With Hurricane season in full motion (literally), we don’t take the news of a hurricane lightly. In fact, we are usually watching it form as tropical storms in the Atlantic at least a week before if not longer. Days in advance, we are busy preparing. As FEMA recommends with their Basic Disaster Kit we should prepare a contact list and by stocking up on the following items: food, water, batteries, First Aid Kit, Blanket, Battery radio, manual can opener, and the list goes on.
With this level of exceptional planning, would it be beneficial to apply this level of planning for a job interview? Absolutely.
Gather Information. Before the interview, research the company – just as you would follow a Tropical Storm forming in the Atlantic. Take 5 minutes a day to read up on any “new news” that may be forming on their website. Follow their social media outlets for instant news on updates.
Basic Company Hire Kit. Before you go in for the interview, put your own Basic Company Hire Kit together on the company. Understanding the company’s structure and how the position you are interviewing for brings value to the company. This helps make sense of how YOU fit into the company. It would be valuable to gather the following information.
*What are this organizations products and/ or services? (Even nonprofits serve people through education, lobbying efforts, publications, etc.)
* What direction has the organization taken within the past one to two years, and what might be expected in the future?
* What does the organization value? Innovation, teamwork, efficiency, professional development, public service. Look in the company’s mission and values to help uncover.
* If you are interviewing with a division of an organization, how does that division work /relate to the parent organization.
Contact List. Much like the Emergency Contact List of people you need to have during a hurricane. It is beneficial to spend some time researching the contact list of people you are meeting with and possibly working with. Look to identify them as people – not necessarily their role in the organization. Try to learn about their interests, what motivates them, what they do in their free time, where they give their time in the community, etc. This will help to give you an understanding of the type of people that work for this organization and some possible insight to the culture. While you may not find out personal information prior to – it would be important to try and learn it during the interview process.
Supply Kit. Much like the list of supplies gathered for a Hurricane. Take some time to make sure your list of supplies are in order.
*Cover Letter – make sure it is personalized and applicable for the person you are meeting with during interview.
* Resume – customize to position interviewing for. Spell check, spell check, and spell check. Bring a few extra printed out in case other people from the company join your interview.
* References – It is always beneficial to have this information printed out in your supply kit. Contact information is important, and if you can have written references – this is a plus.
* Bring proper identification to complete an application if this is part of the process.
* Follow Through – Try to get their business card and correct address so you can drop a Thank you note promptly in the mail.
Much like Hurricanes, job interviews are stressful. Being prepared and knowledgeable can help any interviewee feel like they are Greg Fischel (weather man extraordinaire)….the “go- to” person for answers.