As I’m sure you’re aware, the job market is very competitive at the moment; with lots of people having been made redundant, furloughed or just facing an insecure future in their current roles and we’ve seen a dramatic rise in applications this year. Competition is fiercer than ever.... but have no fear, we’ve got your back!
If you’ve been selected for interview, you’re already on the road to getting that dream job, but a little research before interview is a worthwhile use of your time and could make a big difference in the impression you make.
Here are our five top tips for standing out from the crowd:
1. Check out their website
An obvious starting point but it’s worth spending some time here.
Often there will be an “About Us” area with a potted history of the business, how it has developed and grown and possible future plans.
Many websites also have employee profiles that not only give you an idea of their structure, but also the personalities they favour and the image they’re projecting.
You’ll be expected to have some knowledge of the business and what they do of course, so look through their product and service offering, reviewing their case studies, testimonials and brands they work with or partner.
Often they’ll have an area dedicated to their values and mission statement – think about how you align with these and make sure you emphasise this where possible in interview.
Also, what’s their general tone; conversational and chatty? quirky? corporate? This will give you a good steer on how to present yourself in the meeting.
Be aware of their geographical range – are they a local, national or international enterprise and are they looking to change that in any way?
If you’re a Marketer you may be asked to give your opinion on the website, so think about what you like and/or what you think could improve it too.
2. Job Advert, Job Description and Person Specification
You should have at least one of these, preferably all three.
Like the values, these will often reveal not just what the role entails but the type of person they want to employ. A good cultural fit is often a major factor in deciding who to offer a job to, so give some thought as to how you match these and make sure you emphasize this when interviewing.
3. Latest News
News about the business can be great to drop in to demonstrate your research and interest in the business. This may include recent acquisitions, new hires, campaigns, offices and awards received.
Again this may be found on their website, but also have a look at Google, relevant industry press and Social Media; tuck away positive news and examples you encounter during your research to use in the interview.
News about their competitors is also impressive and can help you project yourself as a bigger picture thinker. Check out their profile on LinkedIn and then look at “People Also Viewed” for their likely competition.
4. Audit them
It’s likely they’ll have reviewed your LinkedIn, Twitter and possibly Facebook profiles so return the favour. Check out their blog content to get a feel for their tone, look at any financial information available (accounts may be publicly available). Look at employee reviews on Glassdoor and their Google Reviews from customers, satisfied or otherwise.
Also check if any of your family, friends or connections on LinkedIn know any former or current employees and ask their opinion.
5. Check out your interviewer(s)
It’s useful to find out who you’re meeting at interview, understanding their background and seeing if you have any common ground.
Check out LinkedIn to see how long they’ve worked there, their education and employment history and posts they’ve written, commented on and liked. See if you can find them on Facebook and other sites to get a feel for their wider personality outside of work too.
You may be able to drop in similar experience and interests but be careful that this doesn’t sound too contrived – researching them is flattering, stalking less so!
By doing the above, you’ll be better prepared than most applicants and while you won’t be able to use all the information, it will let you convey the most important message – that you want to work with them”
Forward Role have worked with many well known clients over a sustained period, you can check out some of them HERE, so we can help with a lot of the above preparation and give personal insight into the business and interviewers. Head to the Candidate Area of our website!