Chapter 06

Commencing Interview Preparation

It’s time!

By now, you’ve hopefully got an excellent grip on preparing for the interview - now comes the difficult bit, the actual preparation. This chapter takes you through the commencement of your interview preparation by deploying all the ammunition you collected in your arsenal up until now. Let’s understand how you can use your notes and track your progress to seamlessly wade through your interview prep process.

Based on the previous five chapters, I hope you’ve sorted out your resources, identified your target companies, and created a comprehensive calendar. Now, you’ll need to start acting on all these aspects to get down to business.

Preparing for an interview is just like preparing for an exam - it’s a tense process that can be eased out with, you guessed right, the right strategy for preparation!

Interviews are all about how well you showcase your knowledge and expertise, and the best way to do that is to prepare and track your progress.

Step 1: Prepare through notes

• Subject area-specific resources

Just like how notes help during an exam, they are extremely helpful while preparing for interviews. For a single interview, you may be required to prepare a number of different kinds of things - from technical questions to behavioural questions, as well as information on personal expectations, and questions about the organization’s culture, etc. Remembering all of this information can be difficult - imagine what happens when you need to prepare for different target companies at the same time!

Don’t let this preparation process become a nightmare. Make notes.

Whether you make handwritten notes, or put information down digitally, it’s up to you. Notes also immensely help during revision, and even at the nth minute, when you need to quickly skim through information just before the interview. If you are a fan of being organised, then making notes will come easily to you. Even if you aren’t, you’ll definitely find that this method adds value to your preparation strategy.

Bookmark good blogs and references that you come across online while preparing for your interview, into well defined folders in your browser’s bookmarks list. This can later on be used to quickly revise various concepts.

Examples of note-making

  • Use bullet points.
  • Put down headings and subheadings.
  • Prepare notes for each subject separately.
  • Prepare specific notes for answering personal interview questions.
  • Draw a timeline of your achievements and qualifications to easily relay this information to a recruiter.

Step 2: Keep tracking your progress

Track your progress - this cannot be stressed enough!

Knowing where you stand is as important as knowing how well you stand. As you prepare for your interview, keep reassessing your abilities to understand where you stand. Tracking personal progress also helps you feel better about the interview process and keeps you motivated in the long run.

• Goal tracking apps

Use progress tracking apps like Strides,, Atracker, etc. to track your personal progress. These apps let you custom feed information and give you the opportunity to sync your goals with your timelines. If you need stronger motivation, you could consider using apps that give you streaks on continuous completion and achievement of goals.

• Be rigid

“Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your mindset.” - Anon

Remember, the interview is a phase that may take up a fair bit of your time, and seem overwhelming while you’re preparing for it, but it can significantly change your life. If it helps, then don’t stop yourself from being rigid about your routine. Being rigid means avoiding a social calendar, or putting your preparation before other activities. At the same time, don’t be hard on yourself - remember it’s just an interview. Do the best you can.

Being strict and rigid means sticking to timelines and preparation. If on a given day, you happen to miss out on your preparation, then try and make up for the lost time by adding a few extra hours to your preparation the next day.

• Stick to the schedule

“A plan is what, a schedule is when. It takes both a plan and a schedule to get things done.” - Peter Turla

If you’ve made a schedule, stick to it. A lot of people get caught up in the pizzaz of creating a schedule and then forgetting all about it - until they revisit the cycle once again. Keep yourself motivated and stick to your schedule. A simple slip up can make you toss all your hard work - don’t let it.

"Be consistent. Little acts create great accomplishments."- Uneeka Jay

Consistency is key!

• Prepare with another person

Many times, people find that preparing for an interview is easier when they have external motivation in the form of another person. It’s perfectly alright to prepare for an interview with someone else’s help, as long as they are adding value to your schedule and strategy. Take the help of a mentor, friend, or colleague who can help you stay on track with your preparation calendar and reaffirm reasons to keep you motivated. Mentoring can be of great help during this phase.

Preplaced offers excellent mentoring programs which allow you to spend time with experts, professionals and mentors and seek value. Preplaced’s personal mentoring program helps candidates gain valuable insights and real-world knowledge of the interview process.

Exercise -

  1. Make comments in the margin of a copy of your CV to act as prompts when being required to cross-reference your personal experiences and qualifications
  2. Download a goal tracking app based on your search and reviews and start using it to track progress.
  3. Use websites like Preplaced to schedule a conversation with a personal mentor and get an upper hand on the interview process. Preplaced offers you tailored mentors - for example if you are getting ready to interview for a software developer position, you can have access to some of the world’s leading professionals in the space to offer you specific advice on going about your interview preparation.