Thanks to a well-written resume, you’ve landed your first job interview. If this is your first real job interview, you’re probably feeling nervous about how approach the meeting. But landing your first job depends staying cool, presenting yourself professionally, and preparing for the interview.
If you follow these pre-interview strategies, you’ll stand a better chance of landing the job:
Research the Job
In an ideal world, every job ad would be clear and detailed. But the reality is that job sites are littered with ads that barely offer a snippet of what responsibilities and requirements needed for the position. If you applied for one of the jobs and landed an interview, it’s up to you to find out more.
Because if you don’t have a clear idea of what skills and duties a job requires, you won’t know how to justify why you’re the best person for it – and that’s a question your interviewer is guaranteed to ask.
Here are some good sources of job information to check out:
- Similar Job Postings: If you’re interviewing for a job posting that lacked detail on what skills and requirements are needed, check similar job ads. Chances are you’ll find at least two or three descriptive job ads that clearly show what they’re looking for in a candidate.
- LinkedIn: Use LinkedIn to connect with professionals with the job you’re interviewing for is a good way to find out more about what duties and goals the job requires. Just keep in mind that the job duties and skills required can differ from company to company.
- Google: You can use Google to search for just about anything – including job descriptions. While it’s better to either ask seasoned professionals about the job or look at descriptive job ads, you’ll at least guaranteed to find a basic description of the job’s skills and requirements.
Research the Company
Researching the company’s history, leadership, and the way it operates is important for two reasons. First, it gives you an idea of what kind of “culture” exists at the company. Second, having greater knowledge about the company gives your interviewer the impression that you’ve very serious about working there. That’s important because your interviewer will ask you know about the company.
Here are good sources of company information to check out:
- The Company’s Website: The Company’s website is the best place to find useful information regarding the company’s history, leadership, and business strategy. Checking the company’s Annual Report (if available) is a must-read for finding more in-depth information on the company’s strategy and direction.
- The Company’s Blog: Many companies have a blog as part of their strategy to inform and educate the public on what the company does. Some company blogs are even written by normal employees (not just those from the corporate comms/investor relations/public affairs department) to give candidates an inside look into what it’s like to work there.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn’s strength as a social/business networking platform makes it an ideal source of company information. That’s because you can connect directly to current employees of the company you want to research. This not only lets you build relationships, but gives you an inside look at what it’s like to work there.
Important Note: Multinational corporations (MNCs) usually have plenty of information available on their history, leadership, and business strategy. However, many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) lack this information, so find out what you can and eagerly ask your interviewer to learn more.