Preparing for an interview

- 3 minutes read

Research company and job description

When you get asked questions, you would ideally make your answers relevant to the company and job description. It can be hard to do when stressed-out, but if you’ve studied the company and job description well enough it should be more natural. This step is also necessary if you get asked common interview questions like “Why do you want to work for ${company} ?” or “What makes us a good fit ?”.

You should check out the company on https://glassdoor.com while preparing for your interview. There are resources there to know what the process looks like and the feedback from people who interviewed in the past.

Type of interviews

In order to properly prepare for the interview, you need to have an idea of what you’re getting into. Is it a one-on-one with a HR person, an interview with the team you might work with (more technical people) or a meet and greet that’s more relaxed. Knowing what the hiring process is will allow you to be better prepared and less stressed out when you get there.

Practice

As with everything, practice makes perfect. You should practice interviewing with a mock interview from a friend, simply practice greeting the person you’re meeting or answer common interview questions out loud.

What might be the most important question to practice is: “Tell me about yourself”. It’s a very common question that allows you to really be creative and sell yourself, but if you stumble to give an answer you’ll lose some points.

There are also tools that can pair you with other people to do mock interviews like https://www.interviewbit.com/mock-interview/ or https://www.pramp.com.

Questions to ask

Here are a few examples of generic questions that we like:

  • What is the company culture like ?
  • What does a typical day look like ?
  • How often do employees get feedback from managers ?
  • What is the process like from having an idea to deploying in production ?
  • How do teams work together ?
  • Are teams cross-functional or more siloed ?
  • What do you expect of a new hire in the first 3 months ?
  • Why do you like working here ?

Here is a much longer list of questions based on a few categories, feel free to get inspired by reading some of them: https://www.themuse.com/advice/51-interview-questions-you-should-be-asking

Wise words from a Microsoft manager