Success at the Job Interview
24 Best Tips and Techniques for Successful Job Interview
Does the thought of appearing for an interview scare you? Whether it is your first job interview or the last interview, you are constantly gripped with the fear of rejection or not performing well which has become a natural tendency for many interviewees. Interviews without any doubt have become an integral part of any job process.
In today’s competitive world, no amount of degrees can get your job unless and until you crack the interview. Considering this vital importance of interviewing in the current competitive job market, we have jotted down some of the basic important points to be considered before appearing any job interview.
For your easy understanding, the techniques and tips for a successful job interview have been summarized as below:
Successful Job Interview Tips and Tricks:
The following mentioned below are few interview tips and techniques that can help any candidate prepare for an interview.
1. Do your research well in advance before going for interview:
Interview preparation is the key to a successful interview. The interview process is nothing more than a conversation where the candidate is supposed to sell one self. You can sell yourself only when you are confident for what you are selling. So it is rather important to know the products, services, customers of the company well in advance.
2. Dress up in professional attire before interviewing in order to leave that first impression:
Being well dressed is a beautiful form of politeness and the first thing that will be noticed when you walk in for an interview.
Moreover being well dressed gets you into the correct posture for an interview and helps in being more confident. Most importantly, in the workplace, the way you dress affects how others perceive you.
Dressing for a interview plays a key role during the hiring process.
3. Always be on time for the interview:
The thumb rule, never ever get late for an interview. Being on time is a very important factor that deciphers your seriousness and approach towards life. It gives an idea of your lifestyle and punctuality. Understand that time is money. Being late for the interview might even get you rejected before the actual interview starts.
4. Show your street smartness in an interview:
Being street smart shows your analytical skills. When interviewer starts playing with you, show your smartness and start playing the game. Showing street smartness shows that you are ready to survive in the competitive world and can deal with all the hurdles coming along the path. This is an important job interview tip to follow.
5. Consume glucose or enough liquid before you appear for an interview:
Sugar is the food for brain and glucose is an instant source of energy.
The brain needs oxygen for its neurons to work sharply and consuming glucose will actively release the oxygen and immediately electrify your brain cells which will reduce nervousness.
Moreover, drinking water helps you calm down. So make sure you drink enough water or if possible, carry a water bottle along with you.
6. Fake it till you make it:
Nothing is more important than confidence. Don’t be afraid because everyone is playing a role and wearing a mask. Knowledge is important but being confident is the basic necessity for a successful interview. So even if you start feeling low at some point or other in the course of the meeting, remember to be confident and just try your best, no matter what.
7. Always be open for a discussion:
This is one of the ways wherein you can convince your interviewer that you are open for various discussion including salary, time-shift, office location, travel etc. Once you get selected, these things can be manipulated to a certain degree after showing your performance. The health discussion also develops the trust factor between both of you and induces a sense of security.
8. Carry a positive approach while going for an interview:
Being positive in any interview is very much important. Interviewers are on the look hiring people who are positive and will easily fit in. Never ever speak ill about your previous company, colleagues or bosses. The positive approach will take you far in the selection process of any interview.
9. Always remember to take care of your body language:
We all know that “Action speaks louder than words”. Same goes when you are in for an interview. Verbal language represents only about 7% of what we are communicating. The remaining 93% is up to your body and tone. So, focusing on how to speak rather than what to tell is a priority during an interview. If your body language fails to impress, you will not bag the job.
10. It is now time to adopt the art of mirroring technique:
Mirroring is the practice of adopting another person’s behaviors’, mannerisms, and ways of speaking and is an important technique which is widely used in the world of psychology as a mean to gain trust.
By mirroring the moments, tones and gestures of interviewer you are basically communicating to develop the trust and maintain that much-needed rapport.
The art of mirroring takes time so it is important you start practicing the basic guidelines of this art well before you decide to go for it in your next interview.
11. Listening carefully to the interviewer is the key to crack that much awaited job interview:
Listening is just as important as answering questions during the interview and a very important skill which will assist you to read in between the lines because sometimes what is not said is just as important as what is said. Listening helps you understand the expectations of the interviewer and then you can react accordingly. Active listening, therefore, play a very crucial role in a job interview.
