Kill the interview or boost your hiring prospects right here and now. Interviewers can tell when you haven’t prepared. That’s deadly for positions above entry-level.
It’s typically asked right after “Tell Me About Yourself”. Last post, I talked about how powerfully you can impact the interviewer’s perception of you as a candidate. With this question, the prospective employer continues to size you up.
Read on to deepen your understanding of the “how did you prepare for this interview” job interview question.
A Most Revealing Question: How Did You Prepare for this Interview?
Did you take this interview seriously? Do you prepare at all for important assignments? What does it look like when you really prepare?
Many applicants, particularly above the entry-level positions, have rehearsed answers for other questions. You might take this one lightly, guessing (wrongly) that there wouldn’t be much payoff if you you thoroughly “prepare for this interview”.
What Does The Employer Want/Need to Hear?
They want to know what you’ve learned about the company, even if they don’t specifically say that. Show them your findings that aren’t available just by looking at the company’s website or the first page of Google. The amount of effort you put in and the savvy that you demonstrate by your research approach convey much.
Your substantive answer to this question reveals your sophistication and professionalism, setting you apart from other applicants. Even if you had limited notice of the interview, show that you understand the industry and where this company fits.
It also signals you targeted this company well ahead of the interview. No employer wants to hear that they weren’t on your radar until they called.
Tailor Your Answer to this Position
Compose your answer specifically to your location within the organization, especially if you are changing fields or moving up or down a level. It’s important to answer all these questions from this position.
Don’t show the interviewer that you’re mentally stuck in the previous role.
Connect your Work to the Company’s Bottom Line
The competitiveness of this organization and its profitability are definitely connected to your work or they wouldn’t be filling the position. Convey your understanding of that connection in how you discuss your research findings.
Don’t Underestimate How Well Other Applicants Will Prepare
Assume that any applicant who was also selected for an interview has gone way beyond a simple Google search to research this position. Talk to real people, either on the phone or face-to-face. Use LinkedIn to find specific future colleagues.
The more you’ve talked to inside individuals before this moment, the less you will feel like an outsider. That will come across clearly to everyone in the room. For more discussion of the benefits, read Research a Company Before a Job Interview.
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Watch for All 50 Job Interview Questions
This is the second post of 50 to come, each addressing a commonly asked Job Interview question. See the complete list here on Slideshare and read the post 50 Job Interview Questions to see what’s coming.
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And please let me know how I can make them more valuable for you. It’s a tough marketplace for employment, but sound preparation can whittle it down to size!
I look forward to hearing from you soon.