Daily Tip: Prepping for Job Interviews

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When you’re looking for a new job, there’s nothing quite as exciting (or nerve-racking) as scoring that interview with a prospective employer. But in the heat of the moment, it’s sometimes easy to forget all the prep you need to do in order to actually ace that interview and land the position. Here’s a checklist of some of the things you should handle in advance of the big day:

Analyze the Interview Style: If you have colleagues or acquaintances who’ve interviewed with your prospective employer, it might be worth reaching out to them to ask about the interviewers and interview process. Every interview is wildly different, and you don’t want to walk in for what you think is a straightforward question-and-answer session, only to find yourself doing written tests to gauge your technical strengths.

Research the Company’s Products: Chances are very good your interviewer will ask you all sorts of questions about the company’s hardware and software. What did you think about the latest release? What features did you find the coolest? How would you have handled the latest update differently? If you don’t know the portfolio in detail, such questions might present a problem.

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Explain How You Use the Company’s Products: If you’re interviewing for a big tech firm, you’ve likely used their products in some capacity. Be prepared to explain what, how, when, and why you used them. If you’re interviewing with a smaller startup or a new company, think about (and prepare to explain) your history with products analogous to what they produce. This sort of familiarity could help convince the interviewer you’re capable of hitting the ground running, should the company offer you the position.

Do Some Brain Teasers: Some tech companies like to throw puzzles at interviewees. How many basketballs could fit into this room? Why are manhole covers round? If your prospective employer is known for pitching those sorts of cognitive fastballs, take a few hours before your interview to run through some brainteasers and puzzles. The mental warm-up will do you good.

Know the Company’s Recent Events: Did your prospective employer just introduce a new CEO? Is management considering whether to spin off a division as a separate company? How were revenues last quarter? Knowing the headlines could help show the interviewer that you’re informed about the company and its placement in the broader industry.

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