When someone who is actively searching for a job learns they are going to be interviewed, they now “begin to prepare in earnest.” The goal is to learn as much as possible about the organization.
The power of the internet is that anyone can quickly find out lots of information. From financial perspectives to “what people are saying about” an organization. Social media such as LinkedIn provides an opportunity to contact people who have specific experience within the organization. Information in the trade press reflects how the organization is perceived. All this enables you to form a much more enlightened opinion. It prepares you for the interview.
Armed with this information, you are now ready. Don’t approach your interview by showing the people you are meeting with how much you know about their organization! Rather, use this information as background knowledge and develop specific questions so you can learn more important things about the organization. Is this an organization where you would be able to continue with your personal goals? Does this role take advantage of your knowledge and skills? Is the culture one where you would thrive – or at least succeed? How much support will you have in your new role? What are the expectations of the person in this role?
During the interview you are gathering information to answer these questions:
- Will you succeed in the position
- Will you thrive in the organization
- Will you enjoy working with your fellow associates
- Is this organization worthy of your time and efforts
Of course, the way the job market (or rather lack of jobs) has been for many, the most important question concerns getting a paycheck. There is nothing wrong with that. After all, the hierarchy of needs places self-preservation near the top. If this is the case, throw out all the questions that lead to long-term success, and make something happen that you desperately need. You must survive the present before you can think about the future. There will be time for that later.