S1E1: Preparing For Job Interviews

  August 07, 2017
Tony’s perfect job begins with the interview, or more properly, getting ready for the interview. This preparation, a process that includes understanding the job posting, researching the company, and personal preparation, may be more important than the job interview itself, or if not, it is at least as important. A well-prepared candidate is more likely to get the job, and just as significantly, a well-prepared candidate is in a state of readiness to begin a successful career with the firm.

Translate the Job Description

Some job seekers use a general approach and respond to any advertisements that remotely match their qualifications and experience without paying too much attention to the details. These individuals reason that a job search is basically a numbers game, and the more resumes they send out, the better their chances are.

This analysis is not entirely misplaced, but it is very short sighted, because general approach candidates spend considerable energy and time going on a lot of interviews for jobs that they do not necessarily want.

So, understand what the employer is looking for before responding. Many times, that means translating job interview buzzwords, such as:

  • Flexibility: Many times, this phrase either means that there is no support staff to do mundane things like make copies and answer phones or the employer expects you to work weekends.

  • Team Player: If you are a creative and innovative individual, it’s usually a good idea to stay away from jobs that do not value one of your most precious assets.

  • Fast-Paced: Last-minute projects with borderline unreasonable deadlines may be the norm. Additionally, the company may be in transition.

These things are not necessarily bad, but you do not want to be blindsided by an unexpected work environment.

Learn About the Company

This step requires some basic research with a touch of James Bond-style furtive observation.

Financial records and company overviews are usually available on Wikipedia and some other similar websites. If the company is too small, the owner or operator should be searchable. You’ll also probably get good results just by Googling the company name.

That second step may take you to blogs, Glassdoor reviews, and other less-than-authoritative sites and postings. You can also search Facebook and other social media sites. Always take these reviews with a grain of salt, but do not discount them entirely. As a rule of thumb, people only leave these reviews if they have something really good or really bad to say.

Personal Preparation

Here are a few quick tips:

  • Use the good stuff you learned in your research during the interview, as both a conversation starter and to demonstrate your interest in the company.

  • Think about your answers to some often-asked questions but do not over-rehearse. For example, interviewers often ask about “your biggest weakness,” and that’s your opportunity to turn a negative into a positive (e.g. “I need to stay very busy at work or else I get bored”).

  • Try to arrive just a few minutes early, always carry a briefcase or portfolio (even if it’s empty), and dress one level above what you would wear to work.

Join us today, and we’ll help you get ready for a successful interview and career.