creative Thinking
  11. Cultural Fit
  12. Customer Service
  13. Direct
  14. Experience
  15. Government
  16. Graduate
  17. Growth Potential
  18. Illegal
  19. Inappropriate
  20. Job Satisfaction
  21. Leadership
  22. Management
  23. Performance-Based
  24. Personal
  25. Problem-solving
  26. Salary
  27. Stress Management
  28. Teamwork
  29. Telephone Interview
  30. Tough
  31. Uncomfortable
  32. Work Ethic


What are the 10 most common job interview questions and answers? ›

50+ most common job interview questions
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Walk me through your resume.
  • How did you hear about this position?
  • Why do you want to work at this company?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What can you bring to the company?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
Jan 4, 2023

What are the 5 hardest interview questions and answers? ›

The most difficult interview questions (and answers)
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What's something that you didn't like about your last job?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • How do you deal with conflict with a co-worker?
  • Here's an answer for you.

What are the 5 Ps of interview preparation? ›

  • Don't show up to an interview disorganized or disinterested. Employers are tired of it. ...
  • First, prepare. ...
  • Next, practice. ...
  • Be professional. ...
  • Always participate. ...
  • Finally, infuse passion and personality.

What are the three P's to the perfect interview? ›

The 3 P's for interview success
  • Prepare: Like any exam, the more prepared you are, the less nervous you will be and a more relaxed disposition with ensure a more controlled and confident delivery. ...
  • Practice: Practice the delivery of your prepared answers. ...
  • Presentation:

What are killer questions? ›

What are killer questions? Killer questions are questions that are asked to candidates who register for a specific job advertisement and have the effect of filtering applications and carrying out a very first screening action.

What do you say in Tell me about yourself? ›

Key Takeaways
  • Structure your answer in a way that makes sense. Stick to the past-present-future format, and you're all good!
  • Keep it relevant and brief (1-2 minutes max). No one wants to hear your whole life story.
  • Mention any of your top achievements and relevant work experiences.
7 days ago

How do you respond to why should I hire you? ›

The first thing you should do when answering “why should we hire you?” is to highlight any skills and professional experience that are relevant to the position you're applying for. To make your answer all the more valid, make sure to always back up everything you say with examples, experiences, and achievements.

What are the top 3 interview mistakes? ›

Top 5 job interview mistakes
  • Being unprepared.
  • Dressing inappropriately.
  • Talking too much or not enough.
  • Criticising previous employers or colleagues.
  • Failing to ask questions.

What not to say in an interview? ›

You'll make sure that your awesome abilities and accomplishments—not a totally avoidable faux pas—will be what your interviewer remembers.
  • “So, Tell Me What You Do Around Here” ...
  • “Ugh, My Last Company…” ...
  • “I Didn't Get Along With My Boss” ...
  • 4. “ ...
  • “I'll Do Whatever” ...
  • “I Know I Don't Have Much Experience, But...”
Aug 2, 2022

What is the golden rule of interviewing? ›

3 golden interview rules: be prepared, be professional, and most importantly, be yourself. The call you've been waiting for has come. A hiring manager wants to interview you.

What are the six tips to ace your interviews? ›

6 Tips to Help You Ace Your Next Interview
  • Do your research.
  • Understand your “why.”
  • Be prepared for uncommon interview formats.
  • Remember to be yourself.
  • Prepare to ask questions.
  • Ask for help.
Oct 3, 2022

How do you ace an interview 10 crucial tips? ›

Interview Tips: 10 Ways to Improve Interview Performance
  1. Practice Good Nonverbal Communication. ...
  2. Dress for the Job or Company. ...
  3. Listen. ...
  4. Don't Talk Too Much. ...
  5. Don't Be Too Familiar. ...
  6. Use Appropriate Language. ...
  7. Don't Be Cocky. ...
  8. Take Care to Answer the Questions.

Why are the first 30 seconds of an interview so important? ›

Ace the first 30 seconds

Lees points to psychological research that shows that people form opinions about your personality and intelligence in the first 30 seconds of the interview. “How you speak, how you enter the room, and how comfortable you look are really important,” he says.

What are the three 3 most important keys to success in interviews? ›

Employers rate showing enthusiasm (for the job, company, industry) and making eye contact as the most important keys to success at interviews. Since interviews are a conversation between the potential employee and the employer, speaking clearly (and loud enough) is also vital.

Do I thank the interviewer? ›

It's best to send a thank-you email within 24 hours of your interview. Doing so demonstrates your interest in the job. It also keeps you top of mind with those you met with as they consider other candidates.

What are dead end questions? ›

Remember, a dead-end question is unanswerable, broad, vague, and has a negative premise built inside, and it will elicit a negative answer.

