You’ve been invited to come in for a job interview. That’s the good news. To make the most of this important first step, now is the time to start preparing. Too many job applicants don’t spend enough time preparing, which not surprisingly, often leads to poor results.
Get up to speed on the company and their industry. Check out any recent developments or news about them and find out their plans for the future. Look at their mission statement and values and align your answers with them. Get a feel for their corporate culture and determine if it would be a good fit for you. Research the position you’re applying for so you have a good sense of salary levels, working conditions and current market trends.
Who will be doing the interviewing and what do they expect? Check out their LinkedIn profile. Talk to anyone you know who has ever worked with them. If you have any contacts at the company you’re interviewing with, talk to them if you can for an insider perspective.
Make sure you’re familiar with what is in your resume. Refresh your memory about dates and career accomplishments and look for ways to draw parallels between your history and the responsibilities of the new role. Think about which examples from your past are most relevant to the position. Bring extra copies of your resume just in case it’s needed.
Chances are they will ask some challenging questions, besides the usual strengths/weaknesses questions, so it pays to have figured out responses ahead of time. Plus, be ready for the curveballs – questions thrown at you with a new spin on them that may catch you off guard.
Asking the interviewer questions shows that you’re interested in the company and understanding their business better. Questions that indicate your desire to grow and progress, and to go above and beyond are always good.
Get in touch with your references. Give them a heads up about the position you’re applying for and that they may be contacted by the company.
Be well dressed and properly groomed for the interview. Know exactly where you’re going and arrive ten to fifteen minutes early. Be friendly, respectful and positive with everyone you meet. As an employee you become a representative of the company. They will be assessing you in the interview to see if you would represent their company well.
Be sure to show your appreciation afterwards by sending an email or note thanking them for their time and indicating your enthusiasm for the position. It’s a good way to differentiate yourself and stay on their radar.
The time you spend in advance preparing for your interview will pay off in terms of making you look polished, professional and worth hiring.
For other suggestions on job hunting, check out our post How To Lose a Job Offer Without Even Trying.
IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm with offices in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have teams of specialist recruiters in Financial Services & Insurance, Marketing Communications & Media, Emerging Tech & Telecom, Consumer Goods & Retail, B2B & Industrial, Technology, Accounting & Finance, HR & Operations, Energy, Mining & Engineering, Life Sciences, and Construction, Property & Real Estate. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.
Ross Campbell is a Partner and Practice Lead, Financial Services & Insurance with IQ PARTNERS. Celebrating over 10 years of management consulting experience in executive search, recruitment, and training in Canadian financial services and insurance companies, Ross thrives on the belief that business can be done significantly better by investing in the right people.