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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?