The first step in the interviewing process is to research the prospective company or organization. This important step is often overlooked and, according to employers, is one of the primary reasons candidates are rejected. It is not unusual for a hiring manager to ask any or all of the following questions in an interview:
- What do you know about our company?
- Why do you think you would be a good match for our company?
- Why do you want to work for our company?
- What do you know about our products, the industry, and our competitors?
Go to the company website for general information such as: when it was founded, what they make or do, how many employees, company mission, and future plans
Also, go to company research websites that offer insight into corporate culture, growth, outlook, and even interview tips from people that have interviewed there before. For a list of websites, visit our resource page.
Don't forget to ask your network whether anyone has insight to the company or has interviewed there before.
Have a plan for your interview day to ease your nervousness and put your best foot forward. Some things to do ahead of time:
- Proofread and print copies of your resume and references. Be prepared with several copies of both.
- Bring all the information necessary to fill out an application, if you haven't done so already.
- Get a good night's sleep the night before.
- Get directions to the interview location and map your route. You may want to make a dry run to make sure you arrive in plenty of time.
- Bring a small portfolio or briefcase with a notepad and pen to jot down important information before or after the interview.
- Lay out your outfit and make sure any accessories are appropriate.
- Arrive 15 minutes early!
Prepare answers to common traditional and behavioral interview questions and practice before your interview. Be able to discuss your strengths, weaknesses and why you want to work for the company. Get comfortable with your responses and assess non-verbal communication cues. Practice your handshake and appropriate eye contact.