Interviews: Do Your Research!

47104742_5a8a09e736_mSometimes, when I sit down to write something, I find that things aren’t as simple as I imagined. What seemed like a fully formed story or article or blog post in my head is actually just a few key scraps barely tied together by anything at all.

Researching a potential employer can present a similar issue. It seems like a pretty simple, self-explanatory task, but when you get knee deep into it, you realize there’s a lot more to do than you thought. And that’s only if you even figure out where to start at all.

Luckily, there are people like Sandra Long to provide a helping hand. Her post, Do Your Homework with Pre-Interview Research, doesn’t necessarily provide any new or groundbreaking information. In fact, that’s why it’s so important to read: because it covers all the basics. What I recommend is taking what she has here and building your own checklist that you can use when you’re doing your own research.

One final thing: Sandra draws attention to an important aspect of the job interview. The point of doing your research isn’t just to prepare good answers; it’s also to come up with great questions. In a way, this is the best way to show your ability to synthesize information. Having your own questions about the company, industry or role shows that you have given them some thought beyond looking at it as just another job opportunity. On top of that, your questions will draw out something about your interviewer and offer you a glimpse into how you would fit in.

So, there you go! Read the article, build a checklist, prepare some great questions of your own and make that interview a real conversation.

(photo by Flickr user bkRiverdog used under a Creative Commons License.)

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