“Why do you want to work for this company?”
“What do you know about our company’s products?”
“Why should we hire you?”
Those are just some of the questions you’ll need to answer during your job interview. And the cliche answers like “I’m a hard worker” won’t cut it. Your answer needs to show the interviewer you know everything possible about that company. And you need to show exactly how your talents will help that company.
And this is where Google and LinkedIn come in. By using these two sites, you’ll gain all the inside information you’ll ever need to nail those questions, and the interview. Here’s how:
1. Discover History
Basic knowledge is huge in a job interview; the more you know, the better prepared you’ll be. To understand more about the company in general
- Use LinkedIn to find out when the company was founded; is it a public or a private company?
- How is the company’s stock doing? What do market analysts say?
- If it is a private company, Google search (look for “Crunchbase”) to find out more about the company
2. Understand Major Product Lines and Culture
Knowing the products, and the work environment in which the company operates, weill put you well ahead of your job seeking competition. This will also help you answer questions about why you would like to work at this company (you DO want to work at this company, right?).
- Use news.google.com to find updates about the company; then look at the Press section on the company website to understand more about the company and its dealings.
