Interview preparation checklist

interview preparation checklist by Ela Moscicka

Congrats on your upcoming interview(s)! Everyone knows how important it is to prepare for them so today I’m sharing with you my ultimate step by step guide with a complete job interview preparation checklist. Good luck with your interviews!

1. Consider doing a “mock interview

A “mock interview” is a simulation of a real job interview. Its main goal is to help you prepare by practicing answering questions & doing tasks.

You should be receiving feedback afterward so you’ll know what went ok and what are areas you should improve. Thanks to this you’ll be better prepared, know what to expect, and (hopefully) less stressed.

Ask your friend or look online for a person who can do this with you (there are many websites where you can pay to have someone do a “mock interview” with you).

2. Learn more about your Interviewer(s)

Read carefully the interview invitation message and check whether you have the name of your Interviewer(s) mentioned there.

Yes? Great! Go to LinkedIn, find this person (or people), and learn more about him/her/them.

Who are they? What is their role in the company? How long have they been in the same role/company? Is there anything in their experience that you find interesting?

The more you know, the easier it will be for you to prepare your questions.

Pro Tip: didn’t receive the names of your Interviewer(s)? Don’t hesitate to ask the person who has sent you an invite to share this information with you.

3. Make sure your audio and video works

Make sure you can be heard and seen. As you might be asked to turn your camera on check what’s behind you (use a background photo or a blur option if needed).

Thanks to Anna for those tips!

4. Grab a glass of water

It’s totally normal to be excited and / or stressed – no one says interviewing is easy. Some interviews might be really long so make sure to have a glass of water prepared.

Pro Tip: Got stuck answering the question? Take a deep breath and drink some water. This will give you some time to get back on track.

5. Check your Internet connection

Have a backup plan in case you won’t be able to connect (you can create a personal hotspot from your mobile).

6. Prepare your questions

Do the research & show you’re really interested in joining the company.

Interviewers tend to ask “do you have any questions for us?” so have them ready.

Not sure what to ask about? I’ve prepared a comprehensive list: “Questions to ask in a job interview”.

7. Join a few minutes earlier, don’t be late!

I was usually joining my interviews 5 min before, just to make sure I won’t be late.

8. Turn all mobile & apps notifications off

Don’t get distracted by unexpected messages/calls.

9. Review information in your CV

You’ll be asked questions based on the information you’ve included in your CV so it’s important to review it.

Pro Tip: This never happened to me when I was interviewing candidates, but I heard stories of how candidates are sometimes ‘frustrated’ (not sure how to call this actually) because the Interviewer is asking them something that is mentioned in their CV.

If you’ve been asked a particular question then it means that’s happening for a reason: maybe something isn’t clear or they want to hear more.

Never reply to it with “You can read this in my CV, why do you ask me about it”.

10. Practice answering questions

In addition to reviewing information in your CV, you should also practice answering questions.

There are lots of examples online of the most common questions that you can be asked during your interview.

11. Using 3rd party app to join an interview? Test it!

Always make sure to test the application you’ll be using! Ideally, you should do it a few days/hours before an interview: if you’ll have unexpected problems there’ll be still time to contact the recruitment team and let them know about it. Don’t take things for granted 😉

Piotr mentions a very valid point – you never know when you’ll be asked to do an update!

12. Where you will write the answers down?

You might be overwhelmed with the amount of information you’ll receive during your interview(s).

It’s impossible to remember it all (in most cases) so make sure you’ll be able to write them down. It can be as simple as a pen& a piece of paper, Word, or OneNote.

What would you include in your job interview preparation checklist?

Thanks for reading & have a nice day,
Ela

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About The Author / Ela Moscicka
About The Author / Ela Moscicka

Ela spent more than 9 years in tech recruitment (6 years as a Microsoft Talent Sourcer in the EMEA Engineering Recruitment team) where she has helped hundreds of people land jobs in the tech industry.

She went through a career change and became a Software Engineer. She’s currently based in Prague where she works at Microsoft Teams team.

Her career tips have helped people break into the tech industry, change careers, and get jobs in top tech companies!

Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

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