As you get ready for your interview, research into the company and industry can give you a powerful way to set yourself apart from the competition. But there’s one more thing to do that can be the icing on the cake.
When the job opening was posted, there was undoubtedly a job description.
Typically, the job description tells you what the job entails and the qualities and qualifications that the company is looking for in an applicant. You may have looked at that description when you put your resume together, with the aim of aligning your resume with what the company said it wanted.
When you first apply for a job, remember to save the job description. Sometimes the links to positions can disappear. You want to find the JD quickly when you get invited in for an interview. Store it in a file on your computer along with the targeted resume and cover letter you submitted.
Companies invest the time of many senior-level staffers when creating job descriptions. You can use them to help shape your job interview strategy.
Now as you get ready for the imminent interview it’s time to look at it again. And again. Think of your own history, how you meet those qualifications, and how you match the company’s requirements when it comes to filling this position. Ideally, you want to show that you are exactly what the company is looking for. It certainly helps that the company is actually laying that out for you in black and white. Take the company at its word, and use that to your benefit.
With all that said, let’s review a few items I’ve discussed recently in terms of pre-interview research, because it’s so important to a great interview.
- First, there’s the need to revisit your resume. You can look at it as an interview template. It’s what will generate all the questions, and it’s the outline of the story you’ll be telling. Chances are, it’s been a while since you gave it a close look, but now is the time to do that.
- Next, there’s the importance of walking in with as much knowledge as you can get – about the company, its competitors and the industry in which it functions. This kind of research is not hard to do. Far from it, as it’s all there for the taking on the internet. But easy as it is to find things out, many candidates don’t take the time to do that. As a result, it can really set you apart from the competition.
- Last, head back to the job description that was posted when you applied so long ago. In that simple description, the company is telling you what kind of person it wants and what skills it wants that person to have. It’s almost a cheat-sheet to the story you need to tell. And it’s right there in front of you.
I promise you that a candidate who takes care of those three pieces of business will make an interviewer sit up and take notice.
If you need help creating the careers documents to get you into the interview, or need more assistance preparing for the interview, we have a variety of packages to support you in reaching your career goals.