You Just Got Invited for a Job Interview. Now What?
Episode #1 of the course How to ace any professional job interview by Ken Liu
My name is Ken Liu, and for the next ten days, I will help you prepare for your job interview. My goal is to simplify the process so you can walk into your interview confident and prepared.
I spent nearly two decades in the professional world before embarking on a new journey as a writer and a teacher. I’ve helped a number of interviewees prepare for their job interviews, with a very high success rate.
The ones who went on to get raises, promotions, and new jobs all had one thing in common: They all knew that preparing for the interview was much more important than the interview itself.
When you walk into an interview with confidence and an arsenal of knowledge, you’ve already won half the battle. To get to that point, you need to research your potential employer in detail—and you need to do it now.
Start by spending a decent amount of time learning about the company itself. The more you know, the easier your interview will be.
With that said, I want you to start thinking about how you would answer these two questions:
1. How does the company make money?
2. Who will interview you?
Let’s look at these questions in detail.
How Does the Company Make Money?
Someone I know had just failed an interview at a consumer products company. His resume looked good and he was qualified for the job. He was well prepared for the technical questions that came his way.
But when the interviewer asked him to name a few of the company’s products, he stumbled. He didn’t do much research on the products because he wasn’t going to be responsible for them. This mistake cost him the job.
Whenever you interview for a job, make sure you know how the company functions, even if the role you’re interviewing for has nothing to do with the company’s revenue stream.
The reason is simple.
Your interviewer wants to gauge your interest level in the company. If you don’t know why the company exists in the first place, it tells your interviewer that you care only about yourself and not the company.
So, start scouring the company website as soon as possible. By the time your interview rolls around, you should have a very good idea of the company’s history, mission, and customers, and you’ll know what to say when your interviewer inevitably asks you: “Can you tell me what you know about our company?”
Who Will Interview You?
Speaking of your interviewer, you should find out who this person is. Most companies will tell you in advance. If they don’t, ask.
Once you find out who will interview you, check out their LinkedIn profile and learn as much about them as possible.
See if you share any common interests, if you went to the same school, or if you have mutual friends.
You’ll have an easier time breaking the ice. More importantly, you will be able to show your interviewer that you’ve done your homework.
However, don’t connect with them on LinkedIn just yet. After all, you’ve never even met.
That’s all for today. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the most common interview question, the one that will make or break your interview in the first five minutes.
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