A while back I wrote a blog post about eight mistakes not to make during an interview, but what about before the interview? How can you ensure that you are prepared enough to avoid some of those mistakes and to be able to speak intelligently with your interviewer?

Here are some interview tips on what information to get and where to find that information:

Location

This one is straight forward, but make sure you look up the address of the company or find it in the interview confirmation. Look up directions, and if you are unsure, go on a trial run to find the office the day before. Pay attention to any special instructions or suite/floor numbers. The last thing you want is to be walking aimlessly through the building trying to figure out what floor OpenView Venture Partners is on. If you are prepared for your commute, you will be more focused and relaxed when you arrive for your interview.

Know the job

Again, a bit straightforward. Read the job description thoroughly and be prepared to relate your experience to the responsibilities. Also, make sure you are ready to address any skills that you may be lacking for the role.

Know what the company does

Go to the company website and look around. Almost all websites have an “About” page. Find out their core competency, the industry or customers they target, and look into their products and services. Also, it would be helpful to look into the history of the company, when they were founded and what gap in the market they were looking to fill. Try to find out how they came up with the idea for their company. Did the founders work together before starting the company, or was it one person that founded the company?

Know who you’re meeting, and who you’re not

If you are given an interview itinerary, look up each person. Almost everyone has a LinkedIn profile, so that would be a great place to start. Find out where they have worked in the past and try to find a connection or something you can relate to. If you are able to bring that up, it’s a great way to break the ice. Additionally, look at the backgrounds of the executive team, even if you are not meeting them. You will find it helpful to know where they came from, if they have worked together before, etc. Lastly, look up anyone who would be on your team or works in the same role you are interviewing for. Regardless of whether or not you are meeting them, knowing their backgrounds will be very helpful.

Know the news

First, google the company and find any recent news (good or bad). It’s great to bring up any good news when asked what you know about the company — it shows you’ve done your research. Another great place to look is the company’s website. They often have a news page that links to all the recent articles about the company.

Go into every interview (phone or in person) prepared. Knowing about the company and the team shows that you are truly interested in the company and the position you are interviewing for. It gives a great impression and increases your chances in landing the role.

photo by: Victor1558

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