How to Ace Your Interviews - the PREP Framework
You finally got an opportunity for a job interview that you applied for - time to shine!
But wait, how do you do that?
There are several comprehensive steps that you need to take for you to ace your interview and increase your chance to get hired. At TRIIIO, we advise our candidates to follow the P.R.E.P. framework. By being prepared, you’ll be more confident, composed, and in control of yourself during your interview!
Short on time? Take a look here for the brief.
Step 1: Prepare
During a job interview, you’re the main show!
Showing you’re prepared for the interview can make you outshine all expectations, so every detail counts. From the way you dress to the way you handle questions - preparation helps to improve the overall impression you’ll leave on your interviewer.
Look smart: Wearing business attire in both online and face-to-face interviews is a given. Dressing well shows the effort you’re willing to put in!
Write it down: Taking down notes and questions with pen and paper shows attentiveness and genuine interest. It also helps you recall any information that interviewers may ask about later in the screening process.
Lend a hand: Always have a spare resume on hand that is tailored to the job you’re interviewing for! You can refer back to your resume to market your best skills and experience, and present it in an easy way for the interviewer. If applicable, you can also bring a portfolio to present your work to the hiring manager.
Study the role: Successful candidates are always aware of the skills and responsibilities of the role - so do your research! You can also utilise Linkedin to understand the responsibilities of those in similar roles.
Now what about interview questions? Here are just some you can prepare for:
Tell me about yourself: Be concise! Let the interviewer know your current role and projects, as well as a general overview of your relevant experience. All accomplishments mentioned should be in line with the role you’re applying for.
Tell me about a time…: Interviewers are sure to ask you about your prior experience, so come prepared! Think of 3 relevant projects or achievements and present them following the STAR Method:
Do you have any questions?: Your answer should always be yes! Leverage on this by having a number of questions prepared before you go into the interview, focused on :
The company in general;
The role & success in this role;
The company’s culture.
Be careful about questions involving salaries. Your first impression must be memorable and beneficial, so asking impactful questions will give you the upper hand in winning over the hiring manager. If you're going to ask about salaries, be careful about going into too much detail - keep it light, and ask about salary ranges if you haven't already been told. Questions you can consider may include:
How does your compensation package work?
Are my CV and salary expectations in line with your expectations / what's on offer for the role?
DON'T ASK what is the maximum salary you can offer - this can make the interviewer uncomfortable and may result in a negative outcome.
Step 2: Research
Doing research on the company is a crucial element in your practice to ace your interviews.
Having knowledge of the company and role you’re interviewing for will help you structure your approach in a more personalised manner. This might be a little overwhelming, so here’s some areas to get you started:
Do a background check.
This can be pretty overwhelming - afterall, there’s so much to focus on! To simplify it, understand the age and locations of the company, and what industry the company is involved in. The company website is the best place to start!
What is their vision?
Visions and goals drive a company, and they should be in line with your own goals. What problems are they trying to solve, and what guides their decisions in the process? If you’re unable to find the answer, this is a great question to ask your interviewers!
Who are the stakeholders?
Who is interviewing you? Find their Linkedin profiles and connect with them! Understanding their relation to the role you’re interviewing for can help you understand the questions they may ask. It’s also helpful to take a look at those in similar positions to the role you’re applying to, to understand more about your role and the type of profiles your hiring managers might be looking for.
What do their employees think?
We always recommend that you check Glassdoor reviews to understand what past and present employees think about the company. From this, you can have a further understanding of what to expect if you join. You’ll come across many differing opinions, so it’s incredibly important to keep an open mind during the interview to develop your own opinions.
Step 3: Engage
It’s super important to be an active participant during your interview, but don’t forget! First impressions start from the moment you step into the office or join the online call. Stay friendly, open and personable throughout your time with the hiring managers or other staff members!
Break the ice
Don’t be afraid to chit chat before the interview officially begins! This helps you get to know your interviewers on a personal level, as well as helps you calm your nerves! By taking the lead, this also lets the interviewer know that you’re prepared and capable of engaging with new people - a characteristic that everyone values!
Unsure how to start? Try these:
How has working from home been for you?
How do you get to the office?
What has been the best memory you have while working in the company?
Don’t forget to also mention that you have prepared some questions, so they can remember to make time for this at the end!
Don’t forget that the way you move and speak plays a big role in people’s perception of you! Especially during a job interview, pay great attention to your body language and tone of voice. Here are some things to look out for:
Maintaining eye contact;
Learning to use different tones when communicating;
Staying concise when speaking;
Avoiding mixing languages when speaking - use the business language!;
Mandatory business language and behaviour in practice.
The STAR Method (again)!
We’re repeating this because it’s just so important! This method lets you share real, past experience in a clear and concise way, so why wouldn’t it be your best friend?
When using this method, you are able to set an aim on what your answers would be and structure your explanations to have impactful answers. Sharing your past experience through this method will also exhibit your thought process and ensure that you actually answer the questions that are given to you.
Step 4: Post-Interview
We are finally reaching the end, literally! The interview is ending and you are unsure of what you should do.
Well, it’s not too nice to simply bid your goodbye and leave it at that, so here’s what you can do to close the interview and still leave a good impression - regardless of how you perform during the interview.
Thank them for their time
Express your gratitude to the interviewers for their time and commitment in setting up a session with you. We recommend you ask for some detailed feedback on your performance and overall impression - this shows an honest interest in improving yourself! You can also conclude the season by sharing what you can offer to the team outside of your core skills, helping the interviewer envision how you fit.
Leave the best final impression
So, the interview is done and dusted. The final step is to drop an email to your interviewers within 24 hours of the session to thank them for their time. Let them know what interested you most during the interview, and ask once again for feedback. This shows your interest in the role and your eagerness to stay connected with the hiring managers.
Practice makes perfect
Unfortunately, there’s no magic that will make your nerves all go away…
Which is why practice is so important! The power to influence the outcome of the interview lies in your hands - so make the most of it! Prepare and practise your answers before going into the interview to make the best of your chance!
So there you have it - our 4 steps to acing your interview! We’ve laid out the P.R.E.P. framework for you. Now, it’s time for you to put in the effort, read and practise what we have taught you, and ace that interview!