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Interview Preparation List

Updated on August 16, 2013
It is crucial to be prepared for a job interview.
It is crucial to be prepared for a job interview. | Source

Interview Preparation

A job interview can be stressful, between worrying about how you look and what you say. The process is often quite long, with enough questions to make your head spin. But if you put some time, thought and effort into getting ready for it, it can be a much more pleasant experience. I start preparing even before I have an interview booked. Once I do have one, I look over the questions again, to make sure my answers are specific to the job.

To start getting ready, I think about:

My image. Is there anything that I should do to make myself more presentable?

My outfit: It is imperative that you dress appropriately. I look over my wardrobe, browse the internet for ideas on how to dress, and book a date to buy anything I need at the store to complete my outfit. Beforehand, I also try everything on, so there are no last-minute surprises.

Possible interview questions, and my answers. I put the most effort into this. Recently I looked through many articles to come up with possible questions, and I browsed the advice given. During the process I also evaluated myself. Even if you think you know yourself very well, it can be surprising how one unexpected question can make you pause. There are some things we don't put much thought into, but the interview is a very good reason to think abut it in depth.

The company and the job. It is possible they will ask you questions that require knowledge of the company and/or the job, but even if they don't, it is good information to have. I don't like to leap into a situation blindly. You also want to make sure you are familiar with the location, and know how to get there before your interview.

My salary expectations. It is good to research salaries in the field you are looking to work, keeping in mind location and your experience and qualifications.



Great Advice from Fellow HubPage Members:

  • Tom Schumacher: "I would recommend mock interviews using a video camera in which a friend or family member asks these questions and you, the interviewee, reply with answers. This technique is commonly used by public speakers. In my experience, I have found that it usually takes me 3-4 passes before I feel comfortable with the material and myself (i.e., pace of speaking, body language, etc.)."
  • Au fait: "I recommend not waiting until just before the interview, but working on this project of for an interview even before one applies for a job and has an interview looming."
  • LoveDoctor926: "These are very good interview questions to practice with in front of the mirror."

Thank you, everyone, for making good suggestions and providing such great input.

Self-evaluation:

When you are getting ready to consider possible interview questions, there are some things you should consider:

  • Who are you?
  • What are your skills?
  • What are your accomplishments?
  • What are your personality traits?
  • What do you want from life?
  • What do you want from your job/career?
  • How well do you get along with people?
  • How do you handle various situations?
  • How do you evaluate success?
  • Why do you think you should get the job? What sets you apart from other people? How can you contribute to the company, and to the job?
  • Evaluate your last/current job. What you did, for how long, how well you worked with others. If applicable, why you left the company.

Interview Questions

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • How will your greatest strength help you perform?
  • What is your greatest weakness? (Whatever it is, it is important that you are working on improving it)
  • Do you work well with other people?
  • Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?
  • Give some examples of teamwork.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to accomplish a task with someone who was particularly hard to get along with.
  • How do you feel about working on a team/in a team environment?
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?
  • Have you ever had difficulty working with a manager?
  • If your boss was wrong, how would you handle it?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • How would you describe the pace at which you work?
  • Describe a typical workday.
  • Describe a typical workweek.
  • Do you take work home with you?
  • How many hours do you typically work?
  • Tell me about a time when you had a heavy workload. How did you complete it?
  • What aspects of your current/last job do/did you like the most?
  • What aspects of your current/last job do/did you like the least?
  • Of all of the work you have done, where have you been the most successful?
  • What do you consider your most important accomplishments?
  • How do you evaluate success?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What did you do during your gap in employment?
  • How do you handle stress and pressure?
  • What motivates you?
  • Are you a self-motivator?
  • What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make?
  • Describe a difficult situation, and how you overcame it.
  • What has been the biggest disappointment in your life?
  • What would you do if you could start your working life over?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are your pet peeves?
  • What do people most often criticize about you?
  • When was the last time you were angry, and what happened?
  • If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
  • What led you to this point in your life?
  • If the people that knew you best were asked why you should be hired, what would they say?
  • Why are you interested in working at this company? Why are you interested in this position?
  • What could you do for us that someone else couldn't?
  • What about this position do you find most attractive? Least attractive?
  • How long would it take for you to make a meaningful contribution?
  • How do you describe your personality?
  • What would you say are the major personality traits/qualities that this job demands?
  • What are the three most important responsibilities of this position?
  • Describe to me how this job would relate to the overall goals of the company.
  • If you were hiring for this job, what would you look for?
  • How do you make yourself indispensable to a company?
  • What do you look for in a job?
  • How long would you stay in a position like this?
  • What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now?
  • What would your most recent employer say about you if we asked?
  • Have you ever been asked to leave a position?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Do you have any questions for us?


