4 Key Things Top Candidates Do When Preparing for a Job Interview
As the founder of a national recruitment firm and someone who has been involved in the recruitment industry for many years, I have personally worked directly with hundreds of candidates helping them to prepare for a job interview. Despite all the changes over the years in the recruitment process, one aspect has stayed consistent; at some point the candidate and the hiring manager will sit down across the table from each other (either virtually or in-person) and the hiring manager will ask what they consider to be key questions that will have a very significant impact in whether or not the candidate is offered the position. At Broadreach Staffing Solutions, part of our role is to ensure the candidate is ready for the job interview process with our clients. As such, here are 4 key things top candidates do when preparing for a job interview.
- They do their research and homework. Top candidates will always take the time to thoroughly research the hiring company and corporate websites and LinkedIn are the first places to start. Great candidates have a solid understanding of the company’s products/services and their place in the overall market space (Are they a market leader? Who are their main competitors? Are they global or nationally-focused? Are they public or private, who’s on their leadership team, etc.)? There is simply no excuse for a candidate not to have done proper research on a company (beyond what their recruiter and recruitment firm representing them has provided) before the first set of interviews.
- They have properly planned the interview day. Proper planning also means nailing the basic logistics of the interview, which – incredibly – is the downfall of many poorly prepared candidates. Top candidates are always on time, have made sure to know exactly where the facility is, how long it will take to get there, where to park, who to initially ask for and what floor their meeting is on. Great candidates also know who they will be meeting with during the interview process, what their respective roles are and where they fit into the company equation. Once again, LinkedIn is a great place to start. Check out each interviewer’s LinkedIn profile and get an idea of their role in the company as well as their backgrounds. In addition, check out common connections (either internally or externally). Identifying mutual connections and common ground are always helpful in interview situations.
- They understand where they fit in to the equation. Candidates that stand out from the pack always thoroughly understand the role they are interviewing for and where they specifically can add value. Not every hiring situation is a perfect fit between candidate and role, so it’s up to the candidate to be able to articulate to the hiring manager how their unique skills and experience can fill the gap. In preparation, candidates need to have a thorough understanding of the job description, identify areas of strengths as well as weakness relative to the role, and be ready to walk a hiring manager through the tangible value that they bring to the table.
- They engage the interviewers. Strong job candidates are not only prepared to answer interviewer’s questions, but they also come prepared with their own questions. One of the biggest turn-offs for hiring managers is when candidates don’t engage them during an interview and don’t have any follow up questions. The interview process should be a conversation, not a monologue, and it is up to the job seeker to come prepared with meaningful, thoughtful questions that show the interviewer that they have more than just a passing interest in the opportunity. For senior and executive-level roles, it is absolutely expected that candidates will have key questions that are important to them as they move through the process. Some important areas for candidates to inquire about would be company goals (revenue goals, market share, new products, etc.), company culture (entrepreneurial or process-oriented, top-down versus bottom-up, measured or fast-paced, casual or button down) and how success is measured in the role and when is impact expected.
Great recruiting firms will help top candidates prepare for the job interview process. At Broadreach Staffing Solutions, we take pride in working with the best talent to help them showcase their skills to our clients. If you’re looking for a new opportunity in enterprise sales, technology (startups, IT or Education Tech), Financial Services or related areas, please check out our career center today to explore our hottest jobs, or contact us and one of our recruiters would be happy to connect with you and have a conversation regarding the next step in your career.