Updated: Oct 5, 2021
Job interviews can be challenging. They can put you under pressure which sometimes means your nerves will sabotage your confidence. But what if I could share with you just one simple tip that could make all the difference to not only your confidence but the way that the interviewer perceives you?
It's fundamental and straightforward to find the right job and the employer finding the right person for their business. But sadly, 90% of the people I interview completely overlook what I consider the most important thing you can do before any interview. I'm referring to researching the company, understanding their products/services, and what they do. When I'm interviewing candidates, it's one of the most important questions I'll ask you. Suppose you've spent time learning something about our business and know why you want to work for us. It shows me that you're interested and engaged with the opportunity.
In the last role I was hiring for, every candidate I spoke to had no idea what our company did or why they wanted to work for us. You're kidding me, right?? That is some of the laziest interview preparation I've come across EVER (hence why I'm sharing my frustrations in this blog post). Maybe it's the generational demographic; perhaps it was a reflection of the market. Maybe candidates have just become damn lazy? Suppose you honestly can't be bothered to spend any time learning about a business that you say you want to join. In that case, you're just wasting everybody's time. I'm looking for passion — someone who knows what they want and why this job aligns with their desires and goals.
So naturally, my eight ill-prepared candidates had some underwhelming answers to "So what do you know about our business?". The two most common responses I had were "Oh, I didn't have much time to prepare to be honest" or "Umm, ahh, I assumed you're a recruitment agency." No, no, and no! My business is way more than that, which you would know if you bothered to research in the train coming in or while you were waiting in reception. I love the company I work for. Suppose you dragged yourself off Facebook for 5 minutes; you may have read that we are growing fast and have a new corporate partnership. That is HUGE! I'm passionate and excited about that and was hoping you would be too.
But sadly, you weren't, which changed the whole mood of the interview. It doesn't matter to me now where you've worked or the excellent skills you have. You lost me altogether.
None of these eight people progressed to the 2nd stage. The majority had all the skills or background I was looking for, but lack of preparation ruined their chances. And I'll let you in on another secret. If the most inexperienced person in this group knew what our business was about and understood why they wanted to work for us, they would be the standout candidate. Attitude and passion are EVERYTHING.
Honestly, it's the little things that can make the most significant difference in the interview. So don't be a lazy candidate. Get off your Instagram and spend time on LinkedIn instead. If you need to improve your interview preparation, we can help with Job Search Kickstarter or a Personalised Job Search Strategy to get you excited again and motivated to impress.