Questions to Ask Them:

I think it is very important to take the time to ask questions. What you ask greatly varies, but here are a few common ones:

  1. What does a typical work day/week look like for this position?
  2. How many hours is typical of this job?
  3. Which shift is this for?
  4. How long is a typical shift?
  5. Is overtime expected?
  6. What kind of training is provided or required?
  7. What is the dress code?
  8. Who does this position report to?
  9. Are there opportunities for advancement?
  10. Would you like a list of references?


I always take the time to write out a list of questions as I think of them, and type up and print out a copy before the interview. The list is easy to refer to when I'm given the chance to respond.



The Day of the Interview:

Do you feel like you are prepared when you go to a job interview?

See results

Don't Forget!

It is good to get enough sleep the night before the interview, have something good to eat to provide you with energy, stay hydrated, and make sure you don't leave anything behind that you mean to bring. You will want to look presentable, and be as confident as you can.

Remember to bring a copy of your resume, as well as any other information they may need from you, including references. I have a portfolio to organize them in, and I include interview notes to refer to beforehand, my list of questions for them, and a notebook and pen.

Have a good attitude, smile, watch your posture, and remember that this could be the start of a new job!

Source

Author Information

To learn more about the author, or read more of her works, click on http://kathrynstratford.hubpages.com/

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    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
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      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Kasman,

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and for complimenting me. I put a lot of work into preparing for interviews before I landed a job, and I hope that by publishing it, I am helpful to others.

      I remember hearing some of these at the interviews, too. It always amazes me how different they can be from company to company. When I interviewed at Target (a store) years ago, the interview was long and full of questions. I put a lot of effort into preparing for my latest one last year, and it was short. It took me off guard, and part of me almost felt cheated. Haha.

      Thanks for the votes and the share. I appreciate it. Have a wonderful day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Awesome job on the questions! I definitely saw quite a few in there that I've been asked personally many times in interviews, especially the greatest strength and weakness ones, I remember those well. Voting up and sharing Kathryn!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      @ Rajan, thanks for commenting, providing feedback, and sharing. I'm glad you like the list and points I covered.

      @ Sneha, first impressions are everything, and there's only one chance for that! I agree, a good salary is ideal. Anyone who is qualified for a job should not have to settle for less than they're worth. You're welcome, and thank you for reading and commenting on my article.

    • Sneha Sunny profile image

      Sneha Sunny 4 years ago from India

      This is a very useful hub for anybody preparing for an interview. Definitely both, what you wear and what you say put a great impact. And of course you should keep in mind you work experience and qualification. Because getting a good salary is the whole idea. ;)

      Thanks for sharing.. :)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      An excellent questions' list and some very useful points covered here in the hub. Will be certainly a good guide to those who are preparing for an interview.

      Voted up, useful and shared.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Travel, wow, your job seems a lot different than the average "land" job! It must be interesting work.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and I hope you and your family are doing well. Have a good day!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      A very refreshing reminder. Although, in the seaman's world, the HR will always ask for your previous works onboard ship, it's still a plus (an advantage) to dress up properly.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Tom, thank you for your advice for practicing an interview. That is an ideal way to get comfortable with, and prepare for it!

      Since I have received such great input that many people would find very handy, I added in a section of advice from my fellow HubPages writers, including your above suggestion. In addition, I added a link of yours to my hub on productivity in unemployment, as you said I could. That will add some very good information for those who need it! Thanks for your contribution, Tom. It is much appreciated!

      Thank you for reading and providing feedback, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    • Tom Schumacher profile image

      Tom Schumacher 4 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA

      Kathryn, very useful information! Job seekers preparing for interviews would benefit greatly by answering these questions. In addition, I would recommend mock interviews using a video camera in which a friend or family member asks these questions and you, the interviewee, reply with answers. This technique is commonly used by public speakers. In my experience, I have found that it usually takes me 3-4 passes before I feel comfortable with the material and myself (i.e., pace of speaking, body language, etc.). This works, it truly does. Voted up!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Cuttler, Sometimes questions seem easy until you actually have to answer them. And you always need to think about answering it in a positive manner, so that you don't look bad. Lying is not good, but at the same time you don't want to give away any information that would allow them to think you might not be a good fit.

      Thank you for reading and responding, and good luck with your hubs!

    • cuttler profile image

      Cuttler 4 years ago from HubPages

      Impressive...I'll have to get back to this when I am to face an interview panel. Some of these questions appear simple but how to answer them is the hard part. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Jennifer,

      Congrats! Good luck!

      Originally when I picked out an outfit for an interview, it ended up not being warm enough. Especially the shoes. So I had to go out and buy another acceptable outfit so I would be warm enough. Sometimes even when you put a lot of thought into everything, you don't realize until it's almost too late that you forgot to take one thing or another into consideration! I am glad you had time to change, and that you got there on time.

