Dun dun dun dun dun dun, you don’t want to be drowning in regret and swallowed up by the interviewer when you didn’t correctly prepare yourself for an interview! Here is a checklist to go through before an interview as you won’t have a lifeguard to save you from this one…
Who are they?
Firstly, who are they? You need to work out what they do and what keeps them separate from the competition, the company website is always the best place to start. When you had first applied for the role you probably had an understanding of the day-to-day activities you would be getting up to. You want to try to get a full understanding about the services they provide and the clients they already work with so you can ask any questions you have about the type of work you would be involved in once hired.
Finding out the most you can about the company is a must and the skills you need to have to set you apart from the crowd! One of the worlds largest recruiting sites: Glassdoor can help you find out a lot about a company, with an insight into over 600,000 companies worldwide. Built on the element of increasing workplace transparency, you are able to view CEO approval ratings, salary reports and even better for your interview preparation: reviews and questions that people have been asked. These reviews are shared by people who know the company best, those who have experienced them first hand, so who better to trust?
Next take a look at their LinkedIn, here you will find people who are currently working there, achievements the company have made and upcoming events. You can find relatable topics to discuss in your interview and show that you have fully researched the company and know know who you are dealing with. They may also have recent events and goals for the future on their website, so asking about their future aspirations is a great way to display your interest and thorough research.
If the question is asked “Why do you think you should work here?” you need to be able to answer why you are a good fit for the company’s culture. In fact, a Millennial Branding study says 43% of HR professionals believe cultural fit is the most important quality job seekers can have during the hiring process. You will be able to refer back to their company values and their future goals.
Social media is a great source to gain an insight into the company. The use of social media has become so relevant in this day and age, so something they may not have updated on their website may have been recently posted on their facebook page, allowing you to gain that extra step in front of everyone else.
Who will be interviewing you?
Finding out the name of the person you will be meeting is key, as they will most probably be a key person within the company, a manager or possibly even the CEO. You may be given the name of the interviewee prior to your interview, then you can confidently ask for this individual when you enter the building. If you haven’t been given a name it’s worth politely requesting the name of the person who’ll be interviewing, it will only make you look better in the long run! Now you can take a look at them on LinkedIn and Twitter, to look at what they have personally provided towards the company and even their interests.
For the interview itself use the STAR model: Situation, Task, Action and Result. It shows a way to answer a question about a past work experience that may assist you in this future job. For example, if they were to ask you about an occasion when you had to complete a task under a tight deadline.
Situation: is when you would describe the context of the challenge you were facing, here you may have been working on a group project.
Task: Next, your responsibility within the situation, so you had to complete this project within a tight given deadline.
Action: Here you can describe how you completed the task, you divided the project into different sections ensuring everyone completed their certain area on time.
Result: Explaining the outcome and relate it back to the initial question, by dividing up the project and allowing everyone to work a different section it allowed the project to be completed on time in a specific deadline.
What to wear?
Even if the company is casual, or they haven’t informed you of what to wear I would always assume it’s formal attire. The last thing you want to do is rock up in an old pair of jeans and a baggy t-shirt and feel like you haven’t made an effort. More of an effort is a better effort!
Make sure you have pre mapped your way to the office, last thing you want to do is be late. It gives a negative first impression and studies by Professor Albert Mehrabian have shown that first impressions have a 93% impact. Either make sure you have done the trip before, as traffic can have a negative impact on your arrival time or make sure you leave with plenty of time, at least you can take a little walk and prepare yourself for the interview instead of being flustered and panicked when you arrive.
Too much preparation can never be enough, but you don’t want to over do it and stress yourself out. If you research the company, prepare yourself for potential questions and be yourself then it should go smoothly and hopefully you won’t be in a situation as bad as Jaws!