Laura Decarlo: Hi! I am Laura Decarlo, certified interview coach and President of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches, Career Directors International. I am sharing strategies for planning to ace your job interview. Right now, I am going to give you strategies for distinguishing yourself from your competition by research and knowing about the target employer. The most successful job seekers approach the process of interviewing like an entrepreneur. To do that, you sell your product, you sell yourself. That means that in your interview, you need to demonstrate to the employer, how you can meet the goals and needs of their organization. To do this, you'll have to know about the company before you go to the interview. Some of the key information, you should know, includes company goals and mission, products and/or services they offer, recent changes in the organization, such as emerging technology, new products, expansions or mergers, and company history. Also, for your own information, it is a good idea to check financials on the company to insure their stability and solvency. By researching into these areas, you can gain a knowledgeable edge on positioning yourself during the interview. As a matter of fact, this extra work will increase your confidence and will keep you from walking blind into your interview.
This process does not have to be difficult. Sometimes you won't have to go such lengths in your research. You might not have the time between scheduling and attending your interview, or the level of the position may not require truly in-depth research. Mark my words though, even at an entry level, research can truly set you apart from the competition. We are currently living in a world of information availability. A tiny local company may require you to go no further than their yellow page advisement. But many companies, both big and small, have a website. That website will, most likely, have much of the information you are seeking about their products, service, history and goals.
Be sure to look through all the pages, including their press announcements, as those represent their big accomplishments. It is also a good idea to use a search engine such as Google or Yahoo to perform a search on the company. In this way, you can find articles written about them, press announcements about them, complains, law suits and more. Other resources for finding information on a company could include using your network of contacts; linkedin.
com is a great place for finding information about the company, because you can find people who have worked there. Read their profiles and job descriptions and even contact them. Other resources and sites that can be helpful for finding information include your local Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and area newspapers, reference librarian at your local library, who can guide you to resources on the companies; websites such as Dun & Bradstreet, Business.
com and Vault.
com. Once you have your research completed, you'll be much more educated about the company; what their goals are, what products and services they offer and potentially what challenges they face. You will then be able to use this information in your interview to show your knowledge, and your interest. Instead of entering the interview blind, you'll be informed and ready to show your commitment to the company. Now that you have the strategy to research the company, I will share with you a strategy that can you put you head and shoulders over the competition by creating a portfolio.