How to ace that interview - Part 1 

So, you’ve secured the Interview- now the fun begins. Preparation is KEY, so what should happen next?

  1. Thoroughly research the company, know the competitors and the industry. That doesn’t just mean looking at the company website- that is a minimum and people that do the minimum rarely win the day. Dig deeper- check out their social channels for up to date info, an insight into the values of the business, the type of people that work there, the perception in the market- LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Industry magazines etc. It’s more impressive to quote a recent, relevant press release that you’ve seen on their social channels, than recite when they were established etc that you’ve read on the website.


  1. In your company research, phone them, what if any company literature is available? Chat to the person on reception (get their name), ask them what it’s like to work there, what the managers are like, what they like/dislike about the business, how long they’ve been there etc. The gatekeeper can be the key to you acquiring great inside knowledge and if you make a good impression, that could get back to the hiring manager before they’ve even met you. Then, when you go to the interview, you’ll probably meet the gatekeeper, you can continue to build that rapport, thanking them for the documents they sent and again there is a strong chance that positive interaction will be reported back to the recruiting manager (who will often ask the gatekeeper what their 1st impressions were of each candidate that came into reception). The company literature/documents can then be brought out of your bag/briefcase, alongside your CV and notebook and before you’ve said a word, you’re creating a strong first impression.


  1. Thoroughly research the person that is interviewing you (check out their LinkedIn profile), know their background, perhaps you have shared connections that you can name drop into your interview. Check out the backgrounds of other people that work in the business and are at the level that you’re applying for. Look for commonality there. What are they posting about- that can again give you a competitive edge.


  1. Does the company sell their products through stockists/merchants/distributors? If so, go and do a SWOT analysis by visiting 2 or 3 distributors, find out what those distributors like/dislike about the products or business. Again, this gives you a competitive advantage/insight, which you can bring up at the interview. If they sell to contractors, end users, specifiers, local authorities etc, then use your current network (you’ll have professional connections that are like friends and ask them what they know about the company that you are meeting, plus their likes/dislikes about their products/service.)


If you do all of the above then you are going the extra mile and showing the interviewer that you are serious about your career and being as best prepared as possible. Stay tuned for part 2 of these top tips ...

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