Your resume impressed the hiring manager of a company at which you applied. You’ve been asked to interview either by phone or in-person, which deserves a huge congrats – you’ve made the cut to the “second round”!
Remember how you prepared for those final exams and presentations in high school or college? It was excruciating, yes, but you could truly tell a difference between when you gave reviewing serious effort and when you didn’t (as could the professor.) In the case of a job interview, you should be preparing just the same as you did for midterms and finals (if not more – this is your career, after all!) One of the most important pieces of advice we can offer as recruiters: do your research. Know specific trends in your field/industry, and know that company you’re interviewing with in a few days. It’s a simple step toward having a successful job interview, but one that is often overlooked by job seekers. It’s something we encourage our top candidates to do constantly, and it’s a step we include in prepping our candidates for an interview with one of our clients. Still yet, it’s often neglected and has a hugely negative impact on the outcome of a job interview.
It’s crucial that you’re familiar not only with your field / industry, but with the local trends in the region you’re seeking employment. Having this knowledge will help you understand your place within a company or organization, and you’ll be able to make great points when answering questions related to how you think you’ll fit, your long-term goals, etc.
Do a little stalking on LinkedIn and company website(s). Follow the company, learn who holds what positions, and understand the company’s mission as it compares to the services they provide. Memorizing the mission statement isn’t enough; understand how it relates to you and your professional goals and objectives. You should have a decent feeling of whether or not you’d be a good fit with the company before stepping inside the interview room. It also pays to follow the company on Facebook and/or Twitter, as the overall personality often comes through on social media networks.
Typing this blog feels a little like telling a student, “you need to study or you will not earn the grade you’re hoping for!” It’s common sense, self-explanatory, very easy to do. Still yet, it’s neglected for other things, clouded by other distractions, or brushed off as unnecessary because some who are on the market just assume they’re fantastic at “winging it”. When there’s a potential job opportunity on the line, winging anything isn’t the right way to handle any part of the situation. Preparation is one of the easiest keys to interview success, so start doing your research!