How Do You Learn About The Latest Industry Trends
Staying up to date with trends helps many people in different industries understand their markets’ current situation better. Employers may ask this question to ensure you collect current information that may help the company in its decisions and operations. Mention the sources you use to get new information about your industry.
Example:’I follow several online forums about architecture to learn the latest trends about various aspects, such as design and software. I also keep up with industry trends by participating in activities organised by architecture interest groups. I’m also keen to understand trends in the industries we commonly work with to foster better relationships.’
Preparing For An Interview
Preparing for an interview primarily means taking time to thoughtfully consider your goals and qualifications relative to the position and employer. To accomplish this, you should perform research on the company and carefully review the job description to understand why you would be a good fit. Lets look at the steps to preparing for an interview.
Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job
Interviewers may ask this question to understand the circumstances of leaving your current job. Emphasise your goals for personal and professional development. Be positive when discussing your previous employer and colleagues.
Example:’I’m planning to leave my current job because I feel ready to handle more responsibility. There are no leadership positions available with my current employer, and I want to manage a team to grow my leadership experience. I have some leadership experience from the volunteer jobs I’ve had over the years.’
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Practice Your Speaking Voice And Body Language
Its important to make a positive and lasting impression during the interview process. You can do this by practicing a confident, strong speaking voice and friendly, open body language. While these might come naturally to you, you might also want to spend time performing them with trusted friends or family or in front of a mirror. Pay special attention to your smile, handshake and stride.
To learn more about interview body language, consider the following resources:
The Different Types Of Interview I Encountered
If you prepare and perform well enough in the preliminary phone screens, youll be given the opportunity to come on site and conduct full days worth of interviews. These interviews will typically last four to six hours depending on the company for which youre interviewing with.
During my trip to Silicon Valley, I managed to line up seven on-site interviews in total. This gave me a unique perspective of the current landscape for interviewing.
Typically, an on-site will cover three main subjects: algorithm, architecture design, and behavioral, which is what I had studied and prepared for. However, there are some companies which seem to be bucking this trend and expanding their interviews to cover more practical skills.
Ill briefly go over each of the topics I encountered.
The most common type of interview you will encounter. The interviewer will ask you to solve a problem on a whiteboard which will assess your knowledge of data structures, sorting algorithms, recursion, time/space complexity analysis as well as pattern and edge-case recognition. In this interview, you will most typically come up with a brute-force solution, and then try to improve upon that solution and discuss the tradeoffs, if there are any, with the different solutions you propose.
Architecture Design Interviews
Finding and Patching Bugs
Testing Domain Knowledge
Understanding Operating Systems
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What Do You Usually Do To Protect Your Coworker’s Privacy And The Company’s Sensitive Information
This is a very important question that hiring managers may ask you to know if you consider confidentiality while you’re performing your activities at work. This involves all the preventive actions and measures you take before handling confidential data. For example, this can include how you use your e-mail at work, where you store documents with clients’ private information, or what details about the company you share with your family members. This question also serves to inform a potential employer what personal protocols you follow when you’re using a computer at work.
Example:”To protect the company’s information and computers, I usually avoid exploring the internet for personal issues, as I understand that some websites may represent a cybersecurity risk. Also, I completely avoid using personal flash drives because I share my units with my family and friends and I cannot guarantee the integrity of these devices in terms of viruses and malware. I also encourage my colleagues to do the same, as this can protect the company and the entire team. I never leave documents over my desk and store everything in a file cabinet.”
Related:How to Answer the Interview Question “Tell Me About a Time…”
Follow These Steps To Get Properly Prepared For Your Interview
Alright, now that you know a bit about why preparing for an interview is important, as well as some mistakes to avoid, lets get down to brass tacks: how to prepare for an interview. After all, knowing you need to do it is only half the battle you have to follow through, using the right approach, too.
Luckily, we have your back. If you want to blow away the hiring manager, you need to take your interview prep to the next level. Heres how to do just that:
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Get Ready To Follow Up After The Interview
After your interview, you should prepare to follow up with the employer. Doing so reminds the employer of your conversation, shows them you are genuinely interested in the position and gives you the opportunity to bring up points you forgot to mention.
Here are a few steps you can follow when crafting a follow-up note:
In the first paragraph, mention the specific job title and thank your interviewer.
