In my previous article that I wrote, How To Answer Today’s Behavioral Interview Question, I told you how I had the opportunity to speak with a VP of Human Resources. I would like to share with you something else I learned; her pet peeve with the lack of interview/job/company research. As I have mentioned in many of my past articles, the interview research you do or don’t do, can make or break your chances of landing the job.
When speaking to the VP of HR, she mentioned how surprised she is when candidates don’t have answers to basic questions like, “What is your favorite product of ours?” With about two minutes of research, you can nail that question and it doesn’t even need to be a favorite of yours, it can just be any product you remember. However, what happens when you don’t know an answer to that question? Unfortunately, your interview is over. Not physically over because the interview will continue on, but in the mind of the interviewer…it’s over.
How scary to think that if you mess up one question it can completely ruin your chances of landing a job!!
Here is another interviewing secret for you…
- No matter what job, industry, title, profession, location… people want to hire people who want to work for them.
How Do You Prove You Want To Work There?
As I already mentioned, prove you did your interview research. Even if they don’t ask the question, tell them anyways; I love this product you make because of XYZ reason. Put it in their face; I did my research and I want you to know it…I want you to know that I really want to work for you and I can prove it.
How Do You Do Interview Research?
Luckily for us, you can find anything on the internet. Just by spending 5 minutes on the company’s website, you most likely can gain all the research you need, but you’re a go-getter, you want to do more than just the bare minimum!
Research Their Social Media: Just about every company has at least a LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and/or Twitter page. It’s so easy to spend another 5 minutes and research those pages. On there, you will find philanthropic events, an insider’s view of the culture, current news and events and new products/services they’re launching. How easy that you just spent 10 minutes and you already know most everything about the company? However, most people don’t do this. So stand out from the crowd and be different. Show the interviewer that you did your interview research and you want to prove it.
But What If You’re A Real Over Achiever?
What if you want to take it to the extreme? Fantastic! Then you can do interview research on the actual interviewer themselves. Why would you want to do this, you ask? It can help by forming a bond between the two of you. Say from your interview research, you find out that you both really like boating. Then what a great way to start the conversation! You can use websites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ to do individual interview research. For example, say you are interviewing with Krystina Pedrick, the VP of Sales. You go on LinkedIn and look up her profile and on her recent activity feed, you see that she “liked” an article related to your profession. You should read that article before the interview and when in-person with her say, “Have you read the article that discusses (blank)?” Of course she will say yes and what a great way to start the conversation!
All of this shows that you did your interview research, but more importantly, shows that you’re really serious about the process; that you really want to work for them and only them!
Make an impression…Stand out…Be Different!