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Pre-Interview Exercise

July 2017

Interview preparation is key to landing any job. There is the common advice to know the details of the job description you’re interviewing for and how your skills fit into the role, but have you considered how to organize your responses to ensure you make the best impression?

Many qualified candidates miss out on receiving an offer due to:

  1. Perceived lack of interest
  2. Overall poor interview preparation
  3. Inadequate presentation on their skill set and how their skills/experience apply to the position
  4. Low confidence in abilities
  5. Nerves getting in the way

To help with these areas and more, here’s a self-reflection and strategic exercise you can do, which we recommend completing the night before your interview! Before your interview, you really want to understand and be able to communicate: Why am I qualified? Why am I interested/excited? Why might I NOT get selected?

  1. What are the 4-6 key components of your professional elevator pitch? What skills, successes, experience, etc. have you had that are pertinent to the role you’re interviewing for?

  2. Why are you qualified? What experience(s) do you have that would make you an instant contributor?

  3. Why are you interested? What excites you about the role, project, technologies, company, etc.?

  4. Engage in “candidate risk management.” What skills, technologies, versions, methodologies, etc. are you lacking that the position is asking for AND how could you refute that “skill concern?” For example, if you were missing the newest version of a technology, you could communicate your ‘Training/Ramp-Up Plan,’ which might be “investing time prior to starting by taking three online courses with that technology.” Or, if you’ve worked with a similar product, explaining “while I don’t have hands-on experience with XYZ, I’ve been really excited to get exposure with it and I’ve worked with ABC, which has these similarities!”
    • Skill/Experience Missing and Rebuttal:
    • Skill/Experience Missing and Rebuttal:
    • Skill/Experience Missing and Rebuttal:

  5. Do you have non-proprietary examples of your work, recommendations, personal code samples, etc. that would be worthwhile to share related to your qualifications for this particular opportunity? What are they?

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