Chapter 4

Interview Resource Identification

After you’ve identified and locked down where you want to interview, you can start with the process of resource identification. This chapter takes you through the approaches and resources available for guiding your interview preparation strategy.

Prior to interview preparation, it's always great to identify the resources that can help you ace the interview. Let’s take a look at some of the resources people turn to, and how they choose them:

Step 1: Pre-planning your Resources

• Subject area-specific resources

Since it’s understood that preparing for an interview could mean having knowledge of certain core subjects, you will need to brush up on those cores. The best way to do this, is to look for resources that can help you.

For example, if you need to have sound knowledge of accounting, look for specific accounting-related resources. These can include test papers, textbooks, questionnaires, videos, or other forms of learning that can help you gain more knowledge and prepare for the subject. For some subjects, you may need to resort to theory and textbooks, for others, you may have to access digital videos and information. Choose the method that works best for you.

• Choosing the best resources

Today, you can find a large number of resources - even for a single subject! This can be quite an intimidating process. Imagine trying to brush up on coding skills for an engineering position, and being thrown into using new software you have no idea about! That can be daunting. Not knowing how to choose the best resources can often lead to a lot of time wastage as well.

The best way to select the most optimum resources is to do a little research on the resource itself. You can do this by reading reviews, customer testimonials, and experiences, and then make an inference as to how well the resource appears to be. If you don’t do enough research, then the little research done also becomes counterproductive, thereby resulting in wasted effort.

Examples of resources include digital courses, in-person training, taking physical classes, purchasing books, or other reading material, etc.

• Use channels like Quora and Reddit

Quora and Reddit have a lot of information and answers on available resources and people’s opinions. If you’re still unsure about which resources to use to prepare for your interview, one surefire way to get answers is to post questions on channels like Quora and Reddit. This will fetch you immediate responses. Remember, the more specific your question, the easier it will be.

• Choose resources based on interview questions

Sometimes, organizations provide information on what kind of interview questions they will be asking. You can also get this information from colleagues or acquaintances that have previously worked at the same target company or interviewed there. Based on these questions, you can get a fair idea of what kind of resources to choose for your preparation strategy. You can find a lot of resources available on the internet to understand the pattern of interview questions asked by various companies. For example, for coding related questions, there are sites like Leetcode, Geeksforgeeks, Interviewbit that can be accessed for past questions and interview support.

For example, if you are interviewing for an organization that has a highly technical interview, then it would be best to choose resources that are more academic in nature.

• Interact with peers and experts to gauge the best resources

If you ask for help - you will receive it. Get in touch with experts and peers to gauge the best resources that can help you prepare for your interview. Peers are people who are giving similar interviews or have interviewed for similar positions and would be aware of recent resources, updates to resources etc. Experts and interview prep mentors will be able to guide you towards excellent resources and material that recruiters generally expect candidates to have studied and prepared from.

Step 2: Get your resources in order

• Multiple Resources

You may find that a single resource might not always be helpful in covering the entire topic in depth, so you might have to refer to multiple resources. Rely on your expertise to identify whether you need in-depth knowledge on a subject and whether a resource is offering that to you or not.

• Be choosy about selecting the best resources

Once you prepare a list of resources that you will require to complete the core requirements for a particular role, you will have a clear idea on how much time it might take to complete those resources. This activity will help in the next phase (chapter 5) of setting the timelines and goals for your interview preparation.

Step 3: Assess your resources, and your abilities

Based on all the information and resources you gather, that are required to get through an interview, narrow down the list of all the information you already have and are confident about; information you need to revise and brush up on; and information and knowledge that you need to know from scratch.

Once you have been able to self-assess your requirements, you will be in a better position to finalise on the resources. If you go back to chapter 2, you will find that self-assessment can be extremely vital and helpful in enabling you to narrow down your resource requirements to get you interview ready. This will help you in setting clear goals in terms of your interview prep timelines. 

Step 4: Make personal investments

Finally, time to loosen the purse strings a bit. Since resource purchases can be expensive, you need to be completely sure of what you need and how that resource can add value. There are, of course, plenty of free resources available online, but sometimes, you need to go for a paid resource in pursuit of getting better returns on your time and effort. Paid resources can offer you something free ones won’t.

People shy away from purchasing or availing paid courses because they think there are alternatives available for free. However, paid courses can often add value and have a great impact on your overall interview preparation strategy. To put this into a different perspective, the cost of these courses is so negligible that you will be able to cover up everything just by one month (or lesser!) of your salary once you crack the interview. So why take a chance with your dream job for a small amount of money?

Based on a comprehensive assessment of the above, make a list of the resources you would like to purchase. This could include a course, a book, or even a training that you want to undertake. Sometimes, people tend to buy more than is required - they go on a total retail spree where they buy books, courses, and sign up for programs which they never end up utilising - I personally know so many people who have a terrible habit of purchasing courses on Udemy and letting them lie wastefully in their account! So instead of wasting your monetary resources, make sure you stock up on your value.

Make resource investments - but do them in a way that they further your interview process.

Exercise -

  1. Other than academic books, videos and courses, take a crack at specifically designed interview courses available online. Go through sites like Preplaced, TryExponent and InterviewBuddy. These websites are dedicated to providing you mentor support and interview preparation. Choose the website that suits you and take a free trial to see how well it can benefit you.