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The Importance of Interview Preparation

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

1: "What do you know about the company?"

2: "What do you know about the job?"

3: "Why are you here?"

These are the three questions that your next interviewer will need answering - whether the individual knows it or not! They are the questions that are the absolute bedrock that all interviews are based on.

Your interviewer and potential employer will begin assessing you as soon as they see you. They will already have a preconceived idea of who you are before they meet you, because your CV has been submitted, or you have completed an application form. Now is your time to prove that you've done your homework and know about the company; have the ability to reference your skills and experience with examples of your achievements and match them to the job you're applying for.

"Why are you here?" is such an important question because it should lead the interviewer to understand your true motivation toward working for their company and performing the job. It could also uncover the reasons you left or are considering leaving your current employer. This is dangerous stuff and could make or break your interview.

These simple questions require time to prepare answers. If you don't prepare properly, you will severely hamper your chances of beating the other applicants to the job. It is often obvious that you have not prepared, from the very first things you say in an interview.

To gain advantage over your competing applicants, you must study the company thoroughly. Do you truly know the history, culture and ethos of the company? You don't need to know their share-price, but it wouldn't hurt! Certainly check out their financial status, where possible. You really should know who the CEO is. You should know about their values and maybe checked out Glassdoor for info on what its like to work for the company. Have you checked the LinkedIn profiles of the people interviewing you? You absolutely must have checked out their company website. Do a 'Google News' search on the company for reviews and articles about them. Get your friends to quiz you. All of this and so much more investigation will help you to 'speak their language'.

What do you know about the job? Are your skills and experience strong enough to take on the role? Do you feel you could make a meaningful contribution to the role on Day 1? Explain how your abilities or competencies are relevant to the job. Describe times where you were challenged in performing your job but overcame the problem by using your empathy, energy, enthusiasm, team-work or leadership etc.

If you are good at your job and you are applying for a role that you know you can realistically do, it makes so much sense to prepare in advance for the three questions that almost every interviewer needs answering:

"What do you know about the company?"

"What do you know about the job?"

"Why are you here?"


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