Remember that interviewers want to see you perform at your very best; they are not looking to catch you out, so it is important for you to focus your energies beforehand in all the right places. Staying mindful of the ‘can-want-fit’ model will help you prepare:
Can you do the job?
It may sound obvious but are you able to clearly articulate your relevant skills and experience, to align you to the specific job role? This requires you to scrutinise the job description and be prepared to evidence how your experience relates to this role.
Competency-based questions commonly explore your suitability for the role (‘tell me a time when….’ style questions). Using a STAR/CAR framework will help you structure your answers but don’t forget to emphasise action and results, to stress how you can (and will) add value and make a difference!
Do you want the job with us?
Interviewers will be continually looking for evidence of your true motivation for this particular role within this particular company, as well as some insight into your broader sector knowledge.
This is where the depth of your research into the company and its specific role can really help differentiate you. As you explore relevant resources, consider your responses to the bigger questions of ‘why us and not any of our competitors’ (even if you have applied to these firms!) and also, ‘how well do you really understand our company values and behaviours?’ Immersing yourself in this company as much as possible will help you articulate your reasons.
In addition to this company focus, interviewers will look for your knowledge and understanding of the role within a broader industry setting, so taking audit as an example, they might ask questions such as ‘why audit’ and ‘what do you see as the current challenges within this industry/sector?
If you have conducted relevant research and practised key elements in your responses, then these answers should flow with natural enthusiasm and confidence.
Do you see yourself as a good fit for our organisation?
Building on from the ‘want’ perspective, aim to make it absolutely clear to the interviewer(s) that you are genuinely motivated to work within this company and that you have taken time to understand their specific organisational culture and behaviours. Embed these company values into your answers and the recruiters will get a strong sense of how you naturally align yourself to their organisation.
Strength-based questions are commonly used to explore your true personality and ensure that you are indeed a good fit. Having clear self-awareness is everything in this situation and although it is wise to expect some of these questions, over rehearsing these responses will work against you. Be you and let your genuine passion and interests shine through.