Employers expect you to know about their organization and industry. Chances are high that they will ask you questions designed to test whether you did your homework. For example, you could be asked one or more of these questions that require knowledge of the company:
- What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
- Do you enjoy doing independent research?
- Do you have any plans for further education?
- Why do you want to work in the ————- industry
- What do you know about our company?
- Why are you interested in our company?
Spend time researching the company by examining the company’s annual reports, company Websites, and external sources of information. But don’t stop there. Spend time familiarizing yourself with the key industry (or industries) that the company or division operates within. You can find all the resources you need by visiting our Guide to Researching Companies, and here’s a quick checklist for researching companies:
- Company Web site.
- Google search.
- Annual Reports or other printed materials from the company.
- People you know who work there (part of your network, alumni).
- Customers and vendors.
- Library: print, online, CD resources, online library databases, such as ABI.
Also spend time boning up on your interview skills and style. Do some research to determine the types of interviews you should expect during your visit — but be prepared for everything.
If possible, ask your company contact person (or his or her assistant) for a copy of the interview schedule — and make sure you get the names and titles of those who are interviewing you. If possible, try to find out information about these people; the Web is a great source for this type of information.
Make sure you know the exact position you are interviewing for so that you can research typical duties and responsibilities, as well as salary range. Determine how your unique selling proposition (USP) fits with the position — and plan on articulating it again and again at each interview setting during the company visit. Figure out as much as possible about the employer’s needs. Find out more than the average interviewee about the company and the hiring manager’s concerns.