Interview Preparation

February 2013

Many times, a hiring decision is made from one piece of paper and a few short hours of time.  You owe it to yourself to make the most of these simplified representations of yourself and give the best effort possible. Here are some pointers for how the do the necessary preparation to make your interview as successful as it can be. 

  • Get acquainted with the company.  Find out as much about the company, its history, its current situation and its future as you can.  Sources:  your Addison Group recruiter, the company’s website, internet search; friends and business associates (keep the position confidential).  Check out the company’s social media presence – Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Have they been in the news recently? Any press releases or recent articles about them? Be prepared to ask good questions about the company and its direction.
  • Learn about the position.  Have a thorough understanding of the position, its duties and responsibilities, and what’s expected.  Be prepared to ask good questions:  Who’s been successful and why?   Who’s failed and why?  Who does it report to, whom does it supervise?  What needs to be done in the first 6 months, in the first year? 
  • Prepare your presentation.  Not only should you be prepared for their questions; you must also treat this interview as an advertisement for YOU.  Only you know where you excel, why you are capable of handling this position and what they can expect from you when you come on board.  Think of the things of which you are most proud.  Achievements, projects, work habits developed, compliments from management, awards, relationships made.  Be prepared to cite specific examples of accomplishments and how your specific experience can help the company solve some of its problems.  Vague answers can come off as theories about how you should have or would have performed, rather than the reality of what actually happened. Make sure you aren’t just telling a nice story and are actually giving the facts. Concentrate on your most recent positions, but don’t neglect your early career.