Be prepared. Tips for acing the interview.

You’ve spent hours perfecting your resume, perusing job postings and applying to jobs.  You have an interview, but are you prepared?  It can take hours to research the company and think about what type of questions the interviewer may ask, but it is a critical step in making sure that you make the right impression.  Don’t let all of those hours of searching for a new job go to waste.

According to a survey by Glassdoor of 750 hiring decision managers, 88% agree that “informed candidate is a quality candidate” and that this makes the “hiring process a lot easier.”  Present your best self by doing your homework.

Research the company.  This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by the number of people that fail to put in this time.  Even if you are talking to a recruiter, you should not skip this step.  At minimum, visit the website, check out their social media accounts and get up to date on recent company news.  Find out the name of the hiring manager and any other people you will be speaking with, then check them out on LinkedIn.  Employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor can also be useful in your prep.  If you have time to go deeper, learn about their mission, values and culture.

Think about interview questions.   There is no shortage of sample interview questions on the web, but how do you know which are most appropriate for your job?  A lot of companies now use behavioral interviewing, where interviewers want to hear specific examples of how you have done something in the past to predict whether you are a fit for their open job.  Spend some time pulling together stories that highlight your capabilities relative to this role.  If you will be managing people, think about the best team that you have managed in the past, but also a time where you had a challenging employee and how you dealt with it.  Be prepared to share your approach to leading and inspiring teams, as well as how you have tough conversations.  And keep in mind that the number one question asked in interviews is “tell me about yourself.”

Think about questions that you want to ask.  Not having any questions is a huge red flag to interviewers.  They want to hire people that are curious about the role, the company and culture.  They want to bring someone onto the team that will be engaged and interested.  You might think you know everything you need to by reading the job description, but asking additional questions shows that you have a true interest in the opportunity.  Keep in mind though, that your only question shouldn’t be “when are you looking to make a hire?”  It’s a fair question, and one you can certainly ask, but on its own it conveys that you are just looking for a job, any job.