12. Answer what is asked:
It is very necessary to answer what is asked so, make sure you answer properly even if you need a few moments silence to collect your thoughts. Never manipulate or waffle. Make sure you understand what is being asked. If you don’t know the answer straight away say that you don’t know rather than waffling.
13. Prepare thoroughly for the most common job interview questions asked in every interview:
There are some very common questions which are asked in almost every interview, irrespective of the job that you have applied for. So, it is very necessary and important that you keep yourself ready with answers for this most commonly asked questions. Some of the most common questions to ask at an interview are listed as below –
- Can you tell me a little about yourself?
- What do you know about the company?
- What are your strengths and weakness?
- Why do you want this job?
- Why should we hire you?
14. Give specific examples for everything you explain:
Giving specific answers make the process smooth and simpler for you. Be ready with examples highlighting your success and achievements which make you stand out from the crowd. An example is something that will give credibility to your explanation and make you stand out amongst the crowd.
15. Maintaining eye contact is more important than you think:
Eye contact demonstrates confidence. It is an important non-verbal way of communicating during an interview.
Making the right amount eye contact in an interview can make the difference whether you successfully snag the job.
Always remember that while making eye contact, avoid the sudden change in eye contact and remember eye contact remains consistent throughout the interview without turning into an awkward glare.
16. Try to build rapport with the recruiter:
It is a very natural human tendency of human beings that they end up hiring people they .
So when you go for an interview your goal should be to transition the interview into more of a conversation so you get the chance to maintain that much-needed rapport.
Some of the meaningful topics of relevance to build rapport during an interview include current events of the company or industry, challenges of the position and challenges the company faces and information about your contact.
17. Recognize that you have a tough competition out there:
It is very important to consider your job interview as a competition because this is the place where you will be compared to other candidates who have applied for the same job. So prepare well for the competition you do before you appear for any other competition.
18. Analyze the job description thoroughly before going for interview:
The job description is the basic outline of the work profile wherein the expectations of the job are communicated. So, analyzing and studying the job description tells you what is expected of you on the job. Once you understand this, it is easier for you to prepare accordingly.
19. Be very careful about what you say:
Constantly complaining is bound to show you in rather negative light. Do not end up saying something you don’t mean to say. In order to appear rather professional it is better that you do not stoop too low and begin discussing all your personal or domestic matters. Remember never to lie or stretch the truth.
20. Interview for as much as you can:
Don’t stay focused and apply only for jobs that match your search criteria. This will limit your job search possibilities and chances to find the right job.
Moreover appearing for interviews will get you acquainted with the new trends, positions, and opportunities, your perspectives will shift, and you will see new paths that you were previously unaware of.
This will also boost your confidence for appearing for interviews.
21. Know your rights as an interviewee:
The biggest problem that leads to lower levels of self-confidence during a job interview is that the interviewee is unaware of his basic rights as an interviewee.
What were once standard questions on an application form or during an interview such as age, marital status, and religious views are now illegal under discrimination legislation as employers can’t judge candidates on the basis of these factors.
Right at the onset, establish yourself to be a no nonsense person. If you are easy going and vulnerable then people are bound to take you for a ride and cheat you. So, be alert at all times.
22. Decipher your best etiquette and manners:
In today’s times, it is tough to find people who are well mannered. When you go for an interview, you must show yourself to be someone who is always mindful of your manners. If your manners are bad, no one will respect you.
Remember it is vital that you are an absolute delight before the recruiter and do not forget to use the golden words at the right time. Always remember to greet your interviewer before and after leaving.
Finally, thank your interviews for their precious time which is a basic interview etiquette.
23. Do not forget to ask questions from your end during interview:
Asking question is an important opportunity to dig out valuable information about the company that might be helpful in your further interview process and is an indication that you are in the conversation, too.
The questions you ask also indicate your interest in the company or the job you applied for and also decipher your enthusiasm.
It also assures the interviewer that you are knowledgeable and have come prepared for the interview.
24. Always remember to follow up after you are done with the interview:
It is very much important to remind your interviewer either through the mail or call in order to show your seriousness. This way, it is bound to increase your chances of getting considered for the selection process. This is the final chance to market yourself and make sure not to miss it out at the last moment.
