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Job Interviews

Knowledge Is Key: Stand out at an interview without spending a penny

The big interview is coming up—the interview for the job you just know you’d be perfect for: it’s in the field you want, you have the right skill-set, and it seems like a fun company with great benefits. Your CV is in tiptop shape and your suit is freshly dry-cleaned and waiting in the closet for the big day. But you’re not ready yet.

When you go to an interview you have to be at your best and sell yourself as an employee, but you also have to show that you’d be a good fit for the company; and in order to do that, you’d better have done your homework. The company’s website is the best place to start. You’ll get a feel for how it wants to be perceived through the information it chooses to provide online, and learn a thing or two that you may not have known.

This is valuable information – knowing and understanding the public image of the company shows that you’ve taken enough of an interest in what they do to investigate beyond the knowledge of the Average Joe. Be sure to check any “News” pages on the company website to make sure you’re up on the latest developments.

Company websites often provide “Bio” pages or press releases with information about its high-ranking employees, which are definitely worth a look. Browsing the directors on the company website is an easy way to find out about their experience and what type of skills or qualifications they might value in a prospective employee. Additionally you can browse company directors via Duedil and other online portals, where you can also glean information about the company’s finances and clients. After all, you don’t want to end up in a company where the profit is precarious.

LinkedIn is another great source for employee information. With sections for CVs, employer recommendations, education, and more, LinkedIn has become an essential tool in the world of job hunting. And who knows when a random life connection will be the difference between standing out from the crowd and blending in with the sea of candidates. Who knows? You may have happened to have babysat the nephew of a potential employer when you were in high school.

Bringing up connections such as these will make you memorable, and LinkedIn will help you to figure out what they are. Just make sure you never locked Little Billy in the closet during your babysitting days.

In addition to individual profiles, many companies maintain company pages on LinkedIn, which are great sources for additional information about the company and their services, updates, and links to social media accounts that they may maintain.

In the event the company for which you’re interviewing doesn’t have a strong online presence—or if you just want to get a reliable, objective source of information—hit the online newsstands. The “News” tab on Google is a great place to start and will help to avoid sites that may charge to read articles. In order to access past articles or articles that can only be viewed with a paid subscription, head down to your local library— they often have news databases that you can access free of charge.

This was a guest post for TheEmployable



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