Make the process, but don't let it make you: A 5-step interview prep frameworkFeatured
Hi, I'm Jeneba Wint, a product manager for platform products and product content strategist.I've reinvented myself and have changed careers or roles within the technology industry three times within the last ten years. I started as a technical writer and I've been a UX writer and product content strategist and product manager. After over fifty interviews over the last two years, I learned a thing or two about preparing for the interview process. This is the advice I offer to friends and colleagues looking to change roles or switch careers.Preparing for interviews when you’re job hunting can be tiresome, annoying, stressful, and just a lot of work, whether it’s your dream job or not. To reduce some of that stress, I always encourage people to have a framework or a model they can repeat every time they find themselves on the job market. A framework or model that they can develop, tweak, repeat, and use to kill their interviews. Make the process, but don't let it make you. Keep in mind, you still need to keep your most authentic energy to answer interview questions with your unique solutions and processes in a way that no one else can do but you. When I am preparing for an interview I know that no one else can out due me at two things:1. Preparation - I prepare for the interview as if I’m back in an undergrad course or preparing for a final exam with a lot of homework, studying, and practicing.2. Authentic solutionizing and problem solving - No one else has my story or approach. Your processes and strategies for problem-solving are your unique identifiers. Create a notebook on yourself, almost like you’re studying for a class called Know Your Dopeness 101. Include your uniqueness factors and top differentiators, top skills and how you apply them, best case studies, career success and challenges and how you overcame them, opportunities for improvement and opportunities for excellence. After creating this notebook you will always be able to sell yourself and answer that all-time fave application interview question: Why should we hire you? Here’s how you package it all into a repeatable framework/model to crush your next interview.
Thank you for writing for us, Jeneba! If you have a story to tell, or know someone who does, please DM us.
Thanks for the opportunity to share my voice!
Thanks so much for this! We've had a lot of interview-related questions here on Elpha, so your framework is a much-needed resource. I echo the need for doing your homework and being prepared -- those who really care about hiring the right people put a lot of work into what they do, so it's nice to show that you respect how much they respect the process. :)Also wanted to echo something that @alisoneastaway said in a recent post (https://elpha.com/posts/n9jwiq5c/not-good-on-paper-how-i-got-my-job-as-the-head-of-people-at-a-cybersecurity-startup): "in the past I’ve been rejected without interview for 90% of the jobs I’ve applied for, but received offers for 90% of the ones where I’ve made it into the room." This shows how powerful a great interview can be!
This couldn't have come at a better time for me as I'm starting to get my CV and resume polish and am getting ready to start applying. Your guide is so usable and has introduced me to the idea of "case studies" and really evaluating my own projects and the roles I played in each of them. During interviews do you suggest any specific ways to point out info on your resume that the interviewer may not have addressed but you wanted to discuss?
Thank you very much for sharing- this is great! I'm in between jobs at the moment and constantly in a state of preparing for interviews and a framework is a wonderful tool to help with the preparation - I'm going to get busy preparing mine now. Cheers!
Thank you for this! I'm currently a developer looking to get into either Product Mgmt or UX. This is such a great framework! <3
Preparation gives me confidence so this is my absolute favorite: “Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.” Well, ultimately the interviewing game is about preparation. Be sure to ask about and truly understand your interview process. You want to know what kind of interview to expect, whether it's a group interview, panel interview, behavior interview, or situational interview.
Thanks so much for this advice. I'd love to hear more about "UX best practices on creating case studies to present your work" - do you have any resources you could point me to?
Hi Lia, thanks for the kind words! Yes, I do have some resources I can share. Good news! I'm actually in the process of building out my tech career coaching consultancy. I would love to help! You can sign up for a free discovery call with me https://calendly.com/tribeofself/online-interview?month=2021-06Have a great holiday weekend!Jeneba