The bottom line of this article is to follow these simple tips and techniques and your interview success rate will surely go up dramatically. So pull up your socks and boost your confidence with this essential interview techniques and tips. So try to stay focused and drive off any potential jitters and start preparing for your next interview.
Get Going! Good Luck for all the future interviews!
How to Succeed at a Job Interview
When confronted with the scrutiny of selection interviews, many of us feel threatened, embarrassed, uptight, overwhelmed by emotion and totally uncomfortable. It’s not easy to accept a perfect stranger dig intrusively in the world of your experience, aspirations and dreams, even if it’s meant to be just a neuter discussion about career issues.
However, it’s good to know that butterflies in the stomach are not a pre-requisite to a hiring interview. Here are some tips & tricks to avoid recruitment traps and turn a ghastly encounter in a friendly chat.
Show Positivity and Drive
Enthusiasm, optimism and motivation to join the team are the catalyst for the interviewer to shape a strongly positive opinion upfront.
A jovial sense of humor is also welcome, because laughter is an effective ice-breaker that brings people closer and creates a sense of complicity and shared togetherness.
Nonetheless, don’t overdo it and stick to benign humor: Don’t crack jokes at the expense of others, avoid irony, sarcasm or long satirical anecdotes that divert from the objective of the meeting.
Do Your Homework Before the Interview
A selection interview FAQ is “What do you know about us?” The successful candidate must prove that he/she is reasonably informed about the organization and the targeted position. Be sure to gather relevant info beforehand,
Google down the company facts & figures, find out about the number of employees, main locations and headquarters, branches of activity, stock exchange value, profitability, turnover and forecast.
It’s always useful to visit a forum about employees’ rating of the company.
Refrain from gossip, rumors, controversies, criticizing former employers and other delicate subjects that tend to generate resentment and defensiveness
Add a Name to the Face
Inquire beforehand about the name and position of your recruiter. When you schedule the appointment, usually during the phone conversation, make sure to ask for contact details for the assessor you are going to meet: their department, and whether they are a manager or a specialist.
Of course, you won’t either need or gain access to the abridged biography; still some background data can help you anticipate the direction of the discussion and the standing point at stake for your partner.
For instance, when interviewed for an HR specialist position by a training manager, you will focus more on, say, soft skills, while when you meet a payroll manager, probably the dialogue will evolve in a stricter manner, on topics such as fiscal or legal issues.
Answer in Full Sentences
Pay attention to phrasing and coherence of speech when you express your opinions. Avoid monosyllabic answers, especially starting phrases with “no”.
Be aware of the fact that, however shallow it may seem, what you say is sometimes less important than how you say it, in terms of message impact.
When accurately modulated, not too loud nor too whispery, your voice is your brand, so use it wisely.
Be Proud of Your Accomplishments, Aware of Your Shortcomings
Be ready to give an example of achievement, as well as one when you failed to rise up to your own or the others’ expectations.
Be sincere and promote your talent and interests without fake modesty. This is often discarded as either manipulation attempt, or under-rated self-esteem.
When you acknowledge your vulnerabilities, you are one step closer to overcoming and converting them in strengths.
Ask for Feedback
You may ask for a debriefing feedback at the end of the interview, by restating the value of the interview as a learning experience.
No matter how poorly or brilliantly you think you did, the interviewer must be available to state his / her perception and arguments on the spot.
This off-the-record feedback will clear the air and prepare you for the official conclusion you will receive later on.
Remain Time and Space Oriented
If you are late or lost, this can be interpreted as absent-mindedness, unreliability or sheer disinterest. So make sure you have the necessary directions and the exact address (with landmarks) noted down.
Be prepared for the worst-case scenario where you get lost, and have a back-up. Moreover, do your best to arrive on time.
Leave 10-15 minutes as precaution buffer for unpredictable cases (weather conditions, traffic, other incidents) and call the company to announce if you anticipate even a slight delay.
Greet the Person Behind the Suit
Start the interview with a cordial smile and a firm handshake. Think about the interview as a genuine discussion between two or more people (in the case of panel evaluations). This will be the perfect beginning for a dialogue between two strangers who turn into partners in a non-aggression treaty.
Ward Off Stereotype Expressions
Be on the lookout for these speech-parasites that may jeopardize the assessment for even the most promising applicant.
