Taking the fear out of interviews

Do your homework


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Take the Fear out of Interviews: Do your Homework

Interviews are scary.  That's a fact.  isn't it?  Lots of people seem to believe it.  Well I don't. Interviews are exciting.  Interviews are a challenge.  Interviews are fun.

If you are scared of interviews it's time to do something about it, starting now.  

I have a great deal to say about Interviews, so best get going! In simple terms you cannot be too prepared for an interview.  And there is a huge bonus in that the process of preparing will in itself build your confidence and reduce your anxiety levels. We are genetically programmed to fear the unknown.  This was very useful when we were in the cave looking out into the darkness.  It is less useful if you are going for an interview for the role of Assistant Financial Accountant.  

No sabre toothed tigers on the 4th floor (usually).  So, the more you know about what is going to happen in the interview, the less afraid you will be and the more confident you will feel. T

he first part of knowing what will happen is to do your homework.  The more information you can gather on the company the better prepared you will be. The reason for this is that you want to: Anticipate questions and Prepare your answers.

I am going to talk about how to do these in future BLOGs, so let's just talk about how to do your homework, and gather as much information as possible.

1. Research the Company Do the obvious - visit their website.   See what they have to say about themselves.  You should be looking for information about their past, their present and their future.   What new initiatives have they announced?  Where are they opening new offices, where are they closing them?  Do they have any exciting new products?  Most company websites will let you download or order a copy of their annual report.  Do so.  Google them, see what's current about them in the news.  A great tip is to set up a Google alert (if you don't know how - just Google it!) - as things happen you will get a daily email detailing them.  It can be very cool to drop the fact into the interview discussion that you are aware that they launched a new widget that very morning.

2. Get the Recruiter to do their job If you are working with a Recruiter they will have taken a brief from the client.  Ask for a copy.  If they haven't already given you the Job Description and Person Specification, ask them for it.  Make a point of speaking to the Recruiter personally to get their take on what the client is looking for.  You need to know why the Recruiter has put you forward and what they have said to their client about you.  What do they see as the strengths of your application?  What do they regard as the areas where you might get a grilling?  And what do they feel is important for you to get across at interview.  If they are good at their jobs they should have a very good insight into the role, and of course if they work for an Agency they have an incentive in their pay packet to help you!  The same principles apply however if you are dealing with HR or Inhouse recruitment teams.

3. Research the Interviewer Find out the names and job titles of the interviewers.  Check them out on LinkedIn and the company website.  They may have been interviewed in a company newsletter that is on the web, or in a local newspaper, so Google them too.  You can pick up useful things about what they are like, what drives them and what are their passions.  If you find out that their obsession is customer service, then it is a great opportunity for you to share with them YOUR passion - might it be the same thing?

4. Reach out to your network Do you know anyone who has worked at this business?  Do you know someone who works there now?  Talk to them.  This is where LinkedIn can be useful too.   Check your network for contacts that you may not have known you had.  If you are connected to someone who is connected to someone at the business, ask for an introduction.  You are looking for the inside track here.   Find out as much as you can.

5. Research the role Same principle: find out as much as you can about the role.  You've got the basics in the Job Description, but research around the role as much as you can. Great, you've now gathered a great mass of brilliant information.

Next week we'll talk about how to use it.   T

his is what I recommend to my clients, but I don't have all the answers.

What do you by way of research when you are preparing for an interview?  I'd love to know.  

If you would like some personal Coaching from me to help you prepare for an important interview just calll me on +44(0) 333 300 1296.


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