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How to Prepare for a Job Interview

Preparation separates the serious candidates from other applicants. While you won’t be expected to anticipate the hiring managers’ every question, your preliminary research will enable you to see how your strengths and experience can benefit your prospective employer, and that’s what they really want to know. There is no shortage of people who need work – set yourself apart by demonstrating that you actively want to work for the particular company you’re interviewing with and what you can contribute to their initiatives.

This is the information you will need:

  • Organizational basics: spend some time on the company website to learn their story from their perspective. Learn the major milestones of their history. How did they come to be the company they are today? What is their mission statement? Can you contribute to their ongoing vision? Are the stated company values aligned with your own?
  • Public perception: Now it’s time to see what others are saying about your prospective employer. Have they been in the news? Are they a topic of conversation on social sites? Spend some time searching online using the most common variations of their company name.
  • Industry news: How is the industry faring in the current economy? Have recent events hit hard or launched the organization higher than ever? Who are the major players? Industry websites and business publications will help provide this context.
  • Competitive intelligence: How does the organization rate against its rivals? Are they leading the pack in sales and innovation? Going head to head with a challenger?
  • Leadership: Can you identify the members of the leadership team? Check LinkedIn.com to see who is associated with the company and what role they play.
  • Culture: Is the company progressive? Traditional? Innovative? What can you expect in terms of work/life balance? Are they involved with a charitable organization? Will your personality and work style fit or challenge the culture?

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