Practice specifics for each interview

Preparing the specifics for each interview builds on two prior phases of practice. If you’re not yet confident with the interview fundamentals covered in the Learn to Interview and Get Organized for Each Interview tasks, start there.

This task focuses on the final details that help you to differentiate yourself and how to consider this opportunity with precision.

🧠 Know

Every interview is a unique opportunity to make an impression that showcases your best skills, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Each interviewer (whether person or technology) needs to learn about you as a candidate, and differentiate you from others who also qualify for the job.

Treat each interview separately, because each will be unique based on:

  • the opportunity
  • interview format and length
  • who you are speaking to
  • where you are in the hiring process

✅ Create an interview notes page for every interaction you’ll have and add the relevant details from above. Start with the interviewer name(s) and interview details.

✅ Research your interviewer online, making note their name and pronunciation and possible conversation topics and common interests. This article can help.

📈 Prepare

For each interview, prepare to differentiate yourself in these ways:

  • Why do I REALLY want this opportunity – how does it stand apart from competitors for me?
  • What 2-4 things should they know and remember about me that don’t come across as similar to others they are considering?
  • How can I use my introduction to open and questions to close in a way that really feels like a person who already has the job or internship, not as a person hoping to get the chance.

✅ Add each of the four interview sections (transitioning/warm-up, introduction, interview, asking my questions) to the notes page you created in the task above. Using the three questions above, begin to fill out your notes page for each of your interviews. Expect and note where there are commonalities and differences.

✅ Use our Clarifying Alignment worksheet to map out the qualities your interviewer associates with thriving in the opportunity you’re interviewing for. Ensure you’re ready to discuss or demonstrate those things.

🖐 Practice

Complete these steps to finalize your interview preparation.

transitioning/warm-up

✅ Imagine casually chatting with each person you’ll meet. Based on common interests or neutral current events, write down 1-2 conversation starters per person and add those to your interview notes page to reference before interviewing.

introduction

✅ practice your introduction, with the 2-4 items you want to be know/remember by included, varying it for each interviewer. You can trust you’ll be successful when you’re happy with it five times in a row, each a different version with no scripts.

interview

✅ Ensure you have at least two stories that show your ability to be successful at each of the items you added to the Clarifying Alignment worksheet from the preparation step above. Practice telling those stories similar to your introduction. If you can do it 5x in a row, each different and good, you’re on the right track!

✅ Finalize your preparation for all other components of the interview process using your research and notes, as well as the interview format resources we’ve provided.

asking your questions

✅ Add 5-10 possible questions to each notes page. Using the notes you made throughout the process to select those that are personalized to the interviewer’s background and function as well as aligned with your interests and genuine curiosity about the role. Authentic questions are generally more interesting and memorable than the standard questions you see on the internet.

✅ Additional Tasks

📚Additional Materials

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Resources

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