Interview Preparation: a look at what iphone apps have to offer

prompt Journal - Interview Preparation

This week on the train I’ve been trying out the range of free Job interview apps available for the ipod/iphone. I’ve always been doubtful of such resources, but I’ve found a lot of them have got my brain ticking and have inspired me.

These resources are of course general and are in no way  specific for any particular career path. Some in fact proved to be of little use. I thought I’d share my thoughts in case anyone else was contemplating giving them a try. In many cases there is no REAL difference between these applications, if you feel like buying the extended version of one of them I would suggest that you should go for the look and feel of it. Although as you will see only a couple made retained a place on my ipod.

1. Interview Wizard:

Interview Wizard splits the questions into 3 categories: self-assessment, education and job history.  Each category has a series of topics, which lead to a question and answer on that topic. The answer describes what the interviewer is looking for and then gives an example. There are only a handful of questions – and if you’ve ever had an interview before, the odds are you have already answered them. I covered all the questions in a matter of minutes. More questions are available in the paid option. £1.19. The look of interview wizard isn’t that exciting, but it is straight-forward and easy to use. But in all honestly I failed to see the point of spending £1.19 on the pro version and since I whizzed through the lite version, this one will be departing from the ipod.

2. Free Interview Questions (Swipe Q Interview)

This one has 40 questions: starting at the basics. The question will be on the page and you can use the arrows to navigate. Each question has an “answer” which is basically tips on what the interviewer wants and things to think about. The “notes” are an example answer. You also have the option to favourite questions. This application I think is great. I’ve not gone through all the questions yet. There are a good number and I’m savouring them on my daily commute. The “answer” page gives you lots of things to think about and the key points you should be stressing. Great advice – all at my finger tips. This one is staying.

3. 101 great answers to the toughest interview questions.

This app is certainly designed well and is powered by tap stack. So you swipe, tap, rotate and shake to navigate. Making it that bit more interesting… but is the content good? Unlike the previous two apps it is not questions and answers – it is a mini version of a book of tips.

For example:

Remember why the interviewer is asking you such open-ended questions: to get you talking, hopefully so you reveal more than you would have if he or she had asked a more pointed question. Avoid wishy-washy answers that force the interviewer to ask more and more follow up questions to get some sort of handle on what makes you tick. Answer such questions succinctly and specifically – but avoid any temptation to confess your many sins.

It’s free, so add it to your list of reading materials for a quick read as it never hurts to brush up on technique as well as questions.

4. Interview Prep Questions

This one is another deck of flash cards. One question – hit the flip button – and you get a short but sweet tip on how to answer it. Great for if you have already worked out a lot of what sort of things you want to say, but just need help going over the actual questions.

For example: “Do you think you would excel at this job?”

flips to: yes. provide specific reasons to defend your answer.

There are also options to favourite questions, shuffle the deck and search.

5. Interview Guru Lite

This app was a bit basic, so obviously the “good” features are in the pro version. But nothing in this app enticed me to buy more. One of my pet hates is where there is advertising straight away for the pro version before I’ve even had the chance to look at the app. Interview wizard had the better idea – you go through all the questions in the app and then it asks if you are interested in getting more questions. With this one: it gives you tips on preparation and what to do when waiting for the interview. But I’d just skip this one altogether. There is not much on offer.

6. Interview Buzz Lite

This is an impressive app at first glance. will complex but easy to use sections.

The Q&A section holds 55 interview questions. As well as the question and suggested answer – there is a text box for you to write in your own answer (although on the ipod typing long answers can be annoying but is good for brainstorming.) Again there is a favourites option and you can view the questions by category as well as a simple list.

The second section is a collection of do’s and don’ts. The do’s help you prepare for the interview and streamline your thoughts and includes a series of tips. The don’t’s are a series of tips of what not to say/do in the interview.Then the third second is another selection of tips include – attire, dining and how to tie a tie. The fourth section is the practice section with even more questions to answer (without giving you hints so you have to think on your feet).

And finally the references section links you to other helpful websites and resources so you can prepare even more. Overall a very complete tool and this is just the lite version. This free app by far has the widest choice of questions.The full version can be bought for a mere 59p.

7. Top 50 interview Q&A lite

The lite version gives you 10 questions with a couple of tips on how they should be answered. If you have downloaded any of the above, you’ve covered them already. The app is simple – a list of questions, when you tap them it reveals the full question and answer – not the most exciting – but does the job if you are the no frills type – but with only 10 questions it is more limited than the other choices.

8. Job Coach Lite

This one is about preparing you for the job – it breaks down the process of getting the job into manageable steps. Breaking it down into a series of 2 minute to-dos in relation to 5 main categories: career direction, materials, connecting, applying and interviewing. You set up how many goals you want to achieve each week. It will then give you a to-do, which you can either accept or reject (note not all to-do’s will be relevant for your own situation).

Should you choose to accept the to-do you then have the opportunity to do it

  • You are writing a list: it will generate a box to type in and when completed this will be emailed to you.
  • Or they give you advice in the form of a podcast. (the downside is that if the ipod/iphone goes into standby the podcast will stop.)
  • Or if they want to you visit a website they will take you there.

The free “lite” version only has a handful of to-dos. The full version is £1.79. Which isn’t a lot for getting you motivated in bite-sized chunks. Have a go at the free version because I know some people will just love this method – it is excellent if you are the type to need a prod in the right direction.

Conclusion?

I’ve kept the  Free interview Questions because it is a good selection of questions if I just want to read, and think. but not have the pressure to “Achieving a goal”. Interview Buzz lite also made the grade. A large selection of questions, different angles to tackle and good as a stand alone version without the need to upgrade. And finally, Job coach is another full package. However, the free version is limiting and this method won’t suit everyone. But it is worth a try to see if it is for you.

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