Monday, March 3, 2014

Do the research

Landing an interview at your dream company can be a feat in unto itself. So you were able to bypass the black hole of online resume submission. The work you did on your resume got you noticed from a sea of other candidates. In this industry, the question I hear most is: what do I wear on the interview? Yes, that is very important in fashion, but it is only part of the equation. How can you best prepare before walking into an interview? How can you stand out from other candidates?

Obviously you need to have the skills and qualifications for the job. Assuming you have that, what is the next most important thing employers look for in a candidate? Cultural fit. How will you fit into the company? Of course, this is a legitimate concern. If you have ever worked for a company where you did not fit the culture, you know how painful it can be for both parties. No level of technical skill can help you overcome a bad cultural fit.

How can you learn more about a company culture before you go on your interview? Research. If you really want the job, spend as much time as you can researching the company. Who is in charge? What is their background? What does it say on their website about mission and vision? What key words do they repeat on their website, advertising, etc? What does the media say about the company? What does their latest earnings report talk about (may seem boring to you design candidates, but you can skim through the boring stuff to pick up some good nuggets of information.) How long has the company been in business? What transitions have they gone through? What are their plans for the future?

Once you are an expert in the company, how do you fit in? What special skills do you have to contribute to get this company where they want to go?

Many times you only have one shot to make a great impression.

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