Essential Preparation for Interview Success: Four Steps to Understanding Your Interviewer.

In Career Coaching it’s great to see clients through to the point where they are getting interviews for their dream roles - this is where the hard work really starts! Working out what you want to do is one thing but convincing a hiring manager of your aptitude is another and my experience has taught me that preparation is the key to success.

Too often candidates neglect to prepare sufficiently for interviews but if you follow these steps you will turn up tuned into the people, the company, and the industry of your choice. In the first in a series of posts, we take a look at swotting up on who you are about to meet.

1. Who are you meeting?

Before your interview you to know need the names and titles of the people you are meeting, most of the time this will be line manager and the main stakeholders. A good recruiter will give you their names and some background but if you’re flying solo or your contact won’t confirm the interviewer, check the spec. It should at least give you job titles of the line manager and the main stakeholders and give you a starting point for some research.

2. What can you find out about them?

Your first port of call is right here- LinkedIn! Previous positions and places of work can give you a steer on their employment background and what they might be looking for in an applicant. For example, previous sales experience might suggest that they are commercially focused and results driven which you might take as a cue to prepare some examples that showcase your commercial prowess. While this isn’t a fool proof approach, be careful of assuming too much, it can give you an idea of what kind of questioning to expect.

3. Do you you have any mutual contacts?

One of the best way to find out what someone is like and what they might be looking for is to ask someone who has worked with them. You may want to be careful about this one as you may not want to advertise that you are searching for a new role but if you have a trustworthy contact they may be an excellent source of information regarding their communication style and business priorities.

4. What other information is out there?

Senior staff often have company profiles explaining their responsibilities and where they fit into the business structure, they may also have featured in the industry press and in some instances you might find interviews and keynotes on sites like Youtube. Finally, you should conduct a quick audit of other social media networks. I wouldn’t advise that you go full stalker and check their Facebook page but often high profile members of organisations maintain a professional presence on sites like Twitter.

Jess Wright is a Career Coach working in both London and Manchester. If you’d like to know more about how Periscope Works can help  you, get in touch