If you fail to do the three things listed below prior to an interview, chances are you’ll not be offered the job.
Research the Company Website
This has to be done, even before a phone interview. Hiring managers will expect that you’re familiar with the company and how they represent themselves in the market. Failing to spend some time on their website before an interview shows a lack of interest. Not only should you look at the website, but you should also take notes to have in front of you during your conversation. Your notes should include information that you gathered about the company, senior management, the product line, etc., but also questions generated while looking at the website. The more you can show what you know about the company, the better your conversation will be. Read everything on the website and be sure to mention something of interest.
Search the Internet for Media Related to the Company
Just going to the company website is not enough. Dig deep. Learn something about it that not everyone knows. Whether this is something positive that you can talk about with them or some negative publicity that you saw and can address with them before you go to work there, this will show that you’ve gone above and beyond the norm. Specifically Google the company name along with the name of the person with whom you’ll be interviewing and see if you can find an article that mentions something in which they were involved, an award they received, or a milestone they accomplished. Then bring this up during the interview. People love recognition and will not forget who gives it to them.
Research the Name of the Hiring Manager
The first place to look is on LinkedIn, but don’t stop there. You want to know how long they’ve been with the company, how long they’ve been in the industry, their background. Anything you can find that you have in common with them will be a plus. Maybe you went to the same college, lived in the same area, worked at the same company and have common contacts. Any and all of these will be a positive conversation starter. Also, people will appreciate that you’ve taken an interest in learning something about them.
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