You’ve crafted a great resume, chosen the perfect outfit, and blocked out the day for your interview. But there’s another important aspect of the preparation that’s just as high on that list – and that’s doing your homework and researching the company in advance. People often say that you should have questions prepared for the hiring manager. Some of these might come up naturally as a result of your conversation during the interview. However, getting an understanding of the company in advance can save you from asking something obvious, as well as serve as a jumping off point for more meaningful questions.
- Go to their company website. Even if it’s bare bones, you can get an idea of an organization’s mission, clients, and how they’re structured. Review the About Us section to understand the team players and the hierarchy. Pay attention to how their words and descriptions resonate with you and if it feels like a place you’d want to work. After all, this interview is for you to gather information on a potential workplace, as much as it is for them to get to know you.
- Check their online presence. Take a look at their Facebook and Twitter pages, if they have them. These sites provide an almost minute-by-minute glance at the company’s tone of voice, sense of humor, activities, and priorities. You’ll also get a better idea as to how they present themselves on social media; whether they keep current or whether they’re lax in posting and informing the public on their latest news.
- Take a look at LinkedIn for the company’s profile as well as the pages of their key personnel. Does the person you’ll be interviewing with have their own LinkedIn page? Perhaps you’ll find things that you can use as conversation starters such as having connections in common, or experience with similar skills, businesses, or schools. Even if you don’t find anything that connects you, it will give you an overview of some of their background.
- Read company reviews. Going to sites such as Yelp https://www.yelp.com/ or Glassdoor https://www.glassdoor.com/ can give you a big advantage before going into that interview. You might be able to find postings about company culture, workplace expectations, interview questions, personalities, as well as pay scale. Keep in mind that often it’s the disgruntled people who post, so it might not give you a balanced picture. So keep an eye out for repetitive themes.
- Read the company’s blogs and news stories. When you do a Google search on a company, take a look at the stories that refer to them in the news. It’s a really good way to gain knowledge of their acquisitions, stock prices, product successes or failures, awards, or even just an impassioned community service story. If the company posts blogs on their site, read a few of them. You might be surprised at how much insight you can get from reading about subject matters that a company feels are important.
- Last but not least, before you go to the interview, map out the directions in advance, even if you have a GPS. It’ll save you from sweating if the clock is ticking and you make a wrong turn. You can even check out the street view on Google maps to become familiar with the landmarks and the building itself. If it’s not too far from where you live, you might even want to do a dry run beforehand.
None of these suggestions above will take that much time to do and can really give you a substantial advantage once you walk in that door.
Would you like some help preparing for an interview? Contact us. We’re here to help. MassHire Cape & Islands Career Center 508-771-JOBS (5627)