Chapter 3

Recognising The Role

Once you’ve locked your domain and target companies in, the next step is to get an in-depth analysis of the suitable roles and requirements to crack the interviews for these roles. To do this, you need to thoroughly understand the job description, job requirements and what is expected from the organization in question. This will enable you to excel in the role up to your best standards. This chapter helps you explore how to understand the interview role you want to prepare for, and how best to tackle it using your expertise and skills.  

It’s perfectly alright if you think you need some training to get up to speed on the expected level of knowledge or skill your target company’s job description expects you to have. But before you get into acquiring knowledge to level your game up, you need to clarify and outline the expectations.

How can you do this?
Understanding the job’s requirements for a role can be based on various factors such as -

Step 1: Based on the target role

One of the best ways of preparing for an interview is to identify what the role entails. The easiest way to do this is to break down the role completely. Make a list with the following divisions -

• Core subjects required

Based on the requirement, make a list of the subjects that are absolutely essential to excel at the role. For example, being good at coding is a requirement for someone applying for a computer science position. Ensure that each of the core subjects required for the role are subjects that you have studied or undertaken. If there is something on the core list that you haven’t undertaken, then try and see if you have some time before setting up the interview to brush your knowledge in the domain, or even undertake a short course to earn a degree in that subject.

Secondly, make a list of ancillary subject requirements. These could be complementary subjects that help you stand-out. For example, a course like system design which is not exactly needed for a fresher role in computer science, but could strengthen your position in an interview if you are aware of basic concepts.

• In-depth knowledge of each core subject

Depending on the role, you need to understand how much in-depth knowledge of the subject is required. This could range from a basic to an advanced level - make sure you are truthful about your expertise. If you thoroughly go through job descriptions laid down by companies, you will notice they typically divide them into primary and secondary - this will give you a fair idea of which subject is required in-depth and which is optional.

• Project requirement

Some roles require that the candidate has certain specific experiences, such as project-based experiences. Many times, a role can specifically require a candidate to have carried out x number of projects at particular levels. This helps you assess whether you have undertaken such experience in your past and are fit for the role. For example, hands-on experience in the field of AWS for cloud computing engineering or experience with Linux drivers for embedded systems engineering are specific requirements - if you fit the role, it’s a sign!

• Job description specifications

These days, most organizations provide descriptive job profiles or descriptions, specifically laying down requirements. Make sure to go through the entire description and list out each of the organization’s needs. Many times, recruiters even ask questions based on the role and description provided, so it’s best to be completely aware of the specifications.

• Interview questions

Understanding the role or position laid out by the target company is also a great prompt to prepare interview questions. You can pick out and preempt questions based on the role and job description. To know which areas to prepare for, you need to browse through interview questions for the target company’s role and better understand requirements for that particular role. By going through questions, you will get a fair idea of which topics are generally given more importance and which knowledge areas are typically looked into. Knowing this will give your interview preparation strategy an upper hand.

• Interview experiences

Another great way to prepare for an interview based on the target company is to reach out to other people who have interviewed at the same company (not necessarily the same role). Going through other people’s experiences always helps in gauging a little about the target company and understanding what kind of questions they may ask. Visit blogs and videos on the interview process, success stories, interview questions to get more idea of what to expect. You can refer to Preplaced’s blogs & videos to check out interview processes at some of the top companies.

Step 2: Based on the target company

Another great way to prepare for an interview is to base your preparation on the target company’s requirements. You can get in touch with a recruiter or hiring manager to understand a little about what you can expect from the interview. Some things to keep in mind are:

• Interview process and round information

It’s always good to be aware of what you can expect during an interview - especially if it's multiple rounds of interviews! According to Lever, most companies have roughly 9 rounds of interview stages. It’s great to be prepared for the number of rounds you may have to go through, what they entail, and what kind of questions you may be asked.

• Difficulty level

It’s always helpful to know exactly what you are facing - especially when it comes to interviews. Try and speak to other employees already working at the organization for the role you are interviewing for, to gauge the difficulty level of the interview. The internet can help you locate relevant interview questions, experience and preparation blogs and vlogs as well as other interview preparation resource material in understanding this.

• Hiring Stats

Not every company has a great track record of hiring - having this information can be beneficial before preparing for an interview. Gather knowledge on the attrition rate in your role and the hiring stats of the organization. This information is also key to understanding which roles and companies are comparatively easier to grab. If you’re looking for low-hanging opportunities, this is a great way to scoop them and goes a long way in boosting confidence and helping you in cracking tougher interviews in the future.

• Various types of questions

While you’ll be preparing for technical and domain-specific questions, make sure you are prepared to face any kind of questions. Different companies/ teams/ interviewers and recruiters have different preferences when it comes to asking questions or decoding concepts. Expect to respond to questions about your past work experience, monetary expectations, or even questions about your alma mater! You can be better prepared by analysing past questions specific to the target company. This will help you derive insight into how your interview preparation strategy should be structured.

Step 3: Based on experience

Finally, another alternative to preparing for interviews is based on your experience.

If you are a professional with a certain level of work experience, recruiters expect you to have a fair bit of knowledge and expertise to set you apart from the regular humdrum of candidates. Before entering an interview, know what additional expectations could come for a more experienced role, so that you can respond accordingly.

For example, if you are applying for the role of a lead software developer, prepare to have your leadership skills in addition to technical skills, be tested. If you are applying at a managerial level, the company will try to understand your past experience in working with teams or running projects. This makes it very important to understand the role and its requirements clearly. Remember, every role comes with its own set of expectations - so make sure you are clear about them to better plan for your interview.

Exercise -

  1. Go through the job requirements specifically laid out for positions you want to interview for on sites like LinkedIn,, etc. Note down the core skills and subjects required for each of these positions to gauge whether you need to develop skills or are at par.
  1. Visit blogs and videos on the interview process, success stories and interview questions corresponding to your target companies. A good place to start would be Preplaced’s blog section on “Interview process”. Also, you can hear it directly from interviewers on Preplaced’s mentor talks playlist. There are tons of such resources. A little research and study would give you great perspective and make you ready for the battle ahead!