How to Cram for a Job Interview

How to Cram for a Job Interview

I remembered that I had the interview 30 minutes before it started. I do stuff like this a lot. Details just don’t stick in my mind - even if they are really important details.

I threw on some khakis and a shirt with a collar and ran out the door. Thankfully, the company was just a couple blocks away so I could make it on foot. I jogged through the lunchtime rush of people and arrived in a heaving and sweaty mess. The receptionist offered me some water. I chugged it. She offered me some more. I drank that glass a little more slowly and tried to gather myself.

I had been interviewing for a couple of weeks at other companies already, so I wasn’t overly nervous. However, I was totally unprepared. I whipped out my phone and started Googling. I instinctively prepped for the questions I was asked at other interviews. Ten minutes later, the recruiter came to take me to the first session of the afternoon. The next day, I got an offer.

I only did well at that interview because I knew what to expect so I could cram. You probably remember the feeling from school. You become a pro at gaming the system by studying just what you needed to in order to do well on the exam. You can do the same thing with job interviews.

Here is a list of 7 points to prep before going in.

They are ranked by importance so if you’re pressed for time, just start at the top and get as far as you can.

1.Learn what the company does. Be able to explain it in a couple of sentences.

2. Come up with an answer to the question: “Why do you want to work here?” A good fallback is to talk about 3 things: the company’s product / service , the company’s culture, and the role.

3. Prepare questions to ask your interviewers that you can't find answers to on the internet. Here are good ones that work well (ranked by quality):

1.What is the main focus of the company at the moment?

2. What do you think is one thing that this company does exceptionally well?

3. What's the average amount of time people spend in one role before changing to another one?

4. What kind of person would not be happy working here?

5. What are the best and worst parts of working here?

6. What have been some growing pains for the company?

4. Understand the size and importance of the problem that the company is solving.

5. Look up what stage they are at and how many employees they have.

6. Understand how the company fits into the competitive landscape. Who are their main clients? Who are their competitors?

7. If you’re told beforehand, look up who you'll be talking to. What's their current position? How long have they been there? Where were they before? Use that information to better engage with people during the interviews.

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Happy interviewing!

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