GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn- In this competitive job market, anything you can do to stand out is worth your consideration. Jeremy Berg from Berg professional staffing offers these time consuming but important tips for interview preparation.
Three fundamental steps to prepare for an interview:
Read All Available Public Domain Information---The Internet is a great tool for collecting general data about prospective companies. To dig deeper, consider a subscription to a business information service such as OneSource. They supply a high-level overview of one particular firm's financials, board members and recent performance results.
Reach Out to People Who Have Worked at the Firm ---Most people you talk to will be well balanced and neutral in the assessments of their former employer. Of course, some contacts departed the company on unfavorable terms, so you may wish to take their perspectives with a grain of salt.
In these informational interviews, try to understand their views about the company's culture and team dynamics. In the past we've discovered that one firm has had very high turnover. What would spark these departures even in these economic times? I was told that some of the departing folks will actually be rehired as consultants, and that this is essentially the firm's "growth" plan. It's up to you to choose if this is a right fit for you.
Check Out the Firm's Competition ---Also look at the companies' competitors. While competitors will not speak about strategy or other proprietary information, they are more than happy to expound on their products. Knowledge of a firm's competition will make you sound more professional in your job interview.
Remember: The pre-interview work isn't complete until you figure out questions to ask of the interviewer and make sure that your portfolio is presentable. While time consuming as these preparations are, they should pay off in your knowledge of their company and impress the interviewer. Hopefully leading to a second interview or an offer!
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