So they loved your application and called you in for an interview. Whether you’re applying for your first job out of college or just looking for something new, you know you need to ace this interview to take the next step in your career. No pressure.
You know you’ll be able to Impress your interviewers with smart responses to commonly asked behavioral questions, fill them in with all the details of the project you’re most proud of and share a cute anecdote to show them you’re a great team player - but will that be enough?
At the end of the day, the devil is in the details, so it never hurts to gather a bit of online intel before shaking your interviewer’s hand. Here are a few ways to make sure your interviewer finds you unforgettable in all the right ways.
Step 1: Find out who you’ll be interviewing with.
If the organization’s HR department set you up with the interview, ask if they could give you the name(s) of who you’ll be meeting with. If you were in direct contact with the hiring manager, inquire about the details of your upcoming meeting and ask if you’ll be meeting other members of their team or department.
Step 2: Stalk them on LinkedIn.
Once you’ve gotten the list of names, visit their LinkedIn profiles. Look at each person’s work history and research their recent accomplishments at their current organization. A quick browse through their work experience can give you insight into what they may value in an ideal candidate. Plus, bringing up recent accomplishments will show that you did your homework.
Step 3: Get a little personal.
But not too personal. Make note of any interests they have listed on their LinkedIn. Check for mutual connections or groups you’ve both joined. Is she an avid hiker? Tell her about your recent hiking trip to Mount Monadnock. Maybe she’ll recommend you some nearby trails. These details can give you small talking points that will help you build rapport right out of the gate.
Step 4: Absorb their thoughts and opinions.
Do they have a personal blog listed on their LinkedIn? Even better, do they publish posts directly to LinkedIn? Read these pieces and skim a few recent blog posts to get a sense of what they are passionate about. Learn about their thoughts on personal pursuits or their industry. As an added bonus, their writing style may be revealing of their personality. When it comes to interview time, being able to anticipate how they will conduct the interview will help you plan how you conduct yourself.
Step 5: Show off what you know with good questions.
The time has come for you to ask them questions, it’s your last chance to make a great impression. If you didn’t get a chance to address their recent accomplishments, ask them to explain how they achieved a specific one. If you share a niche common interest, express your surprise by asking how they got into the subject or activity in the first place. Asking good questions will go a long way in connecting with your interviewer, giving them further reason to bring you back to their organization for good.