We’ve covered the importance of researching the company and person that you’ll be interviewing with so that you’ll be prepared to field questions about your interests and to see if you have things in common. Another way to turn information into a powerful tool is by using online research to get a leg up on your competition and show the interviewer your intelligence, preparedness and commitment.
Fortunately, employers’ websites and social networks like LinkedIn make it easy to go in prepared. Here are a few ways that you can stand out:
- Know who’s who. Go beyond the senior leadership and research managers and team members you might work with. See what they do now and what kind of work history that they have. You’ll be able to ask about how the team functions and where your position would fit in, which shows that you’re thinking seriously about the job and how to succeed at it.
- Be aware of where the company stands. Look at its website and use Google for recent news coverage. What are some of the organization’s major initiatives? Has it had notable recent success? Being able to speak knowledgeably about and showing enthusiasm for the company’s success now says that you’ll be invested in continued growth and impact if you’re on the team.
- Understand the mission. A quick look at the employer’s website should reveal a mission statement of some sort, but you can take that a step further by using information about the company’s recent work as an example of why that mission is important to you, too. A job applicant who’s on the same page as the organization is very attractive to hiring managers.
While your best approach in any job interview is to appear knowledgeable and interested, you’ll want to make sure that any questions that you ask are relevant to the position and company, and that they’re things that you genuinely want to know. Asking questions just to ask questions—and asking questions that you could have answered with quick Internet research—will make you look unprepared and not interested enough in the job.