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The Most Important Factor of Interview Preparation

Posted by Alan J. McMillan on Thu, Mar 06, 2014 @ 10:16 AM

There are many areas you can work on and develop regarding interview preparation.  This blog will focus on the most important one, research.

Why is research so very important?  When you research well prior to the interview, you will learn many things:

  • What the company does
  • Why you find it exciting
  • Good questions to ask
  • How to position what you have with what they need

You may have a notion about the above in that you did get an interview but, you are expected to grow along the way. You must advance from the time you were screened for the pending interview.

As in all things, it is about matching what you have with what they need.  Your research is not done until you have a thorough idea about that.


Great research gives you more confidence and confidence shows.

  • If you have been asked to interview by a campus recruiter ask them:
    • Of those hired, who ‘hit it out of the park’, what did they do?’
    • Versus:  Of those who disappointed you or washed out, what did they do?
    • This will give you some valuable insight as to
      • Do you want the role
      • How to best position yourself for mutual success
  • Set Google Alerts
    • Your target company (where you are interviewing)
    • Their top competitors
    • Industry analysts
    • Financial analysts
  • LinkedIn
    • Current people
      • You many know at the company
      • You many know at competitors or partners
  • Be humble about your preparation.  Don’t brag on how well you prepared, rather focus on being impressive at the interview
  • Follow-Up with context
    • To each persons personalized email
    • And to the original recruiter(s) who set up the interview

Now, lets be honest, you will not get every offer.  With that, the process of going through an interview itself makes you a better interviewee.  That is a valuable career skill. 

If you get an offer to join or to move to the next round in the process, continue to prep. 

If offered, and you want to decline, do it as soon as you know you are not interested.  They have precious time to hire whatever role they are trying to fill.   Be honest about where you have selected to go.  Behaving well here keeps doors open to you in the future. 

If you are declined, be courageous in asking for feedback. 

Finally, because you might not get every company to make you an offer, and even if they do, you want to have more than one offer to choose from. Getting interest from multiple organizations gives you a massive advantage.  

Having multiple streams of interest headed your way gives you confidence as well. 

Let me know what you think?  Did this help?  I would like to hear from you, 


Topics: Job Search, Job Preparation, Alan McMillan, Dream Jobs, LinkedIn, Personal Networking, Financial Independence, Career Advantage