So you have got an Interview – Congratulations…..! What can you do to prepare for an interview to make sure it goes well?
Interviews as I have said many times before are a nightmare however you have a choice to make. Do you want to make it harder for yourself or much easier. If you want to make it easier then carry on reading this post and follow my advice.
The Key is Preparation…… If you go into an interview as prepared as you can be then you will not be stumped by any interview questions. I remember a few years ago, one of my professers at school told me for my business studies exam, “if you want to pass this exam, you must prepare otherwise prepare to fail”.
His expression of fail to prepare, then you can prepare to fail, has stuck with me over my career and is the same statement needs to be used when your preparing for interviews. If you fail to prepare for an interview then you need to prepare yourself to not get this job (or at least make your life a lot harder than it should be).
Over the years I have employed ten’s of people to either my teams or my company. If someone wants to be come a Head-Hunter, I am always happy to have a conversation and see where I can help. Apart from some general chit-chat, my first two questions are very simple – What does my company do? What does a Head-Hunter do?
You would be surprised at the answers. If someone has not prepared for an interview, the answer to the question what does my company do, is normally, “its a recruitment company”.
When you go for an interview one of the first questions the employer will ask is, “what does my company do”?. You need to be able to put together a 1-2 minute speech which gives a good explanation of who the company is and what they do?
When preparing for an interview you need to get answers to the following questions as the very minimum:
- What does the Company do?
- How big is the Company? How many Employees? Where else do they have Offices?
- What other Companies, Brands do they own?
- How long has the Company been in Business for?
- Who owns the Company, Public or Private?
- If Public Whats their Share Price?Who is the CEO, CFO?
- What’s there Business Model?
- How to they Make Money – What are the Services and/or Product that they Provide?
- How Successful is the Company? Are they Profitable, Sales, Growth over the last 5 years
- Have there been any recent News Stories or Press Releases?
How to Find this information?
Everything that you need to answer the above questions can be found online. You just need to have a think about it and spend a little time having a look.
- The Company Website – You need to have a look at the About Us, Blog Section, or Press/Investors Room.
- Corporate News Websites – Prnewswire for any recent stories, Bloomberg and Reutersare also very usefull if they are public companies.
- Annual Reports which you can find online if the company is Public.
- Professional Associations, Newspapers, Magazines, Trade Journals.
Extra Research that you Should Do
You Also Need to do some research on who will be interviewing you. Try to search for them using, Linkedin, Google or Zoominfo. When you do this research you need to look for both information about this person – What have they done in the past? Maybe you worked for the same company a few years ago or have worked for similar companies in the past which you could use to build rapport and who their friends are – maybe you have mutual friends that you ask to put in a good word for you.
Linkedin.com is a great tool for this as it only allows you to add contacts that you know personally. For most users, if they have a connection on linkedin they will most likely know this person personally. If you can find some you know with a connection who works at this company, you could use this information to your advantage.
Read the next article of what you need to do the day before to ensure that you prepare for an interview.