In the second paragraph, note the companys name as well as a conversation point and/or goal that seemed especially important to the person you spoke with. Connect that point to your experience and interests.
In the final paragraph, invite them to ask you any additional questions and close by saying youre looking forward to hearing back.
Read more: Follow-Up Email Examples For After the Interview
Final tip: If you dont know the answer to a certain question, it is perfectly acceptable to pause for a moment and simply state, Let me think about that for a moment. The employer will appreciate you taking the time to give them a thoughtful answer. Be sure to provide specific examples wherever possible. Taking time to prepare for an interview will ultimately help you feel more relaxed and confident during the process.
Get Some Questions Ready
At the end of every interview, you typically have a chance to ask the hiring manager a few questions. Make sure you have a few ready to go. That way, you wont be at a loss when that moment arrives.
If you dont know where to begin, ask them to describe a typical day in the position. You can also ask if theres anything preventing them from considering you the top candidate, giving you a chance to address any concerns head-on.
Check out our article for more questions you can ask the hiring manager!
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When Does Your Confidentiality Agreement Expire If You Finish Your Work Relationship With The Company
A hiring manager may ask you this question to know if you understand that your responsibilities after leaving the company. Usually, non-disclosure agreements include terms that establish for how long the contract you signed is valid. For instance, they might explain that your obligations last for several years after leaving the job. Some contracts can even refrain you from working in the same industry if you leave the company. To answer this question, it’s crucial for you to understand and consider these factors.
Example:”That may depend on the terms and conditions included in the contract, but usually when you handle sensitive information, you’re legally and professionally compelled to keep it confidential. I often manage private information that belongs to my colleagues, clients, or my employer, and I keep it private to preserve my reputation and professional integrity. I also understand that there are some positions a few competitors might offer me that I cannot accept if I leave this company because it represents a risk in terms of confidentiality.”
Reread Your Resume Or Application
Reread your resume? Why would you need to do that? After all, you know your own background, right? Well, sort of.
If you tailor your resume to each job , and youve applied to more than one recently, you may not remember which details you included. That could spell trouble.
You can almost guarantee that the hiring manager is going to talk about your resume. If you forgot which accomplishments you mentioned, you might not prepare to discuss them. Then, if the hiring manager asks which they almost certainly will you might give a stumbly answer.
Review your resume! Know what you said! Remember, your resume might be all the hiring manager knows about you, so make sure you can discuss those points with ease.
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Top 20 Interview Questions
There are some general interview questions that recruiters often ask during interviews. The questions may help them determine whether your background, personality and skills are appropriate for the open position. Understanding the top 20 interview questions can help you prepare and practise responses that may help you show you’re an ideal candidate for the position and increase your chances of getting it. In this article, we discuss why it’s important to prepare for the top 20 interview questions, analyse the top 10 interview questions with sample answers and highlight the 10 other interview questions.
Learn The Types Of Interview Questions
At this point, its time to start figuring out how to work in relevant details into interview answers. One of the best ways to start is to learn about the different kinds of interview questions.
If you need to say no, youll need a different approach. Pivot by discussing how you intend to acquire the skill or by focusing on your willingness to learn and excitement about professional development. Many hiring managers will consider a candidate who doesnt have every hard skill if they are enthusiastic and have potential, so this method can work.
For behavioral interview questions, youll need a robust strategy. Usually, combining the STAR Method and the Tailoring Method is the best approach. So, lets take a look at those.
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Know Who Will Be Calling You
In many cases, youll be interviewing a recruiter, hiring manager or your direct supervisor. Do an online search to determine your interviewers role at the company. If youre interviewing with a recruiter, youll get more general questions regarding your experience. An interview with your direct supervisor, however, means youll get in-depth questions related to your industry and role.
Do You Prefer To Work With A Team Or Independently
Interviewers may ask this question to analyse your teamwork skills and experience. They also want to know that you’re responsible and have initiative. Show that you understand the benefits of both approaches and that you’re comfortable with working alone and in a team.
Example:’My approach depends on the task. For generating ideas or working on extensive projects, it may be better to work with a team. I also believe that working alone is important for personal professional development. It can also contribute to the effectiveness of a team.’
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Have You Experienced Failure In Your Professional Life How Did You Manage It
Employers may ask this question to discuss your personal growth. Mention an experience with positive aspects that you can highlight. Show accountability for your own mistakes and what you learnt from the experience.
