If you want to make the best impression during an interview, it would be beneficial to spend time and energy to be as prepared as possible. The following is a summary of things that can be done while preparing for an interview.
Research the industry: When preparing for an interview, research the industry that the company you are interviewing with operates. Do this by going on the internet and identify any industry trends, relevant news, and map out the key competitors. The strategy is to find any trends, threats, or opportunities that could be impacting the company you are interviewing with. The goal while scanning the industry is be able to be well positioned to field questions during the interview and to also be able to compose one or two industry-related questions that you can ask to make you look knowledgeable.
Research the company: Go to the company’s website that you are interviewing with to learn about their business. While there, study their products and services to fully understand what they do. Then scan the company’s press releases to identify any significant news events. It could also be beneficial to go through their financial statements to identify any trends or events. One of the reasons to look for trends or events is that it can be the basis for a good question that you can ask during the interview.
Research the people you are interviewing with: One extra thing you can do while preparing for an interview is research the people you are meeting with. If you perform an internet search on someone’s name, you can often find news or details on their professional background. Information you find can help you to identify where the person is coming from which could help you to help you to prepare for an interview by anticipating the questions they may ask. You may also come across commonalities that you have with them that could be potential side conversation subjects that could help you to build some rapport.
Formalize questions to ask: Once you have done your research, formalize all of the questions that you can ask during the interview. Type these out on a piece of paper that you can bring to the interview and read from.
Brainstorm questions that could be asked: Brainstorm questions that the interviewer could ask you. Outline some of the routine interview questions and also think about questions that might be specific to this company and to this job. Once you have a list, go through and compose the answers that you feel are best so that you are prepared if they come up. It wouldn’t hurt to practice your answers and run them by someone else to identify any possible tweaking that might be helpful.
Build a business plan: Build a business plan that will outline what you will do if you are given the job. One approach could be to outline what you would do in the first 30, 60, and 90 days. This does not need to be an extensive document, just something that summarizes your thoughts and how you would approach the job. This can be a few slides in MS PowerPoint or a few pages in MS Word. Taking the initiative to do this can help you standout in front of the other people you are competing against for the job.
Print out materials: The last step in preparing for an interview is to print out all materials that you should bring with you to the meeting. Below is a check list of everything that you should bring:
• Always bring copies of your resume as sometimes an interviewer will sometimes come to the meeting without a copy.
• Print out the questions that you have prepared to ask and don’t be afraid to pull them out and read directly from the sheet.
• Print out and bring any research findings such as articles, financial documents, etc. Pull these out and look at them when you ask questions about that pertain to them.
• Print out and bring any samples of previous work that you can show if appropriate.
Preparing for an interview in these areas can impress an interviewer as you can appear like you did your homework. This could end up being the difference between you and the competition when they make their hiring decision.