How to Prepare for an Interview
Again: To find a job, you’d better network. (Ideally, you’ll have built a strong network before you start to look.) I do everything I can to find new employees through my grapevine before I post positions on job boards.
So let’s say you’ve taken all my recommendations about sourcing a great position, writing a kick-tail cover letter, and wooing the company into giving you an interview. (If so, good work.) How should you prepare for your interview?
(Aside: Someone may use this post to stand out from the pack of interviewees at one of my companies. I sure hope they do.)
Web site: Right before your interview, review the company’s Web site to refresh your memory on its static elements and to read up on the latest company news and information.
Social media: The company’s latest social media activity will remind you about the softer side of the organization and may give you additional background on what’s happening behind the scenes—activities and elements that wouldn’t make it to the company site’s news section.
Questions: The questions an interviewee asks rank highly on my assessment of his interest in and qualifications for the role. Candidates should have insightful, thoughtful questions that hark back to what they’ve learned about the company via our conversations and other channels. A great deal of positive attributes would have to counterbalance an applicant having no questions; only questions about time off, compensation, and “work-life balance;” and generic queries that would suit any hiring manager at any organization.
Presentation: For every meeting—including interviews—you should have a list of key points you would like to make that tie back to your objective for the session. (For an interview, you want to get to the next stage of the interview process and, ultimately, to a job offer.) Though you may not need to do an actual presentation during the interviewing process, you should have a list of bullets on your career, accomplishments, interests, and goals and how they align with what the company seeks and its future plans.
How did you prepare for your most successful interview?