Preparing for a job interview is vital. This preparation goes far beyond shiny new resume copies and new clothes. The hiring manager needs much more than proof that you can work a printer and can get dressed in the morning.
One of the biggest blunders a potential hire can make during the interview process is not doing homework on the company. The interview is not just a question and answer opportunity focused on past work experience and your fit with the company. The interviewee should ask just as many questions about the company, but as Forbes explains, it’s vital to walk into the interview knowing a great deal about the organization.
“There are certain things the employer needs to know about before they will hire you,” explains Forbes contributor Liz Ryan. “There are certain things you need to know about the role and your prospective next boss, too — before you’ll know whether or not you want the job.”
Ryan breaks down the ten things a person should never go without to a job interview. A few are no-brainers like those hot-off-the-press resumes, a good pen with a pad to write down notes, directions to the meeting and prepared questions for the hiring manager. She also suggests knowing the answers to these ten questions, answers uncovered during pre-interview prep.
- What does the company do?
- Who are its customers, and who are its chief competitors?
- How large is the firm?
- How old is it?
- Where does the company have locations?
- What is the job title for this job (from the job ad)?
- How do you think this job fits into the organization’s overall goals? (You’ll check this out with your interviewer.)
- Who owns the company? Is it publicly traded, or privately owned?
- What have you learned about the company by checking Glassdoor?
- Who are the people that run the company? What have you learned about them on LinkedIn and by reading the company’s website, newsletter or blog?
Having the answers to these questions embedded in your brain will make the interview process much easier on yourself and eliminate the time wasted on questions with easily obtainable answers.
Ryan also suggests having a few “powerful stories that illustrate your awesomeness at work” at the ready, including any moments where you saved the day, worked well with a difficult person, had to finish a project alone or learned from a mistake.
Most important, Ryan concludes, is to keep a positive mindset. “It will help you to remember that you got the interview already — and getting the interview is by far the hardest part of getting a job.”