If you want the job, you have to demonstrate your passion and intelligence in an interview.
But it’s not just about showing your enthusiasm or writing a compelling script to explain your accomplishments. Overcoming this task also requires careful research about the company and the job opening. Hiring managers love to hear how much research you’ve done at the company and why you think you’d be a great fit for this specific position.
“In my experience, very few candidates research the company before the interview,” says Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and Fast Company contributor. “[It’s a way to] stand out from other candidates.
Here’s how to make it clear that you’ve done your prep work during your next big interview:
The best way to show that you feel a connection to a company is by citing the company’s values. These principles are the foundation and heartbeat of an organization. Perhaps a company emphasizes values like “diversity of thought” and “collaboration” that resonate with you personally or professionally. In that case, you can make sure to highlight how you contributed or brought new perspectives to their previous positions.
Toni Frana, manager of career services at FlexJobs, says the most important thing to convey is that you live that specific value authentically. “If one of the company’s core values is ‘integrity,’ mention how the value holds true for you, or give an example of a work experience where you relied on value,” says Frana.
The most effective way to make it clear that you’ve done your research is to provide specific numbers and make a connection to your career ambitions. “Let’s say her research finds that the company has experienced a high rate of growth in a certain business segment (or in general),” says Frana. “One approach during the interview is to say something like: ‘I want to work in an organization that is forward thinking and continually innovating. In preparing to speak with you today, I know you have experienced growth – and be as specific to the company, product or industry as possible – as a result of X, while continuing to drive the ball forward through execution. of many innovative ideas’”.
This type of background information and reference to the company’s achievements shows that you have not only done your research, but have found something that resonates with your idea of an ideal company.
From there, show how this company aligns with your experience from a previous position and your broader goals, says Frana: “Try saying, ‘This position excites me because I could bring my skill set and strengths to a high position. performance”. team that continues to innovate and grow’”.
Ask questions that include smart details
Hiring managers have heard all those same boring “summary” questions in the past. To really wow them, and build in some of the effort you put in before an interview, ask a few well-placed questions.
Frana says, “If you have a question about culture, for example, try asking something like, ‘I noticed on the company website that you really value company culture, so can you tell me more about how it’s practiced? this day to day? ‘”
Also, connect it with a positive accomplishment, thus doing double duty with your time of asking a question and mentioning the company’s success. Svei recommends trying a format that highlights an achievement in available talent data, such as insights from LinkedIn or a related venue.
“Frame your question like, ‘I looked at your hiring stats on LinkedIn and saw that job growth has been steady for the last two years and… the average tenure is about six years,’” says Svei. “’That’s great longevity, and what makes people stick around?’”
This longevity question can also help you dig deeper into career advancement opportunities at the company.