After actively sending your resume out and applying for job openings, you've finally got a call from a company that wants you to come in for an interview! After celebrating the initial excitement of this opportunity, there are some things you should do to prepare yourself that the employer will actually expect you to know when you walk through their front door.
The People: Who Are You Interviewing With?
Names and titles can be a blur, particularly if you're hearing them for the first time. Write down everyone's name and check out their LinkedIn profiles. This may help you find commonalities or shared interests that could be helpful in building rapport. If the company website has an "About Us" page, read through it and memorize key facts, names, and titles.
The Organization: What's the Latest News?
Google the company name or check if they have a 'News' section on their website to find any current information and events that have taken place, to get a sense of initiatives the company is currently involved in. See if there's a Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, Instagram, or Twitter presence, and pay attention to anything striking. For example, did the company just secure another round of funding? Have they launched a new campaign or initiative you should be aware of?
Knowledge of these types of items can be good conversation starters, and show you've spent time looking into the company.
The Purpose: What is their Main Objective?
In an ideal world, you're applying to companies you already have some familiarity with. But, if you've been sending out tons of applications and the interview happens to be at a company you're less knowledgeable about, use 20 minutes to take a high-level stock of what your potential future employer does.
Nothing's more annoying or disheartening to a hiring manager than to see that the interviewee has no idea what the organization does.
The Culture: What's the Dress Code?
The biggest way to signal you don't understand your potential employer is to arrive in an outfit that totally clashes with its culture. Don't arrive in a very formal and conservative look if you're interviewing with a scrappy tech company. Likewise, you're not going to want to go straight from your bare-bones startup, where your uniform is basically jeans and a T-shirt, to a law firm.
The Candidate: What Do You Have to Offer?
Recall on specific examples of achievements you're proud of, challenges you have overcome, and what and how you learned from those experiences.
Remember: This person's on your side and has called you for an interview because they are very interested in meeting you and moving you through the process. The last thing to do before you step into that room is take a deep breath and remind yourself that you've got this!