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10 Tips to Ace Your Interview (Part 1)

Interview preparation is not what it used to be!

By
Lisa B. Marshall
January 9, 2009

Page 1 of 2

This is the first installment of a two-part article covering 10 quick and dirty tips for acing your interview.

How to Ace Your Interview

When I talk with professional recruiters, the number one complaint they have is that too many people come unprepared to interviews. (Interestingly quite a few also mention bad breath as a big problem!)

What I’ve found is that many people just don’t know what they need to do. Interview preparation just isn’t the same as it was even a few years ago. There’s much more to it now. In fact, I had a hard time choosing just 10 tips and I had to split them up into two episodes.

So here are the first five.

Interviewing Tip #1: Research

Research. Research. Research. You should learn as much as you can about the industry, the organization, the key leaders, and the specific people who will be interviewing you. (At a minimum get the name and title of the hiring manager, but try to get this info for everyone). 

Obviously the best place to start your research is the organization’s website; but don’t stop there. Google everyone who will be part of your interview process. Your goal is to discover common ground that you can use to build rapport quickly during the interview. 

You’ll also want to use LinkedIn to find people who used to work at the company and contact them. My husband even found the last guy who had the job that he was interviewing for and talked with him on the phone. Don’t forget to search Google news for recent headlines about the industry, the company, and its key competitors. That adage, “Knowledge is power,” is true, especially during the interview and when it comes to evaluating an offer.

Interviewing Tip #2: Google Yourself

Of course the recruiters are also doing their homework. They’re Googling you. Ideally, you already know what's “out there,” but you’ll want to check again before an interview. You might be surprised. (Oh, and if you haven’t done it already, create Google and Twitter Alerts, which will automatically send you updates.)

You’ll need to know how to articulate the skills you bring and your work evidence that support your claims.

What? Nothing shows up when you Google your name? At a minimum you should create a profile on LinkedIn. Depending on what you do, you might also want to join a niche network. Why? Because you want the interviewers to discover more positive things about you and get to know you better. You also want them to read the fabulous recommendations you’ve gotten from your old bosses and colleagues.

Speaking of recommendations, you’ll want to review your reviews! Of course, you should you be regularly asking for recommendations, but the interview gives you a good excuse to ask for a few more. For your interview, make sure you remember one or two of them so you can work them into the conversations. Having others sing your praises really is a proven persuasive technique. Oh, and you’ll also want to begin to think about which of your references will make the best references for this particular opportunity.

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