Preparation and Knowledge Gathering for an Interview

15 January 2016 Agnes Villanyi

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Preparation and Knowledge Gathering for an Interview
Interview preparation is one of the key contributors to your success when interviewing for a new role.  It provides you with a strong level of understanding about the organisation you are interviewing with as well as the actual role and the interviewers.

At Parity, we believe that you should put at least 3 hours of preparation into any interview and that this preparation needs to be tailored for the role you are hoping to secure.


To assist you with this preparation, below are some suggestions:


Research the organisation thoroughly:

  •  Read the company’s annual reports

  • Review the company website

  • Source and read the Product Disclosure Statement

  • Understand the organisation’s products and services, size, locations, financial situation and growth potential

  • Research the different channel of distribution for your product – and if appropriate, review the user experience of your product via applying online for the product.

  • View the organisation via 

     if appropriate

  • Reach out to existing employers that you know to discuss the organisation’s culture and vision

  • Research the organisation via LinkedIn


Research the Interviewers:

  •  Review your interviewers LinkedIn profile

  • If appropriate, google your interviewer for news and their profile in the market


Know your CV and experience:

  •  Spend time reviewing your resume – refresh your memory on the details of present/ past employers, your work history, projects and achievements for each

  • Review your experience/skills and their relevance to the position you are looking to secure. Identify the specific examples in your background that are directly relevant to the position description and demonstrate your ability to do the job.


Tips on how to answer the 5 most common interview questions:

Q: What prompted/motivated you to apply for this job?

Interview answer tips:

  • Focus on emphasising the match between your skills/ experience and the operations/ culture of the company you are applying to

  • Be honest and upfront about your motivations, while explaining why you are passionate about the role (this honesty will shine through in your answer and will impress)

  • Demonstrate your understanding of the company and have good reasons for wanting to work there – this will show that you’ve researched the company thoroughly


  Q: Why are you the best person for this job?

Interview answer tips:

  • Bearing in mind the specific requirements of the role, emphasise what you can offer to your potential employer, rather than what they can do for you

  • Choose 2-3 of your most unique qualities that you think sets you apart from other candidates and use them as compelling reasons to employ you


Q: Why did you leave your previous role?

Interview answer tips:

  • Whatever your reasons for leaving your last job, do not talk negatively about your previous employer as it can appear unprofessional and disloyal

  • Focus on your future, and ensure you sound positive and optimistic as you elaborate on your chosen career goals


Q: What would you describe as your key strengths?

Interview answer tips:

  • There’s no point talking about strengths that aren’t  actually relevant to the role in question – focus on the skills your potential employer is looking for (i.e. from the job description), and then select the most relevant from your list of strengths to illustrate your strong suitability for the role

  • Elaborate on your chosen strengths and demonstrate their importance by using real examples from your past experience (make sure you highlight the actual benefits of each strength in ways that are relevant to the employer)


Q: What would you describe as your main weaknesses?

Interview answer tips:

  • It can be tricky, but presenting some of your more minor weaknesses – obviously not ones that will greatly impact your ability to do the job – is the best tactic for answering this question

  • Alternatively, mention areas that you were once slightly weaker at, but which you’ve been working on improving (successfully)

  • You could also mention tasks you know are a part of the role you’re applying for, which you’d like some further training or support with – for example, technology. If you can be honest and ask for help where you feel you need it, this demonstrates that you’re keen to continually learn and improve yourself

  • With any weakness you mention, emphasise your awareness, willingness and efforts to improve