More companies are using social media and simple Google searches to learn more about job seekers before you even step foot in the door. So why not follow suit and do a little research of your own before your next interview?
Take initiative. Learn as much as you can about an organization and the people who work there. It will also help you determine if you’re a good fit for the company and its culture.
“You can never invest enough in terms of preparation,” says Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at Egon Zehnder International, author of Great People Decisions and interview subject for the Harvard Business Review. “You should find out as much as possible about the company, how it’s organized, its culture, the relevant industry trends, and some information about the interviewer.”
So, where do you begin? Here are three strategies to get you started.
get familiar with the mission, vision and company culture.
Start with the “About Us” section of the company website.
You can also get a feel for company culture by checking out blogs, community involvement and social media activity. Checking out these outlets help you understand the skills and attributes the company and its people value most.
read the news. theirs and what everyone else is saying.
Begin in their “Press Room” to see what they’re saying about themselves. News releases and press briefs can provide you valuable information about mergers and acquisitions, new product or service launches and more.
All things that can come in handy in an interview.
From there, do a little digging of your own. Google the company name or some of the newsworthy items or competitors they mention in their releases. Then prepare a few thoughtful questions based on this information and have them ready for your interview. Doing so will demonstrate you’re a prepared, engaged and well-informed candidate.
make a personal connection.
You may encounter a behavioral interview, situational interview or questions designed to test your cognitive, leadership or conflict management skills. But regardless of the type of interview you face, just remember you will still be interviewing with a person who will likely form opinions early on.
John Lees, a career strategist and author of The Interview Expert: How to Get the Job You Want and Job Interviews: Top Answers to Tough Questions believes in the importance of acing the first 30 seconds of the interview, something psychological research supports. “How you speak, how you enter the room, and how comfortable you look are really important,” says Lee.
A recruiter is a great resource for information on the person(s) with whom you may be interviewing. She/he may even have information on their background, where they studied, previous positions and more.
Once you have the person’s name, check out their bio on the company website, their LinkedIn profile or Google their name. Knowing a bit more about who they are can help you make a genuine connection.
HR professionals and interviewers use pre-interview research to create personalized questions and to ensure they are making an informed decision. Follow suit and you’ll find yourself more confident, calm and prepared in your interview. And, you’ll be that much closer to landing your dream job.