Real-life advice from a real-life recruiter

In our last discussion, I posed the question of if appearance was all an individual needs to interview well and land the job.  The most appropriate answer to that question is- No, appearance isn’t everything and preparation is also essential in being considered a solid candidate during and after the first interview.

Do your homework before Interviewing

Before you go on a job interview, it’s important to find out as much as you can about the company. Company research is a critical part of interview preparation. It will help you prepare to both answer interview questions and to ask the interviewer questions. You will also be able to find out whether the company and the company culture are a good fit for you.

Is Research really all that important?

Yes, even sports coaches regularly name preparation as the reason their team won a game. Scouting – finding out as much as possible about an opponent prior to a game – is an accepted practice.  This same researching process is necessary for a job seeker to win in the job interview.

Why not wait until the interview to learn about a company?

As a recruiter, and having a candidate participating in an interview only to withdraw because of information you could have obtained beforehand is a waste of time for the employer and you.  One employer told me, “When an applicant shows me they don’t already know the basics of my business, I don’t waste time with them.  I cut the interview short; I don’t want them.” One job seeker who did not do this research told the employer, “What do you mean work weekends? That’s my party time.”- This may seem like an exaggeration but you get the point.

Another reason to do your homework

Knowing the pay scale for the company you’re seeking employment from is important because you can under-sell yourself or price yourself out to the market by not having the information need to properly negotiate. Sometimes you will be given the pay scale information in the classified ad or by your referral source such as the employment office or career service center. Normally, an entry-level job seeker can get information about pay scales of a local business by networking or simply asking a friend who works for the company.

What is the most effective way to research the company I’d like to work?

According to the NY daily news, many people are finding the below recommendations to be the most helpful when scouting a potential employer.

Visit the Company Website -Visit the company web site, review the company mission statement and company history, products and services, management, as well as information about the company culture. The information is usually available in the About Us section of the site.

Use LinkedIn-Company profiles are a good way to find, at glance, more information on a company you’re interested in. You’ll be able see your connections at the company, new hires, promotions, jobs posted, related companies, and company statistics. Take a look at your interviewer’s profile to get insight into their job and their background.

Use Social Media-Check Facebook and Twitter. Become a Fan of the company on Facebook and follow it on Twitter. You’ll find information you may not have found otherwise.

So take time, in advance, to discover as much information as you can about the company. Spend time, as well, tapping into your network to see who you know who can help give you an interview edge over the other candidates.

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