Learning about the company is important, but there is more
People go on at length about important it is to do your research to prepare for a job interview. And we’re no different. We’ve beaten that horse many times.
Most interview-preparation advice focuses on the company – how many employees, locations, products, markets, sales, etc. It can be a long list. The good news is that most answers to those questions are readily available.
But wait! There’s more.
How much time do you spend researching the person with whom you will be interviewing? After all, as we have said (as well as many others) people hire people. Doesn’t it make sense then to learn as much as you can about the person with whom you’ll be interviewing?
A simple Google or LinkedIn search will tell you a lot. Their career path for instance. How long have they been at the company? In what roles? Especially if it’s someone outside of HR, just what does this person do?
Learning if they’ve written and published any articles will not only provide insight into how that person thinks and what they think is important, you’re certain to impress them with your knowledge of their achievements.
LinkedIn profiles will show their educational backgrounds. Even if you didn’t go to the same schools, maybe you know someone who went there, or maybe you have some other connection to the institution.
LinkedIn also typically shows any non-profit organizations where they’ve volunteered or various causes about which they’re passionate. This is all excellent fodder for conversation.
If nothing else, this level of preparation is sure to impress your interviewer. Doing that kind of homework, performing that level of research is sure to speak volumes about your seriousness and attention to detail – not to mention the kind of impact you’ll make on the interviewer.
In some circles, this all part of “soft skills.” And in many circles, strong “soft skills” are sometimes more important than the hard skills. What’s more, the soft skills are much more likely to separate you from the other candidates. In the final analysis, anything you can do to stand out from the crowd is certain to help.