A couple years ago, I was on vacation with my family when the phone rang. It was an internal recruiter who asked if I come in for an interview. It was certainly an answer to prayers!
So what did I do? I delayed the interview.
Why? Because I had one shot at the interview and I wasn’t about to go in unprepared.
So I discovered a local library to begin my research. Let’s just say getting an internet terminal at the North Myrtle Beach public library on a beautiful beach day wasn’t difficult. I was determined to go above and beyond in my research.
When I returned home to Virginia, I did more research in preparation for my interview.
So what information was I looking for?
Here are 10 questions about an employer I strongly recommend you answer before you are ready for an interview:
1. What is the organization’s history?
2. Who is the organization’s leader (e.g. CEO, Owner)?
3. What is the organization’s recent financial performance (if a publically traded company)?
4. What are its core strengths and competencies?
5. What are its current products and services?
6. What are its future products and services?
7. Who are its primary competitors (if applicable)?
8. What are the industry trends?
9. What is the mission statement of the organization?
10. What are its guiding principles and values?
Last week, I also shared my advice for the 10 things you can learn about the interviewer.
These two sets of questions should be answered before any type of interview including phone interviews and informational interviews.
Yes, even an informational interview over a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Preparation is the key to success. So if you don’t have an interview scheduled, then use your network to create an informational interview with someone who is presently employed. Don’t expect to get a job offer over a cup of joe, but if you answer these questions beforehand, you will present yourself as a valuable resource and someone who is serious about getting hired.
Oh, and the interview I delayed? I got the job.
Brent Peterson is the founder of Interview Angel (www.interviewangel.com), a comprehensive guide and toolkit to executing near flawless job interviews. The goal of the Interview Angel Team is to bring out the very best in every job seeker. Discover customer testimonials, upcoming events, and media interviews at www.interviewangel.com.
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