The Ultimate Interview Preparation Checklist


According to a survey by CareerBuilder that interviewed over 2000 Human Resource managers, the first 5 to 15 minutes determines whether the candidate will get the job. Over half of all interviewers made their decision within just 5 minutes. After 15 minutes, 90% of interviewers have already decided whether the candidate would be successful or not.

In a job interview seemingly trivial) mistakes like forgetting your resume or showing up underdressed can potentially cost you a job offer.

Here are some essential preparation tips that will best position you for a successful outcome:

1. Get to know the company!

Before the interview, try to learn more about company, including:

  • Type of business/sector/industry
  • Core Products and services offered
  • Scale of the company’s footprint
  • Who the owner is
  • Who their competitors are
  • Role responsibilities of the position
  • Potential challenges (and possible solutions) current facing this company

Research the company website for some basic information, but make an effort to dig deeper than such, such as their social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc. You can also check company profiles on Vanna to look at video interviews with their employees and see inside their offices.

You can even impress interviewers by mentioning their recent activities, this really demonstrates you’ve done your research.

2. Plan your interview answers

Focus of the most common difficult questions.

Why should we hire you?

For example, what you’re really being asked here is “What can you offer the company and “What value will you bring to the role?” (Here is how to answer it)

What is your greatest weakness?

At minimum, interviewers are looking for you to demonstrate three main qualities in your answer: self-awareness, honesty and self-improvement. (Here is how to answer it)

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Behind this question, you should be answering:

  • Do you have realistic expectations for your career growth?
  • Are you ambitious?
  • Does this position align with your growth expectations overall?
  • How does this position align with your broader professional goals?

What is your expected salary?

Do your research and find out the salary range for the position on websites like Payscale or Glassdoor. Here are some tips for how to bargain salary during an interview

3. Create a checklist for your interview.

It’s a good idea to prepare a checklist to make sure that you don’t miss anything before your interview.


Your appearance, for better or worse will affect someone’s first impression so you should think about what being ‘presentable’ means to this type of company and role you’re going for. The idea here is to dress as if you were one of their employees, so generally speaking it’s business formal or business casual for your average multi-national. If you’re not sure, it’s always better to play it safe by dressing up rather than down.


It is best to have a few hardcopies with you in case your interviewer doesn’t have the print out to hand.

References details

Try to include names, the title of the company, department, contact number or even emails of your references. It would be best for your references to be your former employers.

Referral Letter

To show positive comments from your previous employers.

Last but not least, make sure you know the route to the company beforehand, especially when they’re not located so close to a station or bus stop. Planning your journey well will help you avoid showing up late.

Team Vanna

Vanna's expert writing team

2 min read

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