Written by Jon Rosser
Part 2 of 2: (See previous blog on Interview Tips!)
Preparing for interviews is critical. It’s often overlooked.
This was a fun blog to prepare. We spoke with leaders around the Indianapolis business community to get their thoughts on interviews, what they like to see and how people should prepare. Below are direct quotes and tips from them!
Ironically, the most qualified person does NOT always get the job. It’s often the most prepared.
The flip side is preparing for interviews gives you a significant advantage over candidates that wing it. Surprisingly, there are plenty of those.
The funny thing about preparing for interviews is it’s actually not that hard. If you 1) recognize the need to prepare and 2) block out some time to do it, you should be good to go. If you can’t or won’t do these two things you shouldn’t commit to an interview.
For a more thorough guide, check out this Interview Preparation Guide. You can save this to your computer for future reference!
Ok, let’s hear from the experts!
Tip #1: Do your homework on the company. Interviewers truly gauge this to understand if you are really interested in specifically being at their company or if this is just one of many jobs you are applying for.
Tip #2: Be prepared to ask questions based on the research of the company, this helps show your level of interest.
Tip #3: Know your audience for the interview. Look the person up on LinkedIn so you’re familiar with their role, how long they have been with the company and previous experience. This will help you understand their perspective and will also help you prepare for what they may dig into.
Tip #4: Make sure the time you schedule for the interview is a time that you can be in a good quiet place to talk or is a good place to take a video interview if that is required.
Tip #1: Do your research on the Company and the person you will be meeting with. Generally, LinkedIn is a good bet, and it’s no longer off-putting if you mention that you did this research in the interview. In other words, “LinkedIn Stalking” is generally expected. Meeting with anyone else? Make sure to ask if there is a chance you will meet with others, so you can look them up as well! To be safe, it’s best to get their full titles and relationship to the role in advance.
Tip #2: Prepare at least three career accomplishments. There is nothing worse than interviewing someone that brings up the same example over and over again. Don’t bring your notes with you. It should be enough to run through a bullet pointed list ahead of time.
Tip #3: Don’t assume the interviewer has actually reviewed your resume, and don’t continue to refer to the actual resume in the interview. Remember, the purpose of a resume is to get invited to the job interview. Once you’re there, work on building a connection, and promoting the good work you do while there!
Tip #4: Close the deal…Do not leave the interview without expressing your sincere interest in the role (that is, if you want it!).
Tip: Ask questions that show you have really researched the organization. Asking a ‘real’ question reflects that you are interested in the organization and not just the job. (Ray shared this via Twitter DM while in Japan!)
Tip #1: It doesn’t do you or the company any good to be someone you really are not. Don’t pretend so that you end up with a job that doesn’t fit you or the company six months from now.
Tip #2: Try to find out who you will be interviewing with and learn about them on LinkedIn or their company website. If you know who you will be meeting and know something about them, you are more likely to ask good questions and be yourself in order to make a good impression.
Tip: Follow-Up. I’m a big fan of using a handwritten note to thank someone for the interview. If email is more appropriate, share something that shows you’ve been thinking about the conversation. It could be an article that resonates or a follow-up thought to something you both discussed.
Tip: I really want them to be able to articulate what they think we do and then I’ll fill in the gaps…. rather than me having to give the whole spiel which could take up most of an interview.
There you have it. The experts have spoken!