The interview is your first meeting with your future employer. You should therefore approach it professionally, as if you were already working as part of the team welcoming you. To stack the odds in your favour, you need to prepare for this decisive moment by learning about the company.
As the aim is to build up an accurate picture of your future employer, this information-gathering should include assessing the recruitment context, and finding out about the company’s history and culture, and about the kind of people your future line managers are. The internet can provide a wealth of information about the business sector, the health of the market, the company’s competitors, and the company itself: its products and services, organisation, recent management changes, shareholders, etc.
And don’t be afraid to ask among your network of contacts. The people you know could provide valuable information about the company you are looking at. The recruiter will view your effort and interest in the company as further proof of your motivation and will recognise from this that you have the key qualities of proactiveness and initiative.
It will also help you to prepare a list of pertinent questions you can ask during the interview, and to explain the reasons for your application. Familiarising yourself with a company before you have even been there can help you to understand better what the company needs – but don’t overdo it! Don’t tell your interviewer about the company: they are sure to know much more about it than you. Instead, demonstrate your ability to do the job on offer, your willingness to accept it and your ability to fit into the company.
If you have any other questions or want to do more to prepare for your interview, see our individual support programmes for executives and senior managers.
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