Before you tear your resume into shreds, read on.
When you walk into an interview, you have already been carefully selected from a hefty stack of other applicants. Your technical skills and education have been assessed, and you are now being brought in to be evaluated beyond what is written in ink. What are you like, how do you solve problems, are you a good fit for the company?
You’re right to realize that all of those things revolve around “me”, “moi”, and “numero uno”, but perfectly reciting a page out of the book of “you” won’t land you a fancy new job. The reality is that most people can do that pretty well. A daily barrage of Facebook updates will confirm that most people don’t have any problem talking about themselves.
Where successful job seekers stand out from their peers is with their ability to talk about the other person in the room.
Job Seekers are Falling Short
We recently spoke with a former director of student recruiting at a major tech company. The company is a household name and a technology that most reading this blog use. Despite the ubiquity of the product, she was shocked at how many students would arrive for their interviews with very little real knowledge of the business. While many had broad information, they had done little research on the company’s business priorities and goals, even though the information was all easily accessible online.
If job seekers are coming up blank with information on large, global companies, you can imagine how much of a bigger issue this becomes for small and medium-sized firms (which hire a large number of graduates!)
So… Do Your Research!
With the amount of information that is available online, there is little reason to walk into an interview unprepared.
- Start your research on a company’s website, and pay special attention to their “About Us” section, blogs, or media pages. Comb through their social feeds, including Linkedin, Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook. Find out who their competitors are, what their financial health is, and what their obstacles and challenges will be in the next few months or years. Information about culture is also readily available online for most companies. Check out reviews on Glassdoor, or look up employees on LinkedIn to get a feel for the type of person the company hires.
- Research who you will be interviewing with, or working for. Understand their experiences and background. Incorporating this into the interview is key to building a strong relationship. A little research can demonstrate that you are excited about the opportunity to grow under their leadership.
In addition to incorporating company-specific information into your responses, you can really impress when it’s your turn to ask questions. The interviewer may expect the generic queries about company culture, and will be impressed if you can demonstrate a higher level of preparation. Use this time to fill in the gaps where information wasn’t available online. You can also show them that you took the time to learn about their career, and ask or comment on their career trajectory or experience.
Above all else, properly researching before your interview will allow you to understand if this is really a company you (yes, we’re back to you) really want to work for. Before throwing yourself into the interview process and racing towards the finish line of full-time employment, take the time to understand if the culture, career path, and the required skills are a fit for where you want to spend thousands of your hours over the next few years.
CareerJSM: Making it Easier
We know that job seekers face challenges managing all the information during the hiring process.
That is why our application can now help you easily perform company research for opportunities that you are interacting with. CareerJSM will aggregate information from news outlets and LinkedIn when the user reaches the interview stage.
We know that looking for a job can be time-consuming, and we are building the proper workflow to ensure that you have access to all the information that you need!
CareerJSM is now used by students at over 20 post-secondary institutions across North America. If you would like to know more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also hiring and always looking for great new additions to our team.