Research - The First Vital Step to Preparing Yourself for an Interview

Posted by Amanda Wencel on Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Those that have followed my blogs in the past will know that one of the biggest pieces of advice I give is to properly do your research!  This is crucial in career planning, transition planning, job searching, resume writing, cover letter creation, and interview preparation.

In speaking specifically about interview preparation, research can be your most valuable task.  Not only does it demonstrate to the employer that you are invested in them and the position specifically, but it also can allow you to find your individual connection to the company where you can make the biggest impact.  In doing so, you are able to express how you can affect the bottom line in a way your competition may not be able to. 

Outside of that, being knowledgeable about the company and position will help you to feel more secure about questions that you may be asked during the interview process.  Many times, the first questions you will face will be “What do you know about our company?” or “Why have you chosen to apply specifically to our company?”

Let’s face it, it’s stressful enough just going into the room feeling like the interviewers have our future in their hands.  The last thing we should do is leave that to chance.

What should you be researching prior to your interview?

• It is important to understand the mission and values of a company, and how you fit with those characteristics.  Once you know how your values are aligned, or what parts of the mission speak true to you, you can weave those thoughts into your interview answers.

• Company culture is also important to understand.  For example, if you know that the company does a lot of community work then you will likely understand that you will be getting involved with a company who respects people who see the value in community involvement.

• Reading up on company news can also be a great way to demonstrate that you’ve done your research!  Showing them that you have a pulse on how that company fits into the marketplace is a wise move.  For example, if the company has been having recent issues with high turnover, perhaps you can demonstrate that you’ve been a loyal employee over a number of years and now that your company has closed, you hope to offer that loyalty to them.

• Lastly, it’s extremely important to study the job posting.  You want to go into the interview with a good understanding of exactly what they are requiring, and then demonstrate to them how you fit their needs.  Straying too far from that path can lead to them not seeing you as a direct fit.  The job posting is a detailed and typically exhaustive list of what they are seeking, and you don’t necessarily have to have all of the requirements.  However, it’s important to speak to the ones you have!

Here are a couple of articles with some more information and resources for pre-interview research:

The last way you can prepare for your interview is by researching some detailed information about the interview so that you know exactly where to go and how to proceed.  This is information that you will get from the person calling to set up your interview.  Here are some questions that you can ask:

• Who will the interviewer be – be sure to get the correct spelling of the person’s name
• Where will the interview be held – make sure you get directions if needed
• What time will the interview start – plan to arrive early!
• What should you bring to the interview
• What can you expect at the interview – will there be testing involved, how long will it last, etc.)

Demonstrating your willingness to come fully prepared to an interview is an accomplishment in itself.  After hours and possibly days of meeting with candidates, this can make the difference in a hiring manager’s mind as to whether you stand out from the crowd or not. 

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  ~ Benjamin Franklin


In my next blog I will be covering practical tips on behavioural based interviewing and how to prepare for the types of questions you may encounter!

Stay tuned on my business Facebook and LinkedIn weekly!


blog comments powered by Disqus

Blog Archive

Do you really need a cover letter? by Amanda Wencel

Writing a resume is a daunting enough task....

How to Leave a Lasting Impression After the Interview by Amanda Wencel

Interviews are intimidating, simply put.

The Behavioural Interview - Are you Prepared? by Amanda Wencel

Give me a specific example....

Research - The First Vital Step to Preparing Yourself for an Interview by Amanda Wencel

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." ~ B…

Lost Focus - How to Get your Job Search Back on Track! by Amanda Wencel

Follow up to last week's blog about negative assumptions in your j…

« Prev 1 2 3 4 Next »