With ongoing uncertainty in the financial markets and record levels of unemployment forecast for the not too distant future it’s tough to say the least for those looking for job and for those who will be graduating from university this summer. That’s no excuse for not setting your sights high because there are still plenty of opportunities out there. I’m going to share with you some simple methods that can help you to maximise your chances of success in your interviews.
Taking the time to do some research on the role you are applying for will certainly help you to show that you are keen to work for the prospective employer. More importantly though, good research will allow you to understand an organisations values and cultures and position yourself correctly so that you will appear to be the perfect match when it comes to interview questions.
Research the Job
A job description is always the first main area to study when applying for a position. This might seem like an obvious thing to say but so many people do not use this information effectively. When looking at what the role entails it is important to identify the key requirements in terms of the job functions and also the personal skills that are expected. While you may not have experience in a job position that directly matches the requirements of this new role the personal skills present an opportunity to adapt experiences and activities from our personal life to show how you excel in similar circumstances.
Another good practice when researching to job role is to develop a story of career progression; what have you done so far in your life to get you ready for this position and what do you hope to improve on and take from the role? Understanding a job and how it will improve you as a person will really help to make your application stand out from the crowd. If the job description is quite vague do not be afraid to contact the recruiter or the HR personnel responsible for the position. You will usually manage to extract some more information from them and also get the chance to introduce yourself prior to the interview with a quick and impersonal phone call.
Research the Company
Company websites usually have sections that are for PR, news and potential investors. On these pages you will usually be able to find out the goals and aims of an organisation. If you take a few hours to digest this information it will put you in a much better position to answer questions such as “Tell us what you know about the company?” and also “So why do you want to work for your organisation?”. Answering these questions excellently will prove to your prospective employers that you have great research skills and it will also help you to ask them some meaningful and insightful questions during the interview process.
Use the Social Networks
Social networks are often on the receiving end of bad press when it comes to activity in the work environment. Damaging personal information and opinions that have been leaked into the work place has resulted in dismissals and disciplinary action being taken. Social networks can also present some great opportunities for research and information gathering for those seeking work though and can often give you the winning edge in an interview situation.
LinkedIn is a great tool for connecting and sharing with other professionals, looking into the hiring patterns of employers and also for discovering the career progressions of those that have worked somewhere before you. All this information can really help you to develop that story of career progression and ensure that you have a believable answer to the inevitable question; “Where do you envisage yourself being within the next decade?”.
Other social network sites that could be of use are the employee generated content platforms like What Are They Really Like. These websites let current workers tell the world what they think it is like to work at their company and they can be very useful for finding out information on a companies working culture and also salaries.