Landing an interview is a feat in itself. Out of countless applicants, qualified candidates, and possible choices, the company has chosen to move forward with your application. While this is definitely something to celebrate, getting the interview is just the first step in the process of getting a new job or promotion. To increase the chances of the interview going well, preparing for the interview is imperative. However, many people get overwhelmed at the thought of sorting through the vast amount of information available. But, following OFFSITE’s formula will make preparing for an interview much easier and will put you a step ahead of the rest.
Research the Company
While chances are you know a decent amount of information about the company to which you are applying, it is necessary to do thorough research before heading into your interview. The best place to start is the company’s “About” section on their website. Be sure to read through the company’s history, purpose, goals, practices, and anything else that may be included in this section. To really retain this information, take bulleted, detailed notes.
It is also imperative to locate the company’s mission statement or core values. Be sure to memorize these and try to work in key words from them into your interview. For example, if a company’s mission statement includes the phrase “service every client as if they are our top priority,” you could mention during your interview that you do your best to make every client feel like they are your top priority.
Look into Your Interviewer and Company Culture
If you know the name of the professional or recruiter interviewing you, use it to your advantage. Getting some background information on said person will give you a better idea of their role at the company and will allow you to have more confidence when conversing with them. A great place to find more professional information on your interviewer is LinkedIn. This is a networking platform focused on professionalism and careers, where people list their past and present jobs. A lot of the time, there is a brief description of their role, which will paint a clearer picture of who exactly you are talking to. If you can’t find their LinkedIn page, be sure to check for a “Team” or “Meet Us” section on their website, as these often include short staff bios.
In addition to looking up your interviewer, it is important to familiarize yourself with the company’s workplace culture. Some companies will have a “Culture” section on their website, which details what working in their office environment is like. While the information on the company’s personal website can be biased, a great resource to use is Glassdoor. This website features reviews from actual employees and people who have interviewed with the company and is much more honest and candid than the company’s own website. Sometimes, Glassdoor users even provide questions they were asked during their own interviews, which you could use to your advantage in preparing for an interview.
Brush up on Your Own Resume
Though spending time focusing on yourself and your own professional experience may seem counterintuitive, it will undoubtedly help you be more prepared for your interview. It is very common for interviews to start with the simple statement, “Tell me about yourself.” Instead of floundering and stuttering while trying to think of something to say, prepare a brief synopsis of your resume and professional experience beforehand. This way, this question will not only not leave you flustered, it will give you an opportunity to really sell yourself and bring up key talking points.
It is best to take notes on all of this information and go over it both the night before the interview and right before it as well. Interviews can be highly intimidating, but preparing for an interview can make candidates much more confident and more likely to move onto the next round.