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Have you ever attended an interview confident only to leave the interview room with your self-esteem at all-time low knowing that you are not getting that job?
An interview is an elimination process. As an employer, I want to know if I will be comfortable working with you. In short I am looking out for my best interests and not yours.
I want someone who can fit into my culture. I am hiring to fill a gap in my company which is why you should never ever take interviews for granted. Those twenty or thirty minutes may mean you walking out of that room with a job offer or going back to the drawing board and sending out applications again.
Muthoni Ndegwa, recruitment manager at Corporate Staffing Services agrees that prior keen research on your interviewer is mandatory whenever you get any job interview invitation.
Interview preparation isn’t just about going through the anticipated questions. It also entails the important aspect of having enough information on whoever is going to interview you. But then, what things should you research on your interviewer so as to have a successful session with them?
1. The role that you are interviewing for
How many times have you actually gone through the job description again once you get an interview invite? Naturally you will be so excited about being given the opportunity that you go straight to preparing for the possible interview questions.
“One thing that most candidates and even those I have interviewed before have in common is that they don’t understand the job description,” says Ms Ndegwa.
According to her besides the common interview questions that are standard in almost all interviews, 80% of what you will be asked will revolve around the job description. What are the roles you will be performing? What are the skills that you are required to have?
The importance of knowing all this is to better understand how you can relate what the employer is looking for to your qualifications.
And in addition to going through the job description to know your duties, create time also to know what you may be paid and such things specific to your job.
For instance, find out how the company pays their employees in the particular job advertised. This goes a great deal in helping you respond to the salary questions when they arise.
2. Who will be interviewing you
This happens to all of us including me. Rarely do we think about who will be interviewing us. Will the interview be conducted by one person or a panel, and if it is a panel, how many people will there be? Will they come from the same department as the position you are interviewing for or different ones?
If you have ever been to a panel interview, you can admit that most of the time it catches you off guard. It hits you when you get in the room and you start panicking.
A lot of the times we tend to assume that we will only be interviewed by one person. We get that interview invite; confirm attendance and go ahead to prepare for the interview? How can you prepare if you have no idea who will be interviewing you?
So what do you do? Prior to the interview, after you get that interview invite, consider reaching out to the person and asking about who will interview you. I can tell you for sure that they will not refuse to share that information with you.
3. Their capacity as a company
“If you are interviewing say for a product managerial position of the company, do a thorough research on the company’s capacity in terms of production. Have at your fingertips the size of market share they control as you may be asked about it during the interview,” Ms Ndegwa points out.
This, according to her, also goes for those interviewing for sales positions as they are supposed to know what products the company trades in, their market share and most importantly, the company’s competitors.
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4. The company’s inside info
Meander your way about knowing the tinniest aspects of the company, including information that only makes inside circles.
“If possible, get to know the person that held the position before. You might not realize, but this helps your interview a great deal,” Ms Ndegwa advises.
You may be able to deduce how you measure against their potential. Who knows, you might also be able to borrow from their strengths and motivations and go about the same in the interview.
5. Where the company is located
It goes without mentioning the harm that is likely to arise from asking for directions to the recruiter, 10 minutes before the interview.
You will be taken as a job seeker who lacks seriousness. To save yourself such trouble, use all avenues possible to know where the company is located.
Most companies have websites that also provide information about their physical location.
It’s now up to you
According to Ms Mwendwa, not having prior information about your interviewer simply narrows your chances of getting it right in the interview. It exposes your ignorance to the interviewer and thus limits your chances of ever getting the job. The least the recruiter expects of you is to conduct a basic research about their company and your job as a show of interest.
Do you have an interview coming up and are freaking out because you don’t know how to prepare for it? Are you tired of attending so many interviews without being given an offer? Polish you interview skills and position yourself for the next job by contacting a professional interview coach today.