The interviewer will have a hard time dealing with ready-made answers learnt by heart or with inadequately repeated words or phrases.
Compulsive gestures and noises scratching, panting, and crunching will most ly cause your evaluation to plummet. In some cases, a little censorship pays off.All this practical advice might seem a lot to handle, in terms of framework for a real-life dialogue, but it helps when you select what fits best to your own situation and personality. Above all, when faced with the career opportunity of a lifetime, keep in mind your most valuable assets: spontaneity and authenticity.
Got any interview tips that you’ve found helpful?
To better understand your clients always ask the following 10 questions so you can be a better freelance designer.
Photo by Brett Arthur
Popular search terms for this article:
how to succeed in an interview, how to succeed in a job interview, How to succeed at a job interview, how to succeed in interviews, how to succeed in job interview, how to succeed in interview, how to excel in an interview, how to succeed at an interview, how to succeed an interview, how to succeed a job interview
Job interview tips: Your complete guide to succeeding in interviews
There’s no doubt about it – interviews are scary. But there’s no getting away from them so instead, you should see them as an opportunity to sell yourself and prove why you are the perfect candidate for the job.
We’ve put together some job interview tips for you – including tips, job interview questions, what you should ask, and what to wear. And remember, the more you practice and prepare, the easier it'll be.
What are interviewers looking for?
Not only do employers want to know that you can do the job – this is where you need to expand on your CV and give real-life examples of how you’ve applied your knowledge and skills – they are also looking at things :
- Do you have the key skills needed to do the job?
- Body language – your body language gives away a lot more than you might think. So sit up straight (don’t slouch!), smile and make eye contact.
- What kind of person are you? Are you friendly and approachable?
- Will you be a good team fit? Do you suit the company’s values?
- Do you really want the job? Do you have a genuine interest in the organisation? Did you take the time to learn about the company?
- Will your skills and knowledge help solve their problems?
- Can you bring new skills or ideas to the job?
- Are you flexible/adaptable?
- Will you be a self-starter or will you need constant supervision?
- Will you respect management?
Typical job interview questions
Researching typical interview job interview questions can help
Every experience is different, but many employers will ask you the same kind of job interview questions and use similar interview techniques. Here are the most common interview questions:
- Tell me a bit about yourself?
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What is your greatest achievement?
- Tell me about a challenge you’ve faced and how you dealt with it.
- What motivates you?
- How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?
- Give an example of when you’ve worked in a team to achieve something.
- Why did you leave your last job?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Do you have any questions for us?
It’s a really good idea to practice your answers to these questions in advance so that you’re not panicking on the day.
Don’t fall into the trap of memorising a pre-prepared speech because it’s important that your answer sounds natural, but having some idea of how you’ll respond will help you feel more confident.
Although preparing for a job interview is essential, you need to strike a balance between knowing your content and sounding natural.
Unusual job interview questions
Some more unusual interview questions that people claim to have been asked over the years include:
- If you were an animal what would you be?
- How many tennis balls can you fit inside a limousine?
- How many petrol stations are there inside the M25?
- Who would win a fight between Spiderman and Batman?
- How would you get an elephant into a fridge?
Don’t fret too much about whether you’ll get asked an oddball interview question. Interviewers are not necessarily expecting an exact answer – there will be lots of possible responses and they just want to see how you react.
Take your time in answering the question and don’t panic. Think about how you could use one of your skills ( problem solving) to answer it and embrace the question even though it sounds strange to you.
Remember, there is no right answer to these questions.
'Preparation is everything when it comes to job interviews.'
Tweet this to your followers
Questions to ask during an interview
Having questions prepared beforehand will show that you're
It’s pretty ly that you’ll be asked if you have any questions yourself at the end of the interview and it’s really important to have some prepared.
Asking questions shows an employer that you care about your career and that you’re genuinely interested in the job.
Use this as an opportunity to find out some more about the role and the company culture, which will help you to decide if it’s the right place for you.
If you’re stumped about what to ask, here are some popular questions to inspire you:
- Why has the job become available?
- Where does the role fit into the overall team structure?
- What are you looking for in a candidate?
- What’s the working environment ?
- What training/development opportunities are available?
