Please don't tell me you were going to wing it for your big interview?
You may not know what questions will be asked in the interview, but you CAN be prepared for anything the hiring manager throws at you! And, believe it or not, it takes a lot more than Googling a list of common interview topics. You have to make a great first impression appearance-wise (tip: use an iron!), have knowledge of your target company, understand the products or services they provide, and know exactly how you plan to tell then that you're the perfect fit for the job.
We're sharing some of our favorite tips to help you bring your A-game to the interview. Over the next four weeks we will be breaking it down for you. So, keep checking back for additional tips!
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Do Your Research: Learn as much as you can about the company you're interviewing for. That means searching different sources like the company website, magazines, online articles, read press releases, stalk their social media accounts and talk to people who have worked for them or done business with them. This will help you have a better understanding of the big picture, both good and bad.
Get a sense of "who" the company is. Believe it or not, each company has it's own personality and culture. You can understand a lot about how they treat each other and outsiders by reading their blogs (if they have them) and combing through their social media. Learn their voice. If it's in line with yours, or what you hope to become, then make sure you speak to that in your interview. It shows that you'll fit in with the company culture and that means a lot, especially when you're working long hours in high pressure situations.
Check to see if the company you are interviewing with has a Twitter account. It can be an excellent resource for interview content. Are the employees tweeting about an upcoming event? Are they bantering with each other about something great that happened with an account. These can be excellent conversation starters and show the hiring manager that you are invested in getting to know your potential coworkers and the company as a whole.
If the company sells a product or service, try it out. Nothing will help you learn more about a company than being a consumer first. It's easy to get on board with something you love, and gives you a unique perspective as you begin your interview process. If you have a terrible experience, you may want to think long and hard about working for that company. Whether it's the product/service itself, or some other aspect of the purchase process, you have two options: walk away or use the opportunity to explain how you could improve the department you are interviewing for. As a consumer first, you have insight that other candidates may not have and that could play to your advantage when it comes time to hire.
When you get the call or email to schedule an interview, don't get so excited that you forget to ask questions. This one step will help you prepare more than any other. First, ask who you will be interviewing with. This will allow you to do some reconnaissance. Who are they in the company? What role do they play? What is their personality or interview style. Most of this information you can find by doing a little digging. Second, what type of interview will be conducted? Are you going to be in an office or will you meet off site, like at a coffee shop. Will you be asked to do a virtual interview? Is it an old school Q&A style interview, or will there be brain-teasers? It's totally fair for you to ask these questions and most recruiters or hiring managers will not have a problem being up front about it.
This Week's Takeaway: Research and Preparation will help you stand out from the crowd. Go the extra mile. I promise that very few others will be running that race with you!