What is the biggest interview killer? ›

Being too needy. Neediness is probably the No. 1 advantage-killer in an interview. Remind yourself before walking in the door: you do not need this job.

What are 5 unique questions you can ask at the end of an interview? ›

20 smart questions to ask at the end of your next job interview
  • What do you personally like most about working for this organisation? ...
  • How would you describe your organisation's culture? ...
  • Can you tell me about the kind of supervision you provide? ...
  • What have past employees done to succeed in this position?

What is the greatest fear in interview? ›

"What is your Greatest Fear?" sample answers
  • Sample answer 1- Fear of public speaking. ...
  • Sample answer 2: Fear of failure. ...
  • Sample answer 3: Fear of rejection/not being liked. ...
  • Sample answer 4: Fear of underperforming. ...
  • Focus on a career-related fear. ...
  • Talk about how you coped with the fear.
Jan 2, 2023

Can you tell me about yourself best answer? ›

Your answer to the "tell me about yourself" question should describe your current situation, your past job experience, the reason you're a good fit for the role, and how you align with the company values. Tell the interviewer about your current position and a recent big accomplishment or positive feedback you received.

How do you handle stress and pressure? ›

2. Commit to a Positive Attitude
  1. Decide what you can do. Pinpoint which parts of the situation you have the power to change or influence for the better. ...
  2. Get support. Find someone to talk to about your situation. ...
  3. Care for yourself. Take especially good care of yourself when stress in your life is high.

What are three reasons why I should hire you? ›

Post Contents
  • Answer Example #1: Show you did your homework and reference qualifications from the job description.
  • Answer Example #2: Highlight your years of work experience from your current and previous job.
  • Answer Example #3: Prove you've been listening to the interviewer.

What is the #1 reason why we should hire you? ›

I have acquired relevant skills and experience which I shall bring to your organisation. Even though I'm a fresher I assure you that I will give my best and work to my full potential so that I can contribute as much as I can towards the growth and welfare of your company.

What makes you a good fit for this job? ›

For example, you might explain that you are particularly motivated, or that you are known for going above and beyond for your employers. A second way to answer is to emphasize your unique skills. If you have skills that make you a strong candidate (especially if not many people have those skills), mention these.

What turns off interviewers? ›

Tardiness or not showing up for interview on-time. Personality problems or irrational behavior. Overly aggressive or manipulative behavior. Unrealistic goals, career and job expectations.

What is the biggest failure interview questions? ›

'What has been your biggest failure? ' Tricky graduate interview question
  • 'Describe a time when something didn't work out as you had planned. What did you do and what did you learn from it?'
  • 'Tell us about a mistake you've made. '
  • 'How do you deal with setbacks? '

Should you say you're nervous in an interview? ›

It's okay to share with the interviewer that you are nervous. You might think it's one of the weaknesses that interviewers try to avoid when hiring, but it's a lot more normal for a person to be nervous at interviews than you might think. Saying it out loud can actually help.

Is it OK to say you're nervous in a job interview? ›

“I'm a little nervous.” Acknowledging that your nerves are getting the better of you might actually help you shake off your nervousness. Most interviewers have been there, too, at some point in their career and will understand.

How do you outsmart an interview? ›

Five ways to outsmart your interviewer
  1. They want to bring on board someone that they like… so be nice. ...
  2. Do your research. ...
  3. Ask probing questions. ...
  4. Show confidence with body language. ...
  5. Be totally engaged.

What is the most annoying interview question? ›

The Most Annoying Interview Question That Interviewers Need to Stop Asking. It's surely the most annoying and predictable interview question that ever gets asked: "What is your greatest weakness?" I'll start out by saying that I hate this question. Everyone hates this question.

What are the 3 most popular questions asked at any interview? ›

Tell me about yourself. Why are you interested in working for this company? Tell me about your education.

What are 2 good interview questions? ›

Common second interview questions
  • What strengths will you bring to this position?
  • Tell me about a few of the first things you would do in this role.
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?
  • What are your career goals in the short and long term?
  • What salary would you expect for this role?
Apr 9, 2019

What is the 80/20 rule in interviewing? ›

As a rule of thumb, it is recommended that you spend just 20% of your preparation time researching the company in question, and 80% of your time focusing on yourself and your relevant skills and experience.

What are the three things employers look for in candidates? ›

Desired Candidate Attributes
  • Leadership. Even in entry-level positions, most employers look for evidence of leadership qualities. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills. ...
  • Analytical Skills. ...
  • Dependability and a Strong Work Ethic. ...
  • Maturity and a Professional Attitude. ...
  • Adaptability and Flexibility. ...
  • Good Personality.