- How is performance measured and reviewed?
- When can I expect to hear from you?
While it might be tempting to start talking money, this isn’t really the time for it – unless you are actually asked what your expectations are. It’s better to save any talk of salary until you’ve been offered the job.
Job interview tips
First off, take some job interview tips from Linda Spencer – she should know, she's a careers adviser at Harvard University. Plus, she's very friendly:
Now, here's a round up of our top job interview tips:
Do your homework
One of the best job interview tips there is! Read up on the company so you can answer any questions they may ask you about them confidently. Have a look at their website and social media sites, and do an online search to see if there’s been any recent news about them.
Practice makes perfect
It really is true – if you practice your answers to some of the typical job interview questions above, you’ll be prepared for them on the day. So get in front of that mirror and get interviewing yourself!
Plan your outfit in advance
Make sure you’re dressed to impress. Read our article on what to wear for interviews for some advice on making a good first impression.
Arrive on time
Think about how you’ll get to the interview and allow plenty of time in case there’s traffic/public transport problems. It’s also a good idea to have a back up route planned so you’re not panicking on the day if it all goes wrong.
Smile – and breathe!
You may be freaking out on the inside but it’s really important to take a few deep breaths and stay calm. It’s perfectly natural to be nervous but the interviewer will want to see how you handle your nerves.
Make sure you smile and make eye contact – and a firm handshake won’t go amiss either. Good luck!
This infographic from Visually shows you some crucial job interview tips for your next interview – and that includes what not to do as well (just right click and select “Open image in new tab” to see it full size). If you'd to know more, have a read of our very own job interview dos and don'ts page. Oh, and keep scrolling for tips on telephone interviews.
Telephone job interview tips
Telephone interviews offer several advantages over face-to-
If you have a telephone interview, you have the added bonus of being able to have some notes to hand without the employer knowing!
But remember, it’s really important that your responses sound natural and that they answer the question being asked, so avoid preparing full responses in advance and reading them a script.
Instead, just jot down some notes or bullet points around these topics that you can refer to:
- Your skills (including some real life examples of how you’ve applied them).
- Your strengths.
- A weakness (and think of how you turned this into a positive).
- An example of when you worked as a team – it could be a previous job, a project at school, a sports team or an after-school club.
- Some background info about the company.
- Any questions you want to ask.
Another good technique is to have your CV and cover letter (or application form) to hand, as well as a glass of water in case your throat becomes dry – you don’t want to squeak!
Make sure that you’re in a quiet place for your telephone interview where you know that there’s good phone reception. Speak slowly and clearly, being as concise as you can when you answer and avoiding too many “umms” and “s” while you’re thinking.
For more telephone job interview tips and sample questions, visit our careers advice section.
You might also ..
Job interview checklist: Essential dos and don'ts
Skill up: Job interviews: How to succeed
Interview tips: 10 tips to improve interview performance
Carole Martin, Monster Contributing Writer
10 interview tips to boost your chances of landing the job.
The day has come: You found an awesome job on Monster, applied, and got a call from a real-live human being who wants to meet with you. Congrats! But your work has only just begun.
Even the smartest and most qualified job seekers need to prepare for their job interview. Why, you ask? Interview skills are learned, and there are no second chances to make a great first impression. These 10 interview tips will teach you how to answer interview questions and convince the hiring manager that you are the one for the job.
Practice good nonverbal communication
It's about demonstrating confidence: standing straight, making eye contact and connecting with a firm handshake. That first nonverbal impression can be a great beginning—or quick ending—to your interview.
Dress for the job or company
Today's casual dress codes do not give you permission to dress as “they” do when you interview. It is important to know what to wear to an interview and to be well-groomed. Whether you wear a suit or something less formal depends on the company culture and the position you are seeking. If possible, call to find out about the company dress code before the interview.
From the very beginning of the interview, your interviewer is giving you information, either directly or indirectly. If you are not hearing it, you are missing a major opportunity. Good communication skills include listening and letting the person know you heard what was said. Observe your interviewer, and match that style and pace.
Don't talk too much
Telling the interviewer more than he needs to know could be a fatal mistake. When you have not prepared ahead of time, you may ramble when answering interview questions, sometimes talking yourself right the job. Prepare for the interview by reading through the job posting, matching your skills with the position's requirements and relating only that information.
