Before heading into an interview, make sure you have a solid understanding of the company’s:
1. Values. Do your research. Know the company’s values & mission. Most of the information you need to know can be easily found on the company’s website, social channels and via a quick Google search. You should also go the extra mile and watch videos about the company’s founders and executives. Often times this is where the real gems are.
2. Product. Use the company’s product. If you read my posts, you should know by now that I love giving real life examples. When I was at a certain on-demand company, I couldn’t believe it when candidates would come in for an interview and tell me that they hadn’t ever tried the product. To me that was an immediate no hire. Why? In my mind, if a candidate hadn’t ever used the product, it made me think that they weren’t serious about being there and that they didn’t understand us as a company. Our product was unique in comparison to our competitors and it was important to recognize the differences even in an interview. So, use, test, learn and take notes about the product.
3. Team/Your Interviewers. This is the one time that it’s somewhat acceptable to stalk a little. Check out your interviewers on LinkedIn to get a sense of their current role and background. And, think of questions that are unique to your interviewer’s background that you may want to ask during the interview. This will be great to do to nail #5. Keep reading.
Then, make sure you:
4. Have your story down. Write out your story and know it like the back of your hand. Talk to yourself if you have to. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. I’m not kidding. Didn’t you hear that Beyonce rehearsed for 8 months for a 2 hour show? She nailed it. Take the time to practice your story and feel comfortable talking through it. This way you’ll project confidence when you go in for the interview.
5. Prepare a list of well-thought out questions. Everyone asks about company culture. Literally, almost everyone. But if you do your homework and prepare, you’ll be able to ask more specific questions that will set you apart from the rest. For example, if you’re interviewing at a consumer-facing tech company, you could ask a specific question around a new feature like: what was their process for deciding to add it?
6. Practice your handshake. Please don’t be that person with a weak handshake. It’s not a good look.