Congratulations you’ve been invited to interview for the role of your dreams! Now, it’s time to get to work and prepare for that big moment.
It’s no secret that top hiring managers are most impressed by well-prepared candidates, but what exactly does that mean? Sometimes, candidates go into job interviews rattling off as many details about the company that they can in an effort to prove that they ‘did their research’. But all this really shows a hiring manager is that you have a good head for memorising facts.
So what should you be doing to actually prepare?
Finding out information about the company is the first step, but what you need to do is to your research to demonstrate how youfit within the company. This could be a cultural fit, filling a gap with a particular skillset or level of experience or in the way you approach your work. So what information do you need to be able to actually prepare for the task at hand?
For savvy job seekers, here five things you need to know before you walk into that interview room.
#1 – Who are you interviewing with?
Know the names and titles of the persons who will be in the room with you. Is it just the hiring manager for the first round or will you be interviewing with your potential boss as well? It’s important to know the exact roles and responsibilities so you can prep examples that will speak directly to their needs.
#2 – Is there anything you need to bring?
It’s always a good idea to bring an extra copy or two of your resume (just in case) but you should also know if your interviewer expects samples of your previous work, letters of references, etc. Take along a notebook and pen, and as a courtesy, ask if it’s okay for you to take notes during the interview.
#3 – What can you find out about the company and the team?
As mentioned earlier, rattling off a bunch facts about the company does little to impress. Instead, focus your research not just on the company as a whole, but the specific department and team you’ll be working with. Do some digging on Linkedin – this is why knowing whom you’re interviewing with is key. Look for information about current and upcoming projects so you’ll be able to demonstrate your immediate and long term value.
#4 – Where are you going and how will you get there?
Know well beforehand how you’ll arrive to your interview and account for traffic, parking and transport delays. Getting lost never gives the right first impression.
#5 – What’s out there on Google and social media?
According to a recent survey by careerbuilder.com, 43% of employers will Google applicants before inviting them the interview. Fortunately, your online profile should already be pretty clean and professional if you’ve gotten to this stage, but it’s worth reviewing what information is out there – you may find an opportunity to elaborate on points that may not appear on your resume, such as presentations or seminars you might have given. Be ready to use your online portfolio to your advantage.