If you’re job searching, then you know just how important interviews are. But are you really giving your preparation the commitment it requires?
A recent survey suggested that the average candidate was taking 17 interviews to land their next job. 17!
While some are taking less, many are taking more. Do you want to be putting yourself through that much stress to land your next role?
The best way of cutting down the number of interviews it takes to get the job you want is to improve your interview preparation. But there’s more to interviews than thinking about the questions you maybe asked or the questions that you will ask the interviewer.
In this article we take a look at how the best prepared candidates are readying themselves for those all important minutes in front of the hiring manager and career decision makers.
Interview preparation tip 1: know the company inside out
“Yeah. I was going to take a look at your website, but I didn’t get chance.” Said too many candidates.
Trust me. It’s just not good enough. Knowing their website inside out is only step 1 for your company research. As a minimum you need to be investing 5-6 hours into your company research. Here’s what to do:
- Investigate their products and services. What do they sell? Is it any good? Why?
- Investigate their values and mission. Do you really want to work there?
- Investigate their competitors. Who else sells what they sell? Is it better? Worse? Why?
- Investigate their new launches and innovations? What have they done new and differently recently? Is that working?
- Investigate their communications. Any TV ads? Digital messaging? Social sites?
- Investigate what people are saying? Any social backlash? Any online love?
If you’ve not done this as a bare minimum, do you really think you’re ready to start fielding questions about the company at your interview?
Interview preparation tip 2: know their people
What sort of people work at your prospective new employer? Is it your kind of business? What steps have you taken to show them you’ve investigated the culture?
Have you had multiple conversations with different employees? Have you been to visit? Have you found out who’s on the hiring team? Who was the last incumbent of the role to which you are applying?
Are you serious about this job? The Obvious Candidate for this role will have done all this and more.
- Do you know the name of the Chief Exec.?
- Do you know the name of your Line Manager?
- Do you know the name of your head of Department?
Wouldn’t it be embarrassing to turn up at interview and not have these facts at your finger tips?
Interview preparation tip 3: know your interviewer(s)
- Who will you be meeting?
- Will there be more than one person that you meet on the big day?
It’s critical to have researched the people you will meet. The company website may feature them. LinkedIn tends to be a great place to find out about their current role and their career history. If they are an analytical person, you may want to prepare differently in terms of your interview style than if they are a more creative type.
Have you checked them on Crystal? Crystal is a diamond value plugin for your Google Chrome browser and your LinkedIn that will reveal details about your interviewer’s personality and communication style preferences. Not heard of it yet? Check it out and install from here…
Interview preparation tip 4: know how to perform
Too many candidates make the mistake of thinking of their interview as a conversation. It’s not. It’s more than that. It’s a performance.
If you fail to plan the 3rd dimension to your ‘performance’ you’re leaving a huge part of your opportunity to impress completely unexpressed.
Your interview words are only a fraction of your answer. Sure they are vital. Sure you should prepare your words and key messages carefully. But don’t stop there. Make sure your answers are choreographed for impact. Work out where the emphasis needs to go and make sure you practice giving the high impact backstory behind your story that brings the drama to the actions you took. Don’t just launch into what you did. Start with the context which will explain why what you did was so important.
With thanks to FDIN advisory panel partner, Sam Waterfall at Obvious Candidate. For more information on this topic contact Sam at email@example.com
Need some further help?
Don’t feel you need to prepare alone. If you’ve been interviewing and your performances have been less than perfect, preparing alone may not be your best approach.
To explore how a few sessions of coaching can transform your interview preparation and dramatically accelerate your job search take a look at www.obviouscandidate.com or you can contact Sam Waterfall directly to discuss job interview success coaching. You’ll be amazed how applying the proven strategies that have worked for hundreds of other candidates can boost your confidence and shorten your interview experience.
Other useful links
- FDIN Jobs Webinar 3 – how to prepare, perform and follow up (Video)
- Practical tips and techniques on “winning the job” – click here
- Leveraging the strength of weak ties to find that hidden job (Video)