Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Archive for March 3rd, 2009

Preparing for the interview: How do I ace it?

Posted by sweens on March 3, 2009

Preparing for an interview is one of the most crucial components to landing that position you have been looking for.  It is either a skill many candidates master or ignore.  Let us look at some ways to prepare for the interview and what you should be doing before you get in front of the hiring manager.


First, review the job description and remember the details of the position.  What are the deliverables?  Are there timelines?  What is the team size?  Questions of this nature will help you understand the role better before you get in front of the hiring manager.  If that information is not available to you, be prepared to ask these questions.  You should always prepare a list of questions for the person conducting the interview.  It shows you are interested in the position and will help you make a more accurate decision should you get an offer.  Try to find out where you would fit on the team.  Where that department is going?  What some of their major challenges have been?  Does this position work to address those issues?


Secondly, review the details on the company.  Almost every company has a website these days and has some sort of company profile.  Find out what services or products they are offering.  The background of the executives; how long they have been in business for; who their clients are; etc!  Be prepared to discuss some details on the company.  Having knowledge of the company shows your interest in the company.


Try to find out some details about the hiring manager or the person conducting the interview.  Now this is somewhere where a recruiting agency can really help you out before your interview.  Finding out some details on the hiring mangers personality can help you go a long way in your interview.  Do they like detail?  Do they have an aggressive personality?  Do they want to ask a lot of questions or do they want to talk for an hour?  Recruiting agencies often deal directly with the hiring managers and can often give you insight into what the hiring manager is looking for in the interview (outside of the experience on your resume).


If you do not have the help of a recruiter, try looking the person up on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc.  This may allow you to find out something personal about the hiring manager (they like hockey, have kids, went to a certain school, etc) which you can bring up casually in the interview.  Making a personal connection is just as important as making a professional connection in an interview. 


Aside from the preparation work mentioned above you should always do the simple things to make sure there are no last minute hiccups.  Bring a copy of your CV with you to the interview.  Make sure you know where you are going.  Do not smoke before your interview.  Dress appropriately (you are always better to be over dressed then under dressed).  And the most important part of the interview is to BE ON TIME.  Do not plan to show up when your interview is scheduled to start.  Get there early and avoid any possible delays.


Interviewing can be a very nerve racking and difficult experience for a lot of people so put yourself in the best position to come out of the interview ahead of the pack.

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