How to use the 48 hours before an interview for maximum impact
So you’ve done it.
You’ve finally gotten the call back from the hiring manager, and they want you to come in for an in-person interview.
It’s time to slap an ‘S’ on your chest and sit back, right? Wrong.
Landing an interview doesn’t guarantee you’ll get hired. And if things go south, you’ll be back to the job search sites and waking up in an unemployed cold sweat at 2 AM.
The good news? You’re a quick scroll-down away from learning how to use the 48 hours before the interview to max out your chances of making it a success.
Do in-depth company research
Sweaty palms time.
The interview just started, and the hiring manager decides to kick things off by asking, “So, what do you know about our company?”
You stutter and say, “Oh, not much. I was hoping you’d tell me.”
No matter what comes next, it’ll be like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound — it’s a done deal.
In short, it shows you didn’t do your homework. While you might have impressive skills on your CV or robust work experience, that “no” made you come off unprepared and disinterested in the role.
The good news? You can flip things around before the interview and unearth info about the company in a heartbeat.
It’ll not only help you prove you’re a robust candidate, but you’ll also get a much better idea of what you might be getting yourself into.
So—here are five things you need to know about the company to prep for an interview:
- Learn about the organization’s heavy hitters. Poke around the “About Us” page and get to know the CEO, co-founder(s), directors, etc.,
- Check the latest news and recent events. Skim the company’s press releases (on their site) to stay in the know about where the business is headed.
- Get a taste of the company’s culture and its core values. Head over to their site and look for a page like “Our Values”, “What It’s like to Work Here”, etc.,
- Figure out how the business works. Check the company’s site/case studies/white papers to learn about the organization’s clients and products or services.
- Get the inside scoop. Check sites like Glassdoor to find extra info on salary figures, details about the hiring process, and more. You can also try and organise an information interview with someone who works for the company or in the same field to get an idea of the workplace culture IRL.
Once you can prove to the hiring manager you did your homework, it’ll 11x your chances of acing the interview.
Know what you’ll bring to the table
“We’re hiring you!”
That’s what you want the hiring manager to say once the interview is finished.
To make it a reality, you need to show what you’ll bring to the table, ROI-wise. In other words, you need proof you have what it takes to get the job done.
Best way to do it?
Come up with a list of measurable achievements from your past roles (e.g. internships, volunteer or freelance work) that resonate with the new job.
When the hiring manager asks, “What makes you think you’re good for this role?”, or some other variation of this question, you’ll have the answer at your fingertips.
Need a real-life example?
Say you’re looking to fill an entry-level content marketing position. When asked the above question, you could say something along the lines of,
You need a content marketing professional who knows how to improve a site’s organic ranking in Google. During my internship at XYZ, I managed to increase our site’s organic traffic by 11 percent, and overall SERP rank by 13 percent. I’m positive I’ll be able to replicate my success here and help the company reach its content goals.
When you spotlight your value proposition like that, hiring managers will throw job offers at your feet like rose petals.
Know what questions to ask an interviewer
You’ve finally made it to the end.
The hiring manager asks, “Do you have any questions for me?”
Your first reaction might be to say “no” because you’ll want to escape the interview ASAP.
Don’t do it.
A job interview is a two-way street. While they ask you a plethora of uncomfortable questions to probe your value proposition, you also get to question the interviewer to make sure it’s the right job for you.
So, below are 15 questions to know exactly what kind of job you’ll be getting yourself into grouped into several categories.
While you don’t have to ask them all, make sure to ask the interviewer at least three questions. Here are a few example questions to get you thinking about the info you might want from your interviewer:
- Can you walk me through my typical day if I got the job?
- Is there anything you’d like to tell me about the position that wasn’t in the job ad?
- Where do you see the position going in the upcoming 12-24 months?
- What is your favourite thing about working for this company?
- In your opinion, what are the top three things that are the most rewarding about the job?
Professional Development Questions
- Will I be getting training? How will it be implemented?
- Will I get a mentor?
- Are there advancement or professional development opportunities within this role?
- Is there a career path for the position? How long does it take to “level up”?
- Can you give an example of an employee who held the position and then moved up the ladder?
Interview Process Questions
- What’s the next step in the recruitment process?
- What would be the ideal starting date if I got the job?
- Do you have any additional questions about my previous experience, fit, or otherwise?
- Who should I stay in touch with as things move forward?
- When will I hear back from you?
So — what do you think?
There you have it.
A whopping three tips for using the 48 hours before the job interview for maximum impact.
Now, what’s your experience with prepping for job interviews? How do you cope with the stress associated with them?
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
By Max Woolf
Content Marketing Specialist at ResumeLab