My biggest pet peeves on interviews
Updated: Oct 11, 2019
You’re a senior in college just trying to get your job squared away for when you graduate. You’re in the middle of your job search when you get a phone call from a hiring manager asking you to come in for an in-person interview for a company you really like. Wahoo! You got to the hardest part of the process; you landed the interview. Nice job…but don’t get too excited. You haven’t got the job yet.
You’re told to come in for an in-person in two days. So, what do you do next? You begin to review some common questions that interviewers ask such as behavioral-based questions, and you prepare some answers. You think you got this, and you’re good to go. Right?
Two of my biggest pet peeves in the interview process are when 1) you can tell candidates haven’t researched the company and have not a clue what the company does and 2) you have no idea who is interviewing you. You don’t know their positions, you don’t have a clue what they do, or what impact they might have on your role. I get it - nobody tells you to do this. Not mom, not dad, not friends, not your professors, not even your advisers. Nobody tells you to do your research unless a hiring manager explicitly says tells you what to prepare for…
Why do I know this? It’s because I was in your shoes just a few years ago, and there are very few people (if any) who will tell you how to prepare for interviews. It’s very important to anticipate what questions will be asked of you and prepare responses accordingly, and you should also thoroughly research the company you’re interviewing for and know the people who are interviewing them.
In your interview, you might get asked what you did to prepare for the interview, or what you know about the company, or both. You best believe you should have answers to those questions. Days before your interview, you should have a clear understanding of what the company does, what services or products they offer, and how your role plays a part in the company, who the founders are, when the company was established, how it’s changed, etc. It’s a turnoff to an interviewer when you’ve got not a clue what the company does, and you’re struggling to answer the question in an interview.
Do what it takes to find out information on the company. Some ideas are -
Wikipedia - If the company is on the larger-side, they might have a Wikipedia page. You should read the Wiki page through and through.
LinkedIn - If the company is present on social media, most likely they’ll have a LinkedIn page. Use this page to find out what’s currently happening in the company. You might be able to reference the recent posts in your interview.
Website - Review, review, and REVIEW the company website. The company website will probably have an about us page that outlines what the company does and might even include videos to verbally explain what the company does. The website might also include some key facts on the history of the company.
YouTube - Some companies have YouTube channels thoroughly explaining what they do. Make sure you check them out.
If you’re not told ahead of time who you’ll be interviewing with, ask whoever is handling your interview who you’ll be interviewing with! Get those names and those titles!
Use those names and do a Google/LinkedIn search to find out -
The title and position of the person who is interviewing you… tailor the questions you ask at the end of the interview to ensure they’re applicable to the person who’s interviewing you.
How does this person impact your role… if you can’t figure it out, formulate a question which addresses how your role will impact that person.
What is this person’s background? Where did they previously work? In the space industry?