Success in interviews requires more than showing how your skills and experience equip you for a role. It also involves knowing as much information as possible about the company.
Researching the organization before an interview increases your odds of advancing in the hiring process. It also impacts whether you receive a job offer.
Discover some benefits of doing your homework on a company before participating in an interview.
Understand the Company Culture
Knowing about the company’s culture shows you intend to stay long-term.
- Learn about the company’s history and achievements.
- Research the products or services and how they changed over the years.
- Determine whether the business expanded to other locations or parts of the world.
- Find out who the CEO is.
Show Interest in the Company’s Success
Demonstrate that the organization’s success is your priority.
- Show you have the qualifications to fulfill the job duties and responsibilities.
- If you are applying for an entry-level position and lack experience, clarify how your company research demonstrates dedication to the business.
- Suggest specific ways the company can operate more efficiently.
Demonstrate Interview Preparation
Clarify that preparation is key to success in a position.
- Show your enthusiasm for working for the company.
- Demonstrate the value you can provide the organization.
- Clarify you take the initiative to gather information to make decisions.
- Develop conversation topics and questions for the discussion.
Express Enthusiasm About the Company
Show you are genuinely interested in working for the business.
- Demonstrate your willingness to invest time learning about something that interests you.
- Clarify how you value the opportunity to secure employment with the organization.
- Emphasize what you like best about the business, such as the fact that it gives back to the community.
- Show you would appreciate being offered the job.
Prepare Questions About the Company
Asking questions shows interest in working for the business.
- Demonstrate you want to learn more about the organization.
- Ask higher-level questions not answered in your research, such as whether the company intends to expand its offerings or reach new markets.
Explain Why You Want the Job
Detail what drew you to work for the company.
- Focus on how you can reach business goals to benefit the organization.
- Express exactly why you are interested in the position.
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In the search to find the perfect candidate to fill an open position, managers will (understandably) tend to prioritize candidates who have the most experience or who have the widest set of demonstrable skills. While it’s certainly crucial to seek out and recruit candidates who have the necessary technical experience, it can also be a mistake for employers to focus only on candidates’ “hard skills”. There is another dimension of “soft skills” – people skills or personality traits, in other words – that are equally important for managers to take into account whenever vetting a potential candidate. By gauging a job candidate’s soft skills and getting a feel for their personality, you’ll be able to determine if they would be a good fit within the workplace culture that they’d be entering into.
Here are four tips for making sure that a job candidate would be a strong “culture fit” within your company:
1. Reach out to references.
Resumes and cover letters are extremely useful when you’re trying to get a feel for a candidate’s experience and background, but they typically will not shed much light on a candidate’s personality or interpersonal skills. Professional references (i.e., previous employers and managers), on the other hand, can provide valuable insights into a particular candidate’s conduct at the workplace. It’s worth reaching out to one or two previous employers in order to get a sense of how well a candidate’s personality would fit within your workplace culture.
2. Ask personality-based questions.
One of the most effective ways to get a feel of whether or not a candidate would be a strong culture fit is to ask the right questions. To learn more about a candidate’s values and personality, try asking some of the following questions during an interview:
- Do you feel more comfortable within an individual or a group setting?
- Can you give me an example of a time that you resolved a tense situation in the workplace?
- What are the qualities that you value in the workplace?
- What are the qualities of this particular work environment that appeal to you?
3. Give your team a seat at the interview table.
Maintaining a strong and balanced workplace culture is a collaborative process. Each of your employees contributes in his or her unique way to weave the tapestry of your working environment. With that in mind, it can be extremely helpful to give your team members a chance to meet with job candidates personally to ask culture-based questions.
4. Know the role.
Last but certainly not least, it’s important for managers to thoroughly understand the responsibilities of the role that’s being applied for, and in turn to define the personality traits that will be required for success. For example, some positions will require a high degree of autonomy and creativity, and others will place a greater emphasis on collaboration and communication skills. In order to ensure that a job candidate will be a good culture fit within the company as a whole, you’ll first want to make sure that they’ll be the right personality fit within the particular department and position for which they’re interviewing.
At RightStone, we’re working with IT candidates and top employers to make connections that last. To learn more about how to get connected with top talent, contact us here.