Don't be too familiar
The interview is a professional meeting to talk business. This is not about making a new friend. Your level of familiarity should mimic the interviewer's demeanor. It is important to bring energy and enthusiasm to the interview and to ask questions, but do not overstep your place as a candidate looking for a job.
Use appropriate language
It's a given that you should use professional language during the interview. Be aware of any inappropriate slang words or references to age, race, religion, politics, or sexual orientation—these topics could send you out the door very quickly.
Don't be cocky
Attitude plays a key role in your interview success. There is a fine balance between confidence, professionalism, and modesty. Even if you're putting on a performance to demonstrate your ability, overconfidence is as bad, if not worse, as being too reserved.
Take care to answer the questions
When interviewers ask for an example of a time when you did something, they are asking behavioral interview questions, which are designed to elicit a sample of your past behavior. If you fail to relate a specific example, you not only don't answer the question, but you also miss an opportunity to prove your ability and talk about your skills.
When asked if they have any questions, most candidates answer, “No.” Wrong answer. Part of knowing how to interview is being ready to ask questions that demonstrate an interest in what goes on in the company.
Asking questions also gives you the opportunity to find out if this is the right place for you. The best questions come from listening to what you're asked during the interview and asking for additional information.
Don't appear desperate
When you interview with the “please, please hire me” approach, you appear desperate and less confident. Reflect the three Cs during the interview: cool, calm, and confident.
Bonus tip: Work on your answers
You know you can do the job; make sure the interviewer believes you can, too. One way to do this is by preparing well-thought-out answers to questions they're most ly to ask. Need some help with that? Join Monster for free today.
As a member, you'll get interview insights, career advice, and job search tips sent directly to your inbox so you can come across as a strong, viable candidate.
From ice breakers (“Tell me about yourself”) to the nitty-gritty (“What's your biggest weakness?”), Monster's expert advice can help you craft answers that highlight your skills and eagerness to get the job.
The Top 5 Pre-Interview Success Secrets
By Don Goodman
So, you had a professional resume prepared, you passed the initial phone screening, and now you have been invited into your first face-to-face interview with this employer.
Here are some great tips that most people do not know that can help you gain a competitive edge.
1. Find out what kind of interview it will be.
These days the interview may not be the standard one-on-one interview with you and the hiring manager evaluating each other.
The best way to be prepared is to ask in the initial phone screen what kind of interview it will be and who will participate. Different types of interviews include team interviews, group interviews, speed interviews, and, of course, Skype and video interviews.
Explain that you need this information so that you set aside an appropriate amount of time for the interview. Of course, knowing what to expect also helps you be better prepared.
2. Check out the interviewer and the hiring manager.
In your phone screening you should always ask for the name of the person the position reports to. Armed with this information you can research their background.
The more you know about the person who makes the hiring decision, the better you can focus your conversation.
If you are not interviewing with the hiring manager in this first round, ask for the name of the individual(s) who will be interviewing you.
Then, do your research about them before the meeting.
- Where have they worked (did you work for the same or a similar company)?
- What was their career path (do you have a similar path)?
- Do you have a school or location in common with them?
This helps you build rapport with your interviewer and remember –-
People hire people they . So, your job is not only to impress them with your skills and experience, but also to get them to you and want to work with you.
LinkedIn will tell you all sorts of information including how long they have been there and where they came from.
Be sure to see what LinkedIn Groups they belong to, who they are following, their interests and projects, whether you know anyone in common, and if they have posted comments and articles.Also see if they are active on and check out their tweets as these give a glimpse into their personality.
[For more, read Smart Research: Check Out the Hiring Manager.]
3. Search for former employees.
In LinkedIn you can search for past employees and may also find the person who held the job before. Here you will find a rich source of insights, and information regarding the position, the manager, and the corporate culture.
Regarding the request, the best way to ask for information is to use something the following:
“I found you on LinkedIn and noticed that your background includes working at ABC. I am interviewing there and wondered if you could answer just a few questions as a random act of kindness. I promise not to take much of your time and thank you in advance.”
