Are You an Interview Prepper?
How do you prepare for an interview? If you are a job seeker, have you done your homework and researched the company, product/service, key people, and competition? If you are an interviewer, have you done your homework on the candidate by looking them up on Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media? For a process that is so critical to a company's success, I am dumbfounded by how frequently people fail to prep for interviews. What does it cost you to hire the wrong employee? What does it cost you to join the wrong company? How do YOU prep?
As a company, when you hire the wrong employee, you lose more than just time, money, and effort. You could also create a negative culture within your company. How many other employees must pick up the slack for a bad hire? Disgruntled talk might be had in the break room and at lunch. Hard feelings might be brewing and festering within your company because of bad hires. This all affects production. Is there a legal concern that has arisen from a firing? These are all issues that are real and very important to the success of any company. Isn't it worth the time and effort to better prep for an interview in the first place?
As an interviewer, I research everything I can about a candidate. I Google their name. I vet their resume against their LinkedIn profile for inconsistencies. Inconsistencies and typos show me a lack of attention to detail. I then hold my breath and take flight with Twitter and see what they care and talk about. This will tell you a lot about their character and personality - if they are a good culture fit or not. Lastly, I build a few questions from my research to use during my interview process.
Looking at the other side of the table as a potential new employee, what if you joined the wrong company? At this point, you have stopped your job search, spent a small amount of time at a new company, and are ready to move on. This can look bad on a resume when applying to a new job. The bottom line is that you were either lied to during your interview, or you didn't do your due diligence and prep for your interview. Most companies do not have just one individual involved during the interview process, so unless there is a companywide conspiracy to rope you into a job you don't want, your research might be the issue.
The last time I looked for a job, I researched the company on social media, Google, Hoovers, Crunchbase, and LinkedIn. I looked for bad press, good press, and no press at all. I wanted to see who their competitors were and if I could find a comparison chart to evaluate them. I used LinkedIn to find current and past employees and if I had any mutual connections. I also tried to connect to past employees to find out why they left and what they thought about the company. Finally, I want to see if I have anything in common with the people I will be interviewing with for some "ice breaking" conversation.
Please do your homework and background before your interview. It costs everyone too much (money/time/effort) to make the wrong decision that in most cases, can be avoided by better preparation. Attack your interview like any other sale. It is obviously the most important sale at this point of your company/career. If you're not already, become an interview prepper and stock up on information so you can make the best decisions when the time comes.