The focus of this article is on the pre-interview work. The pre-interview work is obviously the stuff that you do before you go, and this is where most of the mistakes happen, where first impressions count. But it’s all about doing your homework.
So before you go to an interview, the first thing is understanding the company in detail. What is it they do, what are their successes, and what are their values. This is important because one of the questions you’re most likely to be asked is what you know about their company, or why you want to work there. This leaves many candidates stuck or stumped, which basically means they don’t know the answer.
Remember, for smaller organizations, you’ll probably be interviewed by the owner or a number of directors. They most likely have spent an awful lot of time growing and developing that business. In many respects, it’s their passion. So by showing your sincere and positive interest, you’re going to score highly. But do some real research and don’t insult their intelligence by regurgitating information from the website. So that’s the first thing, is to understand the company in detail. Look through their successes and look through their achievements. Look at what’s going on in the future. You know, what customers they are working with, and where are they working. It just shows motivation when you really go into the actual interview. It is important to understand the company in detail.
The second thing is preparing questions. Prepare questions before you go in. So number one, buy a notepad. Make sure you’re prepared. Nothing will annoy interviewing panels more than if you walk in unprepared. Have a notepad, a piece of paper, and have your questions prepared. Now don’t ask questions where it’s so obvious to find the information out.
One of the biggest challenges, or one of the biggest frustrations for people that are interviewing, is when people ask how much they will get paid, or what are the holidays, when they are quite clearly stated on the job description. So nothing will annoy an interviewing panel more than asking the basic questions.
Don’t make questions off the top of your head. Prepare before you go in. You’re only talking about three questions. It might take you five or ten minutes. So think about intelligent questions that you want to ask. Think about things you really want to know.
So that’s the second thing, which is prepare the questions before you go into the interview. Don’t do it when you’re sitting in reception. Prepare them before you go. And having a notepad and a pen with you shows that you’re more organized. It shows that you’re more motivated. So with all these eager signals you’re putting out to the employer, you’ll score highly at the interview.