At SameWorks, we are committed to helping employees holistically. We wanted to share some of our favorite tips on how to ace any job interview, and also to be sure you’re picking the right employer!
Our top tips center around being as big a sleuth as possible prior to getting onsite with a company. The more information you have about the role, the company, and the people you’re going to be meeting, the better equipped you’ll be to nail it! In other words, ask all the questions!
Before The Interview
Do a lot of research on the company:
- Learn everything you can about the business model. Even if you’re not in a business role, having an understanding of the products the company sells, the target customer they’re selling to, and what makes them special will pay off. We would encourage everyone, even early-career seekers, to act like they are interviewing for an executive role. It never hurts to be too passionate or interested in a company.
- Visit their website, and their support forums. Learn about common customer problems and issues. Companies love it when recruits come in with great ideas how to improve the business.
- Reach out to anyone in your network that worked there to get whatever details you can. Offer to buy them coffee or lunch if they will give you the facts.
- Check to see if they have a Diversity and Inclusion page on their website, and if so, what specific actions they take in the workplace to be inclusive.
Make sure you understand what is expected of you during the interview:
- What is the interview format? How many people, in how many sessions? Will there be a practical/whiteboard component?
- Who will you be meeting with? You should check out all of their LinkedIn pages to understand their backgrounds and perspective.
- It’s okay to ask the recruiter some detailed questions about the skills and technologies they will be vetting for the job.
- People fret dress code a lot, but don’t overthink it! Make sure you ask the recruiter what’s expected. It’s better to dress confident than over-dressed and uncomfortable. You should feel good in the clothes you are wearing, in order to be your best self.
During the Interview
It’s important you’re comfortable and confident when you’re meeting your potential new boss and coworkers. It’s great to engage them with small talk, even if it seems superficial. Try to find points of common interest whenever possible. If you have worked with the same coworkers in the past (and you did your LinkedIn research and found that out) – let them know!
Also, you should keep an eye out to see if the workplace is a good fit for you. If you aren’t developing rapport despite your best intentions, and people don’t seem happy to be working there, these are red flags you should take notice of.
Cite Your Research
If you did a lot of research, now is the time to show it off. Make sure to flaunt your knowledge of the company in every way you can, and let them know how you can specifically help their business in this role. Ask informed counter-questions that target specific aspects of the role as it pertains to the company at large. If they have recently achieved a public milestone such as a big customer launch, or financial achievement or industry award, make sure to mention it. Candidates who are curious and passionate are much more likely to get the job!
Ask Great Questions
The most important thing to remember when interviewing, is that you should be asking questions, too! It helps the interviewers get a sense of your thinking, and lets them know that you’re really invested in the role. Plus, job interviews are a two-way street, and you deserve the opportunity to make sure you would like the job!
Questions about Equality
It’s important that employers know that diversity and inclusion matters to you as a candidate. Here are some examples of questions you can ask the recruiter:
- What programs do you have in place to promote diversity in the workplace?
- Can you provide any high-level metrics about women/minorities in leadership roles?
- What are your biggest challenges with Diversity and Inclusion?
- Do you have pay equity certification?
Great interview questions are designed to help prompt a very engaging discussion, and provide you with important details about the role you’re interviewing for.
- Tell me about the people who are successful at this company. What make them so successful?
- What opportunities exist for growth and advancement, in general and in this role?
- Can you cite some examples of people who have been promoted in the past year, and what got them to the next level?
- What would you say the 90 day goals would be for this role?
- What is your favorite thing about working here?
- What would you improve about this company?
After the interview
It’s important to follow up with a thank you after the interview, especially to stay top of mind. However, you do not need to send a handwritten note or cookies! A typed message to the recruiter to the team, with some specific and heartfelt comments about the interview will do just fine.
You should also make sure to get clear on what the next steps are, and when you can expect to hear back. That way, you can prepare for other steps in the process.
Finally, if you do not get the job, try your best to get constructive feedback on how you can improve for next time. You may not always get that feedback, but it never hurts to ask.
We wish you all the best in your job search!