Job interviews are, for the most part, very stressful for the applicant, but they don’t have to be. For one thing, if you’ve been invited to an interview at all, this shows that you have at least some of the qualifications required for the position—remembering this should help you to feel more confident. But there is more you can do to prepare for the opportunity. Aside from brushing up on interview tactics, you should do your homework before going to your appointment. The Internet is a valuable tool to help you learn all you can about the company you hope to join. Searching the web for information on the employer is not only easy, it’s essential to a successful interview.
What is the company’s philosophy? Why are they doing what they do? What are their goals? These are questions you should be able to answer and, more importantly, relate to. How can you show you share in this philosophy?
- If the firm’s philosophy is to serve the community and you have done volunteer work, you should definitely highlight this.
- If it’s energy conservation, there’s no harm in telling the interviewer how you make a conscious effort to save energy at home.
Learning about the history of the company you are applying to can come in handy. Who founded the company and how? How long have they been in business? How have they grown, and their products or services evolved? How are they keeping up with the times? Who is their competition? How do they compare to the competitor? Knowing the answers to these questions can be helpful in formulating your own questions for the interviewer.
Who was in charge when the company was founded, and who is in charge now? These are things you should also look into. Know the names of those in charge, especially the name of the supervisor of your future department. If you are applying to a large corporation, knowing where the CEO has worked before coming to the company might show the company’s status in the eyes of the CEO.
Once you have an appointment for an interview, you will also have the name of the person conducting the interview. You may be able to find information on that person, such as how long they’ve been with the company, where they studied, where they worked previously. Social media such as Facebook are great tools to see what makes a person or a company tick. You might even have acquaintances, friends, hobbies or schools in common—good information to have in order to subtly empathize with your interviewer.
Social media are a wonderful thing to have at your disposal. Ask your friends and followers if they know anyone at the company you are interviewing with. You might be surprised at the trove of information you can find here. You might even score tips on how to best conduct yourself, or hear about former employees who weren’t happy there and why they weren’t.
Check out the company’s Facebook page if they have one, and especially client comments left there. It’s always good to know what the clients think about the place you intend to work. Rants and raves can come in really handy in an interview. What are the rants? Is there anything you can think of to solve what they are ranting about? If you can, make sure to bring it up during the interview. Same thing goes for the raves: point out how impressed you are by the positive feedback the clients give.
Good interviewers will ask if you have any questions at the end of the meeting. Make sure you do. This shows that you have thought about the position and the company you are applying to. Using the information you have gathered, your questions should be to the point and reflect the knowledge you have acquired.
Being prepared is the best way to go into an interview; after all, knowledge is power and it instills confidence. If you use any or all of the above steps in your preparation process, you are much more likely to be successful in landing that coveted position because you have demonstrated that you go above and beyond.
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” ― Jimmy Johnson