Prepare for the Interview by Learning About the Hiring Company
As part of your interview preparations, take a deep dive into learning everything you can about the company’s organization. This includes a thorough review of the company’s website, including its products or services. Be aware of their competition and the overall state of their market.
Get familiar with the Company’s Products or Services before the Job Interview
Are they marketing a specialty or commodity-type product? If it’s more of a commodity-type product, think about how they differentiate their product from the competition and be prepared to discuss this in the interview. If it is a specialty product, show your enthusiasm about the benefits of their product over the competition. This will demonstrate your interview preparation and your interest in helping their business grow.
By reflecting upon places you have worked or products and services you have represented in the past, you can compare the similarities and come up with statements that exhibit your ability to use your transferable skills.
Your job interview preparation research should include at a minimum:
- Type of company (public/private)
- Annual sales
- Products and/or services
- Size of the organization
- Their mission
- Leadership team
- Learn from interview preparation job books like INTERVIEW with DESIRE and GET HIRED!
Understand the Role Before Applying for the Job
You may be thinking by now that this doesn’t apply to you. You are interviewing for a non-sales type of role. True, you may not be literally selling a company’s products or services, but in some facet, you will be representing them. In today’s competitive marketplace, virtually every employee within an organization is responsible – directly or indirectly – to that organization’s end-user or customer. It’s now every employee’s business to promote the company’s brand and contribute to their growth. Engaged employees help produce satisfied customers that help grow the business, along with bringing new opportunities.
In every capacity within a company, employers today are seeking individuals who can effectively communicate with their customer base, whether this is an individual in IT, distribution, customer service, or sales. Every employee is a stakeholder in helping a business provide a better customer experience. As an employee, you have internal and external customers.
For example, maybe you are a human resource manager and only deal with employees. This means you work with internal customers. The employee who comes to you for issues with payroll or their time card is your internal customer. You will also have external customers. The services you provide or the products you produce impact someone somewhere.
Research Company Employees and Leadership Before the Job Interview
Knowing someone and somewhere is important when interviewing. Researching individuals that work for the company and knowing the locations the company serves are details that could easily set you apart from other qualified candidates.
Be Engaged and Sell Yourself
Our discussion thus far has centered around a candidate caring about the company where they may soon work. It seems counterintuitive, but we have to go down this road based on our experiences in recruiting. Too many times we hear some clients after a job interview comment that a candidate simply “doesn’t understand our business,” or the candidate was “not engaged,” or even worse, “they didn’t seem to care.” You can only imagine the thoughts of an interviewer in these scenarios. They’ll probably think, “If a candidate comes across with this attitude in any part of the interview, how are they going to fit in and work for us?”
Companies are looking for loyal employees that will go the extra mile. Show them you have this tenacity by spending time before your interview preparing and learning more about what they do!
No matter what type of position you are interviewing for – sales, service, human resources, or other positions – you should know everything you can about your potential new employer.
Company Background Research
Review their company website, do a search online, and read reviews from former employees as part of your job interview preparations. You may be surprised at how much information is out there in the public domain. This information is valuable and will give you more insight before you land the job. This insight will allow you to ask deeper questions during the interview process and show your interest in the company since you spent time preparing for the interview.
It will also help you avoid getting a job and working for the wrong company. If it is a large organization with several divisions, make sure you understand the exact products or services you could represent. It is embarrassing to do significant homework as interview preparation prior to the job interview, only to find out you’ve reviewed the wrong job duties, products, or services!
Learn more tips for preparing for an interview in the INTERVIEW with DESIRE and GET HIRED! The authors also discuss how to answer common interview questions.