will never be a nerves-free experience, even for those of us confident about getting the job. Selling your ability to do a job to a complete stranger will always be a bit daunting and there’s no getting around that. However, by making sure you’re fully prepared before you go, you will help to calm your fears.
We explain why pre-interview research is so important.
Where do I begin?
The majority of common interview questions, and even difficult interview questions, will focus on two main areas:
- Your understanding of what the job actually is.
- Whether you can actually do the job – and do it well.
To convince an interviewer that you’re the person for the job you need to show them that you understand these two things.
So, the job ad
Lots of people forget about the job ad after they've written their CV and cover letter, but this is a big mistake. The job description will include all of the information about what the company is looking for in an employee, and you should make sure you've read it, read it and read it again. They WILL ask you questions based on this.
Write a ‘cheat sheet’ of all the ways that your CV matches the role requirements and memorise it before you go. Job interview preparation can mean the difference between success and failure.
Research the company
Interviewers like it when you can show that you know a bit about the company you want to work for. Knowing nothing at all can really harm your chances.
We’re lucky these days as almost every company has its own website where they tell you about their services, their employees, their history and their business. There are also a lot of official social media company sites with extra information. Make sure you know about how the company is structured and where the job sits within it. A little bit of history and what the company is like to work in (and how you’d fit) is a bonus.
Google the interviewer
'To Google' is now a verb in the dictionary and it’s easy to see why. Everyone Googles everyone these days and there’s nothing to stop you looking into the background of your interviewer – if you have been given a name. Just stop short of actual stalking!
LinkedIn profiles are probably the best way of learning about their work history and getting an idea about what kind of person they are. It’s even better if they have a blog. And don't forget, you can Google the interviewer but the interviewer can also Google you. Be sure to check your social media 'footprint' and change privacy settings as necessary!
Know your online fingerprint