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18 Feb 2015

MarCom Mumblings: Preparing for a job interview

MarCom Mumblings: Preparing for a job interview

By Jonathan Manfredonia, MarCom Internship Chair

Do your research!

Employers don’t just want skilled candidates. They want to hire individuals who want to work and will thrive in their organization’s culture. By doing the right research beforehand, you can confidently demonstrate your interest in the company and make sure they’ll have no reservations about hiring you.

Beyond just knowing the basics of what services the organization provides and who their customers are, you also want to show that you’re aware of what’s happening with the company right now.

Search for the organization on Google News and visit their website’s pressroom for recent articles. Visit their social media sites and take note which channels are the most active. Read product and service reviews on Amazon or Yelp to see what people are saying about their brand. Gather as much current news about your potential employer as possible, and you’ll be able to seamlessly incorporate it into your interview.

“I know that you’ve just opened new offices in Coeur d’Alene. Is north Idaho a market where you see continued growth?”

“Your teams are always placing in Bloomsday’s Corporate Cup! Would you say that you have a culture where friendly competition is welcome?”

Speaking of culture, up to 89% of hiring failures are due to the candidate being a poor cultural fit. Your interview is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate why you would be a great fit for the organization.

Dress appropriately.

The moment you walk in to an interview, you are being judged. According to Jacquelyn Smith of Forbes, your appearance demonstrates that you’re taking the interview seriously, that you’d fit in with the company culture, and it communicates that you respect the interviewer.

To make sure you are not dressed too formally or informally, you can get some solid clues by, again, looking at photos on the organization’s website and social media sites. You can also look at profiles of current employees on LinkedIn to gain a better grasp of the culture and what attire they wear into work.

As with most things, confidence is key. Wear what makes you feel confident and aligns with what you know about the company’s work attire.

Be prepared with questions.

After the interviewer has finished with his/her questions, then it’s your turn to ask some of your own. It’s critical that you take advantage of this opportunity, so be sure to come prepared with questions. (Pro tip: You can fill out interview templates like this beforehand to help prepare and communicate your key messages.)

Ask questions that get the interviewer to start imagining you working there. If done well, they’ll be picturing you filling that empty desk.

“What would be some of the first projects I would start working on?”

“From what you know about me, what would I be doing that would make your job easier?”

“What does success in this position and organization look like?”

Going into that big job interview can be a stressful process, but by doing your research and preparing in advance, you’re setting yourself up for success.