Once you secure an interview, researching and preparing for the interview is extremely important.
Believe it or not, many job candidates don’t prepare for job interviews – and then they are caught off guard and walk away without an offer. Spending just 30 to 60 minutes (at a minimum) can significantly improve your chances of securing a job offer.
Start by researching the company and job to unearth unique qualifications and buying motivators that you can use to your advantage during the interview. You need to fully understand what the company’s ‘problems’ are so you can position yourself as their problem-solver.
Next, think about the job interview from the employer’s perspective. They are looking for the best fit — skills, experience, education — and, most importantly, fit with the company’s culture. Focusing on the needs and preferences of the company can help you identify which aspects of your work history and background will best serve your future employer.
Understanding a company’s needs will also help you align your answers during the interview, honing in on the select skills that the employer is seeking more details on.
For example, if you are interviewing for a sales job, you may want to show them how you can:
- Increase sales, revenue, and profits
- Secure new business while retaining existing customers
If you’re applying for an information technology position, you might demonstrate how you can:
- Resolve challenges through proper technology use
- Save the company money on their technology needs
It also helps to understand that the information an interviewer wants from you falls into a couple of broad categories. During an interview the company will probe to find out:
- Who you are (are you as skilled as you claim?)
- What sets you apart from other candidates (why hire you over another candidate?)
- If you can solve a problem they have (all jobs solve problems; can you provide proof of tackling these challenges?)
- Why you might not be a good fit for the job (are there reasons to eliminate you?)
- Why you are looking for a new job (unemployed? seeking a new opportunity?)
Preparing answers that address the categories above, while showing an understanding of the company’s requirements and buying motivators will help you tailor your responses during the interview.
Your research before the interview can also help YOU ask better questions in the interview. Remember — a job interview is about “fit” — but the “fit” from your perspective is as important as “fit” from the company’s point of view. The job interview is like a first date — you want to see what you have in common and whether it’s worthwhile to continue to pursue a relationship or whether you should “see other people.”
What are your personal interview challenges? Visit my website www.careerimpresions.ca to learn more about my services, including custom interview coaching for top professionals.