Pursuing your dream job as a candidate can be an effort-intensive, time-consuming, and stressful process. The amount of energy required to identify your dream job, submit your application, and go through the selection process till you reach the final interview stage can be colossal. If you have a final interview coming up, here is what to do to amplify your success rate and make the most of it.
1. Know the employer
Having a quick look at the company’s website is what most applicants will do, but not you! The employer’s website can be a great source of information, but some of this information may be “hidden”. Apart from the obvious Homepage, About us, and Careers pages, make sure you have a look at the Investor Relations section too, focusing on the latest reports.
Then, check major business publications, such as Forbes, The Financial Times, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, and The Economist focusing on recent information relevant to the business. Finish off with Glassdoor to check what current and past employees say about the company. This research can give you a competitive advantage by providing a wealth of information about the employer’s history, financial position, strategy, product, and culture.
2. Know the role
Most candidates will stop after scheming through the job ad, but not you! While the job description can be a great starting point, it is imperative to delve deeper to have a more comprehensive understanding of the job. To achieve this, use your network to find someone who is experienced and has been successful in a similar role and discuss the main purpose of the job with them. If you already know this from your own experience, take it a step further and aim to have this conversation with an insider working/having worked for the employer.
Lastly, use previous interviews and other interactions with the employer to understand the specific reason the vacancy was created, as it can be highly insightful in terms of what is required from candidates. This combination will set you apart from the competition and give you all the info you need to dazzle the hiring manager.
3. Know the hiring manager
Other finalists will have a look at the hiring manager’s LinkedIn profile and stop there, but not you! After getting an understanding of the manager’s professional experience and education on LinkedIn, take it a step further. Use good old Google and research their name combined with the intel you discovered on LinkedIn to deepen your understanding of the work they have done with other companies, any organizations they support, and their educational background.
Once you are done, use your network and reach out to any common connections (or someone who can introduce you to a common connection) to find additional information that may be helpful. Focus on understanding the hiring manager’s motivators, working style, and values, as all of this info can be invaluable during the interview. Also, make sure you check whether you share anything in common culturally, geographically, or professionally and use this information as required to leverage the similarity attraction effect. While there is no predefined formula to succeed in your final interview, following a logical, comprehensive, and well-thought process to prepare will take you a long way.