Interview Prep Tips

When you are seeking a job you need to make sure your prepare properly. Here are some great tips on interview prep. If you could bring anyone to this company from where you currently work,

When you are seeking a job you need to make sure your prepare properly. Here are some great tips on interview prep.

If you could bring anyone to this company from where you currently work, who would it be?

The Real Question: Who do you need around you in order to function well? What does this company need to function well? What are our competitors doing that maybe we aren’t?

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Top-line Tactic: Chose someone who would help you do the job, not someone who would help you get through a boring day.

This question sheds light on a number of your key motivations, including what you want from the people around you and how seriously you take your career.

Some co-workers are huge fun, but that’s no reason to bring them with you. Be prepared to give a wholly productive and professional reason for your choice.

It’s best to say you’d bring someone who stands to add something to the hiring company, or someone who would add to you. You should reflect on your ability to connect and to recognize a quality in someone that helps you to achieve more yourself.

This question is also a free pass to show you know the hot topics in your industry.

Start with a name, then identify the hot topic, then the reason for your choice.

I’d bring Tom, our legal compliance officer. Five years ago the banking industry was comparatively unregulated, but now it seems like we have to deal with new legal restrictions every day. Suddenly, it’s often only the compliance officer who can say whether a new product might even be legal, let alone any good. What I like about Tom is that he goes further than most compliance officers. He doesn’t just stop things from going wrong; he helps me create stuff as well. I think most banks see compliance as a cost, but a good compliance officer is a competitive advantage, and Tom’s a good one. He seems like a nice guy too, although I don’t really know him all that well, but he’s certainly good at what he does, which is the main thing.

In choosing who you would bring with you, you’re also identifying who you wouldn’t bring. An experienced interviewer might follow up and ask about the people who didn’t make your list (You wouldn’t bring your current boss? Why not?), in which case, Why do you want to leave your current job?

Tell me about a time you dealt with a difficult person

The Real Question: You know that everyone’s difficult sometimes, right?

Top-line Tactic: Show that you can work with anyone, even if nobody’s perfect—including you.

We’ve all overheard two people complaining to each other about somebody giving them a hard time at work. Your interviewer will have heard similar conversations too—because difficult people are an inevitable part of life. At a job interview, inevitability is your friend; it’s a chance to talk like a real person.

Don’t be tempted to say you’ve never worked with a difficult person. That’s a clichéd tactic—one that might be interpreted as an attempt to lie. Nor will you do yourself any favors by pleading a short work history: you might just be asked about school or university instead.

It’s better to give a specific example. You could start with: I could pretend I get along with everyone, but that wouldn’t be honest . . . That says you’re a straight talker. Having roused their interest, you should then emphasize that some people are employed because they’re good at what they do, not because they’re easy-going.

As part of your pre-interview preparation, put some time into consciously choosing your difficult-person episode. If you don’t, you could well reach for the person most easily recalled by you in the heat of the moment. That person is typically your nemesis, the memorably annoying person who brought out the worst in you.

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