You can also search LinkedIn's Education section to see if anyone from one of your schools worked there. A fellow “alum” is generally more ly to respond to your request than someone with whom you have nothing in common.[For more, read Leverage LinkedIn for Your Job Interview and Using LinkedIn for Company Research.]
4. Research the company.
Of course you will check the company out by viewing their web site and press releases. You should also see their presence on (and follow them), , LinkedIn, and even . That’s all pretty standard.
Also, Google the company name plus the word “review.” If they market specific products or services, do the same Google search using the product/service name. (You might want to also read 50+ Google Searches to Avoid Layoffs and Bad Employers for more ideas.)
Here are some other things you can do, which vary depending on the type of position you are seeking:
- For sales jobs — If you are seeking a sales position then try to “mystery shop” the company. Just call the company and indicate you are interested in knowing more about their products and services. Pay attention to your conversation with the sales person and see if you can identify any flaws. Then, call a competitor and see what happens. I know a sales professional who, when meeting with the manager, said “By the way I mystery shopped your firm and your competitors. Would you to know what I found out?” This caused the interview to go from a 30 minute time frame to over an hour, and clearly distinguished him from the other candidates.
- For marketing jobs — For a marketing role, try to determine how they generate interest and brand awareness. Check out the web site reviewing the user engagement and experience. Also look for them on social media (LinkedIn, , , , etc.), and see how many followers, s and so on they have. See what kinds of offers and interaction they offer. You can probably see what ad agency they are using by just doing a Google search.
Then, see if you can intelligently comment on what they are doing, and formulate questions appropriately.
- For finance / accounting jobs — For these kinds of positions, look for their financial statements and press releases. This is simpler for a public firm, but you can find basic information for pretty much any organization.
Check out their key financial ratios, read the Management Discussion & Analysis (MDA) on the SEC reports so you are better armed than other candidates in your discussions.
- For human resources jobs —
You have probably already applied for the position so remember the experience. Was it cumbersome and time consuming? Are there improvements you can imagine? Are they using social media to find talent? How well written do the job postings seem to be?
- For information technology jobs — LinkedIn is a great way to identify the key technologies they are using by simply looking at the profiles of their current IT personnel. See what groups people have joined. Also check out discussions on LinkedIn and .
Google the name of the CIO to see if they have appeared in articles. Additionally search for articles in Computerworld, CIO, and other leading publications to see what topics they are addressing.
Look for advertised positions on the corporate website, DICE, or any other job board they use, and note if there are specific technologies or positions they are trying to fill.
5. Be prepared.
Before you leave for the interview, be sure that you have all of the necessary documents and are ready make a great impression:
- Arrive on time.
NEVER be late, but be wary of arriving too early. Appearing 10 or 15 minutes early is about right, in case you need to navigate elevators and long hallways. Hopefully, you have checked out the location and environment so you know what you will encounter.
- Bring several copies of your resume.
There is nothing that stalls an interview faster than when the manager says s/he forgot your resume, and you do not have an extra copy. Keep them in a formal notebook where you can also take notes during the interview.
- Bring a copy of the job description.
Hopefully, you will have notes on it (or underlined/highlighted passages) which you can use to remind yourself (and them) of questions you have about the job.
- Have your personal business cards ready. As you are introduced to the interviewer(s), give each a copy of your personal business card which should cue them to give you their business card. This provides you with their job title and name. If they don't have cards with them, make note of their names (including correct spelling), email addresses, and job titles.
- Dress appropriately. Do not overdress. You can also call the receptionist, and ask what the dress code is. Receptionists generally love to help. Or check out the location before the interview, if possible.
- Prepare your smart answers to the common interview questions.
Standard questions are usually asked by most employers. Be prepared for those questions by relating your answers to this specific employer, your research.
After the interview, follow-up promptly with your thank you notes or emails to each interviewer. Read Guide to Writing Thank You Notes After an Interview for details.
The Bottom Line
Follow these tips and you will see dramatic improvements in your interviewing and overall job search.
More About Succeeding at Job Interviews
About the author…
Don Goodman is a triple-certified nationally recognized career professional (Expert Resume Writer, Certified Career Coach, and Job Search Strategist) with over 20 years of experience helping thousands of people quickly land their next job. A graduate of the Wharton School of Business and Stanford University’s Executive Program,