      The last interview I went on went well, except for one thing: I was late! The frustrating thing was that I left early, and if public transportation hadn't had issues, I would have been in the neighborhood 45 minutes early! It sounds like plenty. I was planning on staying at a Dunkin' Donuts until a few minutes before. Unfortunately, the subway had an issue that day, so that they were backed up and way too crowded (when it stopped, only a few people could fit in. And that was with everyone cramming in like sardines! ) So even with planning, things can work against you. But I made the most of it. Knowing how Boston's transportation is, next time I will leave even earlier!

    • Jennifer Wright profile image

      Jennifer Kaspar-Wright 4 years ago from Washington

      Hi Again! So I went on a interview today and used your technique... However I did not think about the weather!! The outfit I choose was to cold so I had to change it at the last minute.. But i still made it in time! My interview went FAB too!! =0)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thanks, Sarah. I appreciate it.

    • sarahshuihan profile image

      Sarah 4 years ago from USA

      That is quite the extensive list of interview questions! Very useful! I definitely voted up and shared!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Torrilynn, I appreciate your feedback.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      kathryn stratford, nice article about different techniques someone should use to be prepared for a job interview that they may have. thanks. voted up.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thanks, Deergha, I appreciate that you read and commented. I like feedback! I have had to use a list like this several times to study for a possible job or promotion. This list is the result of researching many sites, so I hope people find it useful.

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 4 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      Good informative hub for the freshers and even for the people who thrive to go up in life. Being prepared for interview and to feel composed and balanced is very necessary. Thanks for this one. Votes up and shared.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thankyou, Sunil, I am really glad you liked it. I hope it comes in handy!

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Your effort is worth. I love it read fully and wish to keep a hard copy. Congrats.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thank you, Rajan! I appreciate your feedback.

      I think it is necessary to be prepared. If you don't do well on an interview, you're less likely to get the job.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very impressive hub and so detailed. I really like this one. It does make one more confident if one is well prepared with probable questions and answers. Voted up, useful and sharing this hub.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Being prepared for an interview is very important. I get nervous if I haven't practiced. It does give a huge confidence boost when you're prepared!

      Good luck with your job hunt, and with any job interview you get.

      A lot of times you can find the job and job description you applied to, if you look around online. I always like to save and even print out information on jobs I apply to, so that I can refer to them when needed.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Jennifer. I appreciate the feedback.

    • Jennifer Wright profile image

      Jennifer Kaspar-Wright 4 years ago from Washington

      This is a great Hub! Since I was recently let go form my position, I am applying for many positions. One thing I wish I would have done is saved the job decription and duties when I applied. I just got notice my application was in review but I can not remember excatly what was expected! Yikes! So going forward I will.

      I think the questions they ask always get me and make me nervous, like taking a test! So thank you for posting them. I will be going over those so I will have a confident response! Thanks!!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thank you for your kind comments, and for reading this. I put a lot of research into it.

      I agree, it is definitely not good to wait. I started compiling a list and answering questions on paper many weeks (over a month) before my first interview. The thought of waiting until the last minute, and not being prepared, freaks me out!

      Thanks, Au fait, I am glad you like it so much you would place a link to your hub. Good luck with your article. It should be very helpful to those who need it!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      A great list of things people should give serious thought to when preparing for an interview. I recommend not waiting until just before the interview, but working on this project of for an interview even before one applies for a job and has an interview looming.

      I like this article so much that I have placed a link to it in my hub, "Do You Know What Qualifies As a Job Search While Collecting Unemployment Benefits?"

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      iguidenetwork, thank you for your comment. I appreciate it. I hope many people make use of this information.

      lovedoctor926, thanks. I wish I had thought to add in a section of tips regarding the practicing part of the interview. I tend to write things down, but actually practicing them verbally is important, too, as well as seeing yourself while you do it.

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Useful information. These are very good interview questions to practice with in front of the mirror. I have been asked some of these in prior interviews. will bookmark for future reference.

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 4 years ago from Austin, TX

      This is really an important and useful hub for people who are gunning for a particular job position that they've been desiring about. Very informative hub, I should say. Up, useful and a following. :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thank you, Brett, I appreciate it!

      This article was originally what I composed for my own use, but I decided to put some work into improving it, and share it with others. I hope people can get some use out of it.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 4 years ago from Thailand

      This is a MUST READ for those looking for work and for those looking for a change. You suggestions and tips are very good.

      Shared with followers, up and useful.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thank you, I appreciate your comment very much!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Excellent suggestions! There are quite a few who could benefit from this very useful tutorial on interviewing. Well done!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thank you, Sydneyspence.

    • sydneyspence profile image

      Sydney Spence 4 years ago from Austin Texas

      Very informative hub!