Updated: Dec 13, 2020
1. Research the Company
When preparing for an interview, it’s imperative that you research the company. For example, everyone knows that Starbucks sells coffee, but did you know that they use recycled products and are big on environmental issues? Depending on the firm or business that you are meeting with, make sure that at least two to three days before the interview you do a search for the company and then look at their About Us page. Read the latest news on them and view their press releases. Review the information the night before and the day of. That way, you’re well-prepared for the interview.
2. Research Your Interviewers
You might find information about the interviewer on sites like LinkedIn or on their company website. Maybe the interviewer just relocated to that office from the West Coast. This is the perfect segue to something you can state during the interview when asked about yourself. You might say, “I saw on LinkedIn that you relocated from California. I relocated too, and I’ve found that I can work well on both coasts.” The interviewer might also support social issues you both have in common. You can bring this up if it’s relevant and you have a genuine interest in the subject.
3. Bring Up Your Key Points
An interview is a time to highlight how you can help a company. When you’re preparing for your interview, think about areas to highlight about your past experience. For example, if the company has social awareness incentives for their staff and you helped to spearhead the initiatives at your old company, these can be key points you can bring up when the interviewer asks you about yourself. You can say, “Well, I saw on your website that you support green initiatives and recycling. At my old firm, I started a paperless system that saved our firm a lot of money.”
4. Find Answers to Their Problems
Interviews are a way to help fix a problem. For example, if the person they are looking to replace had an inflexible schedule and yours is flexible, you might be the answer they are looking for. When asked if you have any questions for the interviewer, you can ask “What problems did you have with the person that I am replacing, if you don’t mind me asking?” They might say, “The person lived far away and commuting was a nightmare. They were always late.” That’s your chance to say, “That won’t be a problem for me as I live nearby.”
5. Don’t Forget to Follow-Up
As you end the interview, you may want to ask how they will be following up with the next steps. Most interviewers will tell you right away if they want to move on with you and have you come back to meet with their team or managers. They might also tell you that they are still interviewing and will start the next phase in a few weeks. Find out so you’ll know when you can expect to hear back from them. If you don’t hear back, you can send a short email to follow-up with them.
6. Send a Thank-You
When you receive the business card from the person you are interviewing with, hold onto it. On the same day you meet with them, you can send a thank-you card in the mail. This is a way to show that you are grateful for their time and it leaves a lasting impression. You can include in the card that you were grateful for their time and think that you would make the perfect addition to their firm and hope to hear from them. Let them see how you stand out from the competition by sending a short follow-up.
7. What To Do When You’re Hired
If you’re been hired for a new role, congratulations! You might receive the information from the interviewer in a phone call with a hiring date or in an email. They will then send out an offer letter to you with your proposed salary, the benefits, vacation time and so forth. Remember the points that you discussed during the interview; for instance, if they wanted someone that was never late. That way, during the probationary period you can show them that you are a good investment and you were the right choice. Be on time and always give them your absolute best.