What are the ground rules of an interview? ›

Check yourself on these 10 basic points before you go on that all-important interview.
  • Look Sharp. Before the interview, select your outfit. ...
  • Be on Time. Never arrive late to an interview. ...
  • Do Your Research. ...
  • Be Prepared. ...
  • Show Enthusiasm. ...
  • Listen. ...
  • Answer the Question Asked. ...
  • Give Specific Examples.

How do you nail every interview? ›

Top 10 Tips to Nail that Job Interview
  1. Research the company you are interviewing for. ...
  2. Study your resume and know it well. ...
  3. Know the job description of the position you are applying for. ...
  4. Display your skills with concrete examples. ...
  5. Prepare an interview tool kit. ...
  6. Build rapport. ...
  7. Make eye contact. ...
  8. Body language.

What are 5 key points to a great interview? ›

10 Things to do RIGHT in an interview
  • 1) Dressing the Part. ...
  • 2) Review the Questions The Interviewers Will Ask You. ...
  • 3) Do Enough Research on the Company. ...
  • 4) Be Respectful of the Interviewers. ...
  • 5) Good Non-Verbal Behavior.
  • 6) Be On Time to the Interview. ...
  • 7) Know all the Credentials of the Company and the Job you're Applying For.
Jan 7, 2022

What is the number one tip for interview? ›

1. Do your research. Learning as much as possible about a company's services, products, customers and competition will give you an edge in understanding and addressing the employer's needs, says Carole Martin, job interview coach and author of Boost Your Interview IQ.

What are the 7 different types of interviews? ›

In this article, we will learn about the different types of interview in detail that are conducted at individual and group level.
Let us take a look at the different types of interview conducted.
  • Panel Interview. ...
  • Structured Interview. ...
  • Unstructured Interview. ...
  • Stress Interview. ...
  • Case Interview. ...
  • Off-site Interview.
Jan 18, 2023

What are 7 interview questions? ›

How to master these 7 common interview questions
  • Where do you see yourself in five years time? ...
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses? ...
  • Why should I hire you? ...
  • Tell me about yourself/your work experience. ...
  • Why do you want this job? ...
  • What are your salary expectations? ...
  • Why are you the right fit to succeed in this role?

What are 10 tips to prepare for an interview? ›

Interview Tips: 10 Ways to Improve Interview Performance
  1. Practice Good Nonverbal Communication. ...
  2. Dress for the Job or Company. ...
  3. Listen. ...
  4. Don't Talk Too Much. ...
  5. Don't Be Too Familiar. ...
  6. Use Appropriate Language. ...
  7. Don't Be Cocky. ...
  8. Take Care to Answer the Questions.

What is Step 5 in the seven interview steps? ›

#5) Wrapping Up

Closing out an interview is just as important as the other stages. Just as having a great first impression is important, leaving the candidate feeling good about the company and its culture is key to hiring the top talent in your industry.

What are some tricky interview questions? ›

15 tricky job interview questions — and how to nail them
  • Can you tell me a little about yourself?
  • How did you hear about the position?
  • What do you know about the company?
  • What are your greatest professional strengths?
  • What do you consider to be your weaknesses?
  • What is your greatest professional achievement?

What are common interview mistakes? ›

Top 5 job interview mistakes
  • Being unprepared.
  • Dressing inappropriately.
  • Talking too much or not enough.
  • Criticising previous employers or colleagues.
  • Failing to ask questions.
  • How to succeed at interview.

What is the STAR method in interviewing? ›

The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing.

What is one thing that you should not do during the first interview? ›

15 Things You Should NOT Do at an Interview
  • Not Doing Your Research. ...
  • Turning Up Late. ...
  • Dressing Inappropriately. ...
  • Fidgeting With Unnecessary Props. ...
  • Poor Body Language. ...
  • Unclear Answering and Rambling. ...
  • Speaking Negatively About Your Current Employer. ...
  • Not Asking Questions.

What are the eight 8 guidelines of an interview? ›

8 guidelines for conducting interviews
  • Establish position requirement priorities. ...
  • Communicate with human resources. ...
  • Put together a diverse hiring team. ...
  • Develop a welcoming environment. ...
  • Avoid asking personal or unfit questions. ...
  • Document the interview process. ...
  • Maintain neutral body language. ...
  • Ensure all questions are job-relevant.
May 25, 2021

How should an interview end? ›

Always conclude an interview with your sincere thanks for the candidate's time. Though the conversation may have revealed that the applicant was clearly not a fit for the role, you want them to walk out of the interview feeling like they were respected and their participation was appreciated.


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