Nothing frustrates a hiring manager more than when a candidate comes unprepared for an interview. They consider it a waste of time even if the candidate is technically sound but shows no serious interest in getting to know the company better.
The first question an interviewer asks is ‘Why do you want to work with us?’
The purpose is to eliminate candidates who have come unprepared without wasting any time. This is why no matter how technically skilled you are, your soft skills and your intention of helping the company grow get you the job. Here’s why doing your homework before an interview helps you shine through:
- It demonstrates your interest in the job and more importantly, the organization.
- It helps you present yourself better in a way that your skills and values match those of the organization.
- It helps you clearly understand if the organization is the right fit for you.
- It helps you make a mark and stand out of the crowd.
Here are a few things you must research before going for an interview:
Position – Usually the interviewer will share the intricacies of your roles and responsibilities in the interview, but to get an edge over other candidates, understand what the job will entail prior to the interview. If you know what is expected of you, you will be able to say exactly what the interviewer wants to listen in the interview. Moreover, your proactiveness will demonstrate your seriousness for your work.
Here’s what you must do:
- Talk to people on LinkedIn who have the same or similar jobs and find out the technical competencies you must have for the position.
- Figure out what will be expected of you in addition to the technical competencies. For example, if your job requires you to be adept at certain soft skills such as presentation and leadership skills, you can opt for soft skills training and stay best prepared.
The Company – The last thing an interviewer expects from you is the question ‘What does the company do and how?’
Start researching the company right when you decide to go for an interview since you don’t want to look like someone only interested in getting a job without the dedication to contribute to the company’s growth. Hence, here’s what you should begin with researching:
- Mission or purpose of the company
- Services and products
- News and recent events
- Advancements in technology
- Company’s achievements
- Organizational style
- The customers
- Organisational hierarchy
Organizational Culture – According to a Millennial Branding study, 43% of HR professionals consider cultural fit the most important quality job candidates must have to do well in the interview.
Understanding what the company does is followed by understanding why they do it. This will help you align your values with the company’s values. And this is exactly what most of the Managers look for in the potential employees. Moreover, it will also help you understand whether or not it is a workplace where you can stay happy and productive.
Your Interviewer – Researching and knowing your interviewer better uncovers information that can prove very helpful in having meaningful conversations. If you develop a personal connect with the interviewer, there’s a high chance your credibility will go notches higher. And this will improve your chances of landing the job. Here’s what you can do:
- Find out who is going to interview you.
- Look them up on LinkedIn.
- Get a better understanding of their achievements and bring them up wherever necessary during the interview.
- Look for mutual connections and mention them if need be.
Use the research in your interview and make your answers more impactful and remembered. Show how you will contribute to the company’s growth and make the best of the opportunity. All the best!