5 Things To Research Before a Job Interview

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. – Benjamin Franklin

Interviewing for jobs can be stressful and difficult.  You’ll be asked a great deal of questions about your background, education, experience, and goals.  You’ll be asked about what you know regarding the position and company.  It’s always good to do your homework ahead of time so you can provide thoughtful answers during your interviews.

In order to have a successful interview, these are a few areas in which you should prepare to discuss and research before the big day.

Services

It’s not just enough to know the company you’re interviewing with is a construction company or a marketing agency, you must also know the services they provide.   Do they help clients grow their businesses?  Do they offer copywriting or video production services?

Understanding the company’s services, what they offer or don’t offer, will allow you to present the skills that you can bring to a company in an effective manner.

Current Events

Has the company been in the news as of late?  Are they rolling out any new products?   Was there a recent change in leadership?  Did they just go public?  Companies change all the time and by keeping up to date with news and current events, you can show your interest in the company and its success.  You can search this information on a company’s site, as most will have a news page or press center.

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Clients

Researching the company’s performance and work with clients can provide valuable insight on its operations and values.  By looking at past case studies, testimonials, success stories, and campaigns, you will be able to offer your own thoughts on approaches, tie in your own experiences, and find ways to improve.

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Once you’re hired, this insight will help you do your job as it will give you a sense of the types of  work you’ll be doing with clients.

Company Culture

What type of environment will you be working in?  Is there a formal corporate structure or is it a smaller and less formal office?  Will you be expected to show up at a specific time and dress a certain way or will the office be a little loose where people come and stay late while taking breaks at the ping pong table ?

This is important to know, as only you know the environment in which you perform best.  Some people need a structured organization while others work better in a looser environment.  There is no right or wrong way to do it as long as it’s right for you.

Some companies also stress the importance of a proper work/life balance by providing access and facilities that help their employees become more productive and live better lifestyles.  Last year, Fortune examined The 15 Best Workplaces in New York that featured companies like Google, Goldman Sachs and Whole Foods for their fitness centers, workshops on balancing work and family life, and free office meals.

Person Interviewing You

When you receive the phone call or email to set up your interview, make sure you find out who you’re interviewing with.  You’ll want to know the first and last name, as well as their title.  Once you have this information, you can do some research on LinkedIn or the company’s website to learn more about this person’s background, role, and responsibilities.  You don’t have to stalk this person on Facebook or Instagram but finding something that you both share like education, the city you’re from, or a conference or workshop that you both attended could be a good ice breaker.

 

Questions?  Can you think of anything else to research before an interview?

 

 

 

 

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Student Perspectives: Crafting Your Career Goal by Ashley Joseph

Student Perspectives provides an inside look to the career exploration and job search process from a student’s point of view.  This feature is written entirely by students who want to share their experiences and provide feedback on our services.

 

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One of the best ways you can prepare for the job market is by taking initiative on the steps it takes to get there. Giving yourself goals to work towards will give you some direction, but goals also need action or else you may fall into the trap of all plan and no action. By questioning your personal attributes and defining the things you want to achieve, your career goal recipe will be one destined for success.

It begins with passion. As students, we study to become experts in the fields where we find interest. We hope that our professional lives will continue to feed the things we are passionate about. Long term career goals will help you achieve the position you want over time and short term ones are the steps you will take to get there. For example: having a summer internship in the field where you find interest to gain the experience you need to land your dream job after graduation. Career goals help you channel your passions into action.

Add some inspiration to your recipe. Setting goals help keep you grounded as you move through your educational career, but it doesn’t have to be rigid. As a matter of fact, it shouldn’t be. You are gaining more skills and experience as you work towards your goals and you may learn more about yourself along the way. Staying inspired along the way by surrounding yourself with like-minded people and developing your personal brand will fine-tune all of your personal attributes. Being the best version of yourself is a reflection of exactly what you hope to achieve.

As you are crafting your career goal recipe, be sure to keep in mind that knowing what you don’t want is just as important as knowing what you want. Everyone’s recipe for success will be different. You know what your strengths and weaknesses are and the aim is find professional niches where these strengths can be exemplified, but if you don’t know exactly what that is, then it’s time to get curious and explore the things that interest you. It may take some research and soul-searching, but for your career goal recipe, you need to find the things that catch your eye and they will keep pulling you in the right direction.

Ashley Joseph is a senior in the B.Arch program at NYIT. She is originally from Guyana, South America, but grew up just outside of New York City. She is inspired by people, art, and books. You will probably always find her exploring a new place, reading a good book or painting. Her future goals include working in the field of Historic Preservation Architecture while also finding new ways to merge Art & Architecture.

