An upcoming interview can be a daunting prospect, especially if it’s for an opportunity that you really want. But the good news is that more prepared you are, the better chance you’ll have for doing your best and landing that opportunity.
In my role as Kreischer Miller’s recruiting manager, I conduct interviews on a regular basis. So it’s easy for me to spot the candidates who have done their homework in advance, thought through how to respond to my interview questions, and ask thoughtful questions of their own.
Here are my top tips to prepare for an interview and make sure you shine:
- Research the company. Go to the company’s website and learn what services they offer and what types of clients they serve. It’s also important to identify what makes them different from their competitors, so do some research on those companies as well. Use Google to search for news and other information that will help you learn about what’s been going on at the company over the past few months. Also check out Glassdoor.com and inquire of your network about any experience they may have with the company to get a sense for what it might be like to work there.
- Research your interviewer(s). If possible, find out who you’ll be meeting with beforehand and research their background. The company’s website and/or LinkedIn can be useful for this information. See what is interesting about their career history and what you may have in common.
- Think about what you want to learn during the interview. Write down questions in advance of your interview. You might want to ask about the interviewer’s personal experiences and career path, the company’s culture, or other information that is not necessarily posted on a website or in company literature. This will show the interviewer that you’ve done your research and put some effort into preparing for the interview. It will also help keep your interview on point.
- Review the job description. Ask what the expectations are beyond the noted responsibilities. Figure out how you can exceed expectations.
- Prep your sales pitch. Think about specific reasons why the company should hire you for this position and prepare examples from your experience to demonstrate why you’d be a good fit. For more help with this, see my previous blog post about how to frame standout answers to interview questions.
- Know the logistics in advance. It goes without saying that you should know where the interview will take place and how long it will take to get there well in advance of the interview. You don’t want to blow it before you get there by showing up late. Allow ample time for unexpected delays (traffic, accidents, bathroom stops, wrong turns). If you get there more than 10 minutes early, sit in your car and relax.
- Bring extra copies of your resume. Make sure you have one copy for each person you’ll be meeting with. You never know when one of your interviewers will have misplaced their copy, and by being able to provide them with one you’ll have just saved the interview from getting derailed.
Keep in mind, in addition to selling yourself by providing solid answers to the interviewer’s questions, the interview is a two-way dialog. Most importantly, it is your opportunity to make sure that this position and company are the right fit for YOU! Use this time to obtain information that you couldn’t find on your own and determine if this is an opportunity that you really want and fits with your career goals. By preparing properly for your interview, you can help to ensure that the decision is ultimately yours.
Kristin Seeger is the Recruiting Manager for Kreischer Miller and is responsible for the entire recruiting function of the firm. She joined the firm in 2007 after beginning her career in audit at KPMG and then working as a recruiter for accounting professionals. She enjoys making people smile and being an inspiration to others. When she's not out making connections, she enjoys exercise, reading, and spending time with family and friends. Contact Kristin at Email.
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