Before you land a life-changing job, there is an interview to navigate. Conventional wisdom says things such as body language are essential. Shake a hand correctly and make eye contact and you’re halfway there. In reality, a candidate’s knowledge has more of a bearing on whether they get the role. Yes, other stuff plays its part too, yet not as much as research.
Would you hire someone who was confident but didn’t know anything about the company? Forget the job – you would cut the interview short. In fact, lots of interviewers will start with the question “what do you know about the firm?” to weed out the those who are serious and those who are just playing the field. Aside from the tone it sets, here are five more reasons research is a vital tool in your armory.
Businesses often need to train recruits and give them time to settle into a rhythm. After all, it can take a while to get used to the new rules and regulations, especially if someone has worked in a different environment for years. Of course, bosses would prefer their new employees to hit the ground running for productivity and output purposes. Plus, there is a cost element also.
Although there will be a honeymoon period, it doesn’t have to last for ages if the candidate’s character is on point. Yvonne Yancy says employers look for individuals who are driven and passionate, and who have a positive attitude. In short, recruiters want the types of employees that fit seamlessly into the office. Understanding the way the company works shows that you fit the criteria and value the same standards as the firm. This sticks out like a sore thumb during an interview, and not in a bad way.
How a person carries his or herself in the workplace says a lot about their future. Obviously, they need their recruits to be able to fill a gap and complete their work to a high standard. That is the first tick in the box, but they also want the people who will go the extra mile. Why? It’s because it shows a desire to succeed and that reflects positively on the company.
Lots of applicants accept offers as a stepping stone to another position. For businesses, this is a death knell because it means the turnover is high. An individual that researches the industry, the organization and the people is someone who wants to impress. Usually, this is a sign of their intent to try and climb the corporate ladder. To do that, they will work incredibly hard and become a “company guy.”
There is only so much a resume can say about an applicant. For the most part, you need to prove the words on the page. This is tricky because the environment isn’t set up for such a demonstration, so interviewees go through the motions. Unfortunately, this doesn’t add any value as the employer can’t tell whether you’re legit.
Research helps to bridge the gap. Consider you’re applying for a customer service role. Understanding how the business conducts itself with its customers, and its goals and targets will help you showcase your skills. The key is to match the info on the sheet on paper with real-life examples to stand out from the rest of the competition.
At the end of every interview, there is a question which goes something like this. “Do you have anything you want to ask us?” It’s a non-threatening one, yet your answer says a lot about your opportunity of landing the job. Chiefly, if you say no then it won’t look good to the employer.
The reason for this is your desire to get out of the interview unharmed. You don’t want to take a risk and go against the status quo. Also, there’s a high chance you have no idea what to ask. Researching the business provides you with the data you need to pose a meaningful question and engage in a knowledgeable debate.
The fact you have things to ask often settles the nerves, which is important to appearing confident and collected. Plenty of candidates tank the interview because they can’t control their emotions. As a result, they come across as shy and meek and not-employable. The research will reveal more about the company and take away the unpredictability factor, which should ease your nerves.
Don’t you suffer from tension less when you’re informed? What is your best advice on how to prepare for an interview?
M.E.L. is an attorney and small business entrepreneur whose mission is to help professionals conquer the workaday world with style and poise.
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