Example:’In my previous role as a project manager, I promised a client that we would have the product ready in two weeks. They were a first-time client and we were eager to impress them as they had the potential for repeat business. The project took an extra week, which made the client unhappy. They refused to delegate future projects to our team. We apologised for the mistake and I learnt the importance of managing client expectations and planning for any unforeseen circumstances.’
Read more:What Is Work Attitude?
Interviewing Is A Skill
During my preparation, I always knew that interviewing would be challenging. But I honestly had no idea how hard it would be until I was knee-deep into my first interview.
In the lead-up to the interviews, I had used both paid and free services, which simulated coding and whiteboarding interviews over the phone with people who had industry experience interviewing candidates. Those practice interviews were essential for priming me for the pressure involved. But as I later realized, they only amounted to a fraction of what a real interview consists of.
Id advise against interviewing at your dream job without having a few mock or real interviews under your belt. The nervousness can be incredibly overwhelming, and it can only be dulled through practice.
As with many other things in life, practice will improve your confidence.
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Consider Possible Interview Questions
Research common interview questions so you know what you might be expected to answer. Many interview questions fall into the same categoriesadaptability, leadership, collaboration, culture fit, prioritization and development. Determining the questions they might ask can help you gain confidence since youll know what to expect. Reviewing highly anticipated questions will ease any nerves going into the interview.
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Prepare Several Thoughtful Questions For The Interviewer
Many employers feel confident about candidates who ask thoughtful questions about the company and the position. You should take time before the interview to prepare several questions for your interviewer that show youve researched the company and are well-versed about the position. Some examples of questions you could ask include:
What does a typical day look like for a person in this position?
Why do you enjoy working here?
What qualities do your most successful employees have?
Ive really enjoyed learning more about this opportunity. What are the next steps in the hiring process?
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How You Should Prepare
As I wrote earlier, interviewing is a skill of its own. Even if youre already a great programmer in your day job or getting great grades in your studies, those skills wont exactly transfer 1:1 when youre in a tiny interview room. Persistence, repetition, and consistency with interview preparation and practice will be the key determining factors of your outcome.
If anyone were to ask me what I felt would be areas to focus on, Id suggest the following:
- Learn to write code by hand on paper and a whiteboard first and then throw it into an IDE for syntax highlighting, this should become second nature to you.
- Develop deep knowledge of data structures, their strengths, and weaknesses in comparison to each other. I discovered that implementing data structures and their behaviours from scratch taught me so much more than what I knew from their abstract concepts.
- Completely understand Big O notation for both time and space complexities, this will pair perfectly with your algorithm and sorting questions.
- Grasp all major sorting algorithmsbecause the difference in time/space complexities have the potential to derail your optimum solution for an algorithm youre trying to solve.
When to start
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Find A Quiet Environment
Find a quiet space where youll be able to hear the interviewer loud and clear. This will make sure you listen to everything they have to say and that you get all of the information you need.Turn off the television or music, and close the door to the space youre using for your interview. Remove any background noise and interview in a quiet space to demonstrate your professional courtesy and let your interviewer know youre taking this job interview seriously.
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Common Interview Preparation Mistakes To Avoid
When it comes to preparing for an interview, the biggest mistake you can make is not doing it at all. Even if youre a highly-skilled professional overflowing with potential and natural poise, you cant assume that is enough.
On average, it takes five job interviews before youll land a job.
Plus, 57 percent of professionals say theyve had a job interview go poorly. Thats more than half of all professionals, people who know their jobs well and are likely at least reasonably successful.
An interview isnt like a normal conversation with a colleague. Instead, youre being tested, put on the spot, and asked to defend your resume. Some questions are designed to put you back on your heels. Others are so open-ended, that its easy to drift off-topic.
Preparation allows you to be at your best when that fateful interview day arrives. Youll have great answers just waiting to be deployed, and a strategy that can help you navigate the unexpected. In turn, youll be more likely to succeed, making all of the effort worthwhile.
However, thats not the only misstep aspiring new hires make. Choosing the wrong mock interview questions can also hurt you. For example, some candidates spend all of their time on generic interview questions. Sure, you need to be ready for classics like, Tell me about yourself and What motivates you? but you also need to be prepared to face off against field- or job-specific ones, too.