Prepare Responses, Stories, and Facts

You should try to anticipate and prepare for questions and topics that you think the interviewer will ask you about.

Preparing does not mean that you should memorize an answer. Actually, you should not memorize your answer because it makes you sound unnatural and robotic. It is also very difficult to remember an entire answer. Instead, think about the main points you will cover or things you want to talk about when answering a specific question.

You should prepare some stories to tell the interviewer. You might not be able to predict the exact question, but you can predict the general topics. You should be ready to talk about your successes, failures, work experience, achieving goals, failing to reach goals, working on a team, disagreeing with a co-worker, dealing with conflict, your interests, your school background etc. These are basic topics that are usually discussed during a job interview.

When telling stories, try to be as specific as possible to make the story seem authentic. Instead of saying, “I increased sales.”, you should include real numbers and time, so it might sound something like this, “I increased sales by 12% during the last two quarters of 2016.”

When talking about your weaknesses or failures, prepare to do it in a positive way. Mention your weakness or failure but focus on how you improved or what you learned from the situation. This is much easier to do if you have prepared ahead of time for this kind of question.

Lastly, you should also anticipate what topics will come up regarding the industry or company news. Be prepared to talk about current issues or news. Try to use facts, figures, or data. This will make you sound more professional and knowledgeable.

It takes time, but if you prepare well, then your chances of landing the job will be much higher.

Use this app to prepare but also talk to your friends or co-workers who work in the same industry and ask them what kinds of questions they have been asked during job interviews.

Vocabulary from the Article

1. to anticipate: to expect or predict

  • He is unpredictable. It is hard to anticipate what he will do.
  • In business, it is important to anticipate how the market and demand will change.

2. entire: whole

  • He ate the entire pizza.
  • The teacher made cookies for her entire class.

3. to be authentic: to be real or genuine

  • Is this handbag fake or authentic?
  • This document is authentic.

4. to prepare ahead of time: to do something beforehand in order to be ready

  • She prepared a lot ahead of time.
  • If we prepare ahead of time, then we will be more successful.

5. chances of landing a job: the probability of getting a job

  • What do you think your chances of landing the job are?
  • I think I have a good chance of landing the job.