A prerequisite for any interview is to have done your homework. In fact, by the time a candidate gets to the interview he should already have a list of questions that he has been prepared to answer. He should have the answers to the usual interview questions: how long have you worked at your current employer, what was your biggest accomplishment there, what skills do you bring to the position, etc. By doing your homework, a candidate is able to familiarize himself with the type of questions that will be asked and knows how to respond properly. This not only makes you more appealing to the hiring manager, but it also puts you ahead of the game when it comes time for the interview.
One task that candidates typically ignore, but should take seriously before even stepping foot in the office, are learning how to prepare for interviews. One way to do this is to do your homework. You should do research on the company, the department, and the job you are applying for. You should also spend some time researching the job you are applying for online and in libraries. It never hurts to read your competitor’s resume as well, because your competition may be doing a lot of research as well!
Another thing you should do before an interview is to do your homework about yourself. Be honest in your answers. Don’t try to pass off an answering machine as your real name. It is imperative that you completely accurately portray yourself. Even if you don’t know what the actual definition of a vice president is, try to come up with a short description of what it entails.
After you know who the head of the company is, take some time to think about what skills you would bring to the position. What would be your best assets? What do you know most about? Would you know how to handle the situation that inevitably comes about when you have to deal with a difficult customer? Knowing these kinds of things now will help you come across as more qualified than another candidate in an interview.
A final note on homework: if at the end of the interview you have to sign a contract or a waiver of employment, make sure you read it carefully and understand it completely. Some hiring managers like to add this requirement at the end of an interview because it makes them feel good. However, adding such language is not necessary. The last thing you want to do is cause future employers to doubt your work ethic and character. Always do your homework before an interview.
Your homework is especially important if the hiring manager is a friend or a former colleague. It is impossible to pretend to be someone you are not. If the job involves overseeing a firm or a corporation, you need to know the ins and outs of the position. Otherwise, if you are not completely comfortable with the responsibilities that come with such a position, you may end up avoiding it altogether.
Your homework can also come in handy if the hiring manager has specific preferences. Do your homework before an interview so that you can better prepare for it. The more information that you gather ahead of time, the more prepared you will be when it comes time for the interview itself. As you can see, preparing for an interview is very important. If you want to land the job of your dreams, do your homework before an interview!