Preparing for your Interview

I know, I know, Copernicus is really breaking some new ground today.  I am fully aware that any worthwhile blog, article or book written talks about the importance of being prepared for your interview.

So is everyone so adamant about preparation?  Simply put, because it is just that important.  So if everyone is running off to interviews fully prepared (which, I promise you, I’ve interviewed enough people to know they’re not), how can we make a splash through our preparation?  Here are some outside of the box prep tactics that can help you stand out from the crowd while gaining an understanding of who you’re speaking with:

  1. Who is going to be interviewing you?  Ask the Admin or the HR rep who you are going to be speaking with.  If you can find out who is going to be interviewing you and what their job title is beforehand, you can adjust your approach to the conversation accordingly.  If he’s British, brush up on your English football news.  If she works in online advertising, do some due diligence on the new Youtube venture.  Use all the information at your disposal to make a intelligent and current first impression.
  2. Industry News.  It’s practically a prerequisite for a candidate to conduct the expected due diligence about the company they’re interviewing with.  What they do, how they differentiate themselves, their corporate motto, the company history, yada yada yada.  But do some industry research and identify their competitors.  Being able to (at least semi) intelligently speak about the industry is a big plus – it shows that you came prepared and are interested in the business.  And you get Brownie points if you can tell the interviewer something about a competitor that he doesn’t already know.
  3. Interview style.  If you are interviewing at a Fortune 500, there is a good chance you can search online for some information about that particular interview process: they types of questions they ask, what type of people the company hires, what is the interview process.  If you’re creative, do they require a portfolio?  If you’re in sales, are they going to expect you to role play?  If you’re in accounting, is there an excel problem they’re going to hit you with?  You’d be surprised how many of these questions get repeated – a little research can go a long way.

These are some of the less utilized preparation techniques that could give you an upper hand in an interview.  Every morsel of information can be useful when you’re in a tight spot in an interview, so prepare away!

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