Preparing for a job interview in the internet age is easier than ever. What once required a trip to the library can now be accomplished from the comfort of your living room, home office, or local coffee shop. You can typically research a company’s history, mission, objectives, lines of business, and key leaders on their web site. Sites like LinkedIn, Plaxo and ZoomInfo allow you to research your interviewers’ background, and can point out possible connections that might give you a sense of what to expect. Glassdoor and Vault can provide you with some insight on industries and company culture, while Salary.com can help give you a broad (if slightly inaccurate, according to some) sense of what level of compensation you can expect.
While external research is an important part of interview preparation, jobseekers sometimes overlook one key preparation step—thoroughly and carefully reviewing their own resume. It is essential for jobseekers to know their resume cold, particularly before an interview. You never want to be caught in a position where you are unprepared to answer a question about your own background. If an interviewer zeroes in on skills that were last used three jobs ago, how prepared will you be to answer those question?
Here are some additional tips to help you effectively prepare for a job interview:
- Prepare a separate document which lists all of your key career accomplishments dating back to your first job, and review it 15-20 minutes prior to the interview. It will serve as a refresher of some of the accomplishments you may have forgotten, and also give you a boost of confidence.
- Identify 2 or 3 accomplishments that you feel relate well to the position you’re interviewing for and be prepared to relate those stories during your interview.
- As you review your resume, verify the accuracy of all of the information that is on your resume. Most employers perform detailed background checks, and if you’ve provided inaccurate information, whether intentionally or inadvertently, it could cost you an opportunity.