Preparing for that big interview > Post > Blog

Preparing for that big interview

Interviews, Career Development / Career Growth.   Saturday, Feb 19, 2022

Ruwan R


Finally! You’ve been called up for an interview at an organization you’ve always dreamed of working for.

You have the necessary experience, and the job role seems just the sort of one that you’d thrive in. You are excited, nervous and anxious as well. You really want to clinch this job position and are willing to invest time in preparation.

So, how must you prepare for your dream job? Here is one overall approach to facing any Job interview in Sri Lanka or Internationally that might be helpful, to shape your mindset and equip you with the right tools to sail through it with supreme confidence.

  1. Don’t rush in

If you are called by your dream company to face an interview the next day, try to seek an alternate time, which would allow you at least several hours of quiet preparation. Most companies in Sri Lanka will accommodate a mutually convenient time slot that is few days into the future.

  1. List down your conversational assets

The first thing to do is to make a list of conversational assets – i.e., tiny bits of information that are likely to come in handy when answering questions during the job interview – in point form. The best way to refresh your mind on such conversational assets is to think along the following lines:

  • achievements
  • your experience history
  • key experiences
  • best practices learned
  • tools used as part of your trade
  • skills gained
  • challenges faced
  • professional passions
  • your present personality strengths and weaknesses

You should ideally aim to jot down at least two or three points for each of these cues. If you are a software engineer for example, a key experience could be a particular app you designed, or a team you led to develop a particular app. An achievement could be that this app went viral and was adopted by a million users within its first year of evolution.

  1. Note down your real strengths and weaknesses

A question surrounding your strengths and weaknesses is the cue to highlighting whatever it is that makes you an asset above and beyond your “technical” competencies. Write down a few strengths that really define you as a person and which would help your interviewer to quickly understand who you are. Maybe you are great at resolving conflicts or are extremely apt at finding the right words for any situation and speaking impromptu, or maybe you are super-organized and can set an example to others.

It is also the moment to show that you are human, and not infallible. Note down one real weakness, like you hate multitasking or that you are not the best of public speakers. You can’t succeed in a role that calls on your weaknesses to be your strengths, so showing awareness of weaknesses will demonstrate to the interviewer your humility and sincerity in clinching the right role for yourself.

  1. Phrase your conversational assets into “scriptlets”

Revisit your conversational asset list and script each of these assets into one or more coherent sentences that would be easily understood by a perfect stranger, who has reasonable knowledge in the domain you are working in.

For example, an achievement could be scripted as “Our app was the first Sri Lankan app in the commercial transportation space that was adopted by over a million users, all within our country. At the time I left the team, an average of over 400,000 users were logged into our app during peak hours. We won the APICTA Best App award for this app.”

  1. Rehearse your scriptlets

Go to a quiet spot and imagine your job interviewer asking questions that touch upon each of the conversational cues. Answer, speaking aloud as if the person is actually in front of you. You might stumble the first few times. Just keep at it. Change the words and phrases as you practice, until you sound natural and informal.

  1. Jog your IQ

IQ is a key factor in the evaluation of candidates for many job roles, in many industries. Even if there is no explicit IQ test or viva involved, it still helps to sharpen one’s neural networks prior to an interview. Go online and do at least a couple of IQ tests, to shake the rust off your analytical brain, which might not have been explicitly challenged since college days or your last interview years ago.

  1. Act natural on your big day

The idea is to be spontaneous and converse with your interviewer naturally on the day of your interview. Don’t parrot your scriptlets; rather think and reply impromptu, using your scriptlets or the points they entail, when they become relevant.

Remember, the most useful thing about preparation is that it boosts your confidence. You’d have done your due diligence in jogging your memory and IQ, and if the conversation steers into virgin territory, just enjoy it as a meeting of minds…

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