3 Tips to Maximizing the College Experience for your Career

Helpful tips

You survived your first year in college, now what? Universities often focus programs and services to first-year students that help them get ready for the transition from high school to college. Then you become a sophomore and you see fewer programs targeting the second-year experience. These tips will help you stay on track and make your college experience more meaningful:

  1. Get to know the professors in your major. Yeah, yeah, yeah – how am I supposed to do this? Easy. Identify who they are, their areas of research, the classes they teach, and their office hours. Most of this information can be found on the college website. Professors are people just like you and they, too, were students. Once you learn about who these faculty are and their accomplishments, make an appointment to meet with them. If you can get 15-30 minutes of their time, ask them about their areas of expertise, their passions, and their career paths. At the end of the meeting, ask them for the top three things you can do to be successful in life. Yes, life, not college. Their answers will get to the heart of their most valuable life lessons which you can apply to all facets of life. Follow up your meeting with a thank you note and check in every now and then to let them know what you are learning. Faculty appreciate the relationships they develop with students and they often seek students to share opportunities.
  2. Gain experience. Get an on-campus job, an internship, or a volunteer gig. Attend on- and off-campus events. Join a club, a team, or a committee. Don’t wait until you are a senior to get experience. Getting involved early can help you develop professional skills, résumé-worthy experience, a professional network, and a better idea of what you want to do in life. Nervous about doing this alone? Ask a classmate to attend an event with you or introduce yourself to a student leader and ask him or her to show you around.
  3. Get help. After completing your first year, you have a better idea of what you need to develop personally and professionally. Check out the services your school provides. Maybe you need a tutor, career services, personal counseling, or financial advice. Your tuition covers the cost of these services, so use them! Successful people know what they need help with and seek it out. Be a successful person.

 

Ask Career Services

This feature will be recurring with questions on career related topics, industry insight and our services.  If you have a question that you would like featured on this blog, please email cs@nyit.edu with the subject line “Ask Career Services.” 

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I attended the all majors career fair back in the spring and I didn’t find anything I wanted in terms of jobs.  What can I do to maximize my time at the next fair or event?

I often hear this from students when we ask for feedback about our events.  There is plenty one can do before a career fair to get the most out of it. I advise our students to take a couple of steps in order to prepare.

  • Review the list of employers that will be attending. Most will have their open positions posted on NYIT Career Net or on the company’s website.  If you have done your research ahead of time and see a job posted on a company’s website, but it’s not listed at the fair, ask the recruiter about it.  Perhaps they are looking to fill that position with someone who has more experience or they already have a candidate.  For a full list of employers that attend, students can download the NYIT Career Fair App from the App Store or Google Play.
  • If they don’t have a job that matches your experience and interests, it doesn’t hurt to ask about future opportunities. See if you can keep in touch in case something comes up in the future.
  • Practice your networking skills. If there is a company that you are interested in but there are no opportunities that are a right fit, ask the recruiter for their business card or if you can connect on LinkedIn.  Network with other attendees at the fair or event.  You may make a new connection and learn about other opportunities that weren’t right for them but may be a great match for you.

Keep these steps in mind during our career fairs this year including the R:EACT Career Fair on October 26th, at our Manhattan campus.

I get nervous when I go on interviews.  What should I do? 

It’s normal to get nervous when you’re on an interview.  You’re being asked a lot of questions about your experience and background, and there may be a lot riding on how you do.  I encourage job seekers to go on as many interviews as possible as you will learn about yourself and the interview process the more you do it.  It also helps to ease some of the anxiety as you gain interview experience.  Other tips to keep in mind,

  1. Be confident. Easier said than done; try to remember that you made it out of the applicant pool to an interview, which is already an accomplishment.  The hiring manager probably sees tons of resumes every week and you were selected because there was an interest in getting to know you a little better and finding out if this is the right fit.  Be confident in your abilities and candidacy for the position.
  2. Think about some of the questions you will be asked and how you will respond.  Practice talking about yourself, your education, and experience.  Know what your goals are and what you can bring to the team.  Schedule an appointment with Career Services for a mock interview and we can provide feedback and tips for your interview.
  3. Relax the night before. If you’ve done the work and preparation, you should relax and clear your head the night before the interview.  Cramming and feeding into the stress before the interview can make things worse and make you more anxious.  After you finish preparing, take some time for yourself with a book, listen to some music or whatever it takes to relax.

 

I submitted my resume for review and I was told one thing, but then when I met with someone else in your office, I was told something else.  Why is that?

Our career advisors provide feedback based on our experience working with job seekers, employers, recruiters, and our own personal experience in the working world as well.  We each have different styles on how to format a resume, write a cover letter, and approach to networking.  Our style may differ but we utilize the same best practices.  For example, one advisor may recommend using an objective on your resume as long as it’s clear and concise while another may want to leave it out altogether.  At the end of the day, we each provide feedback that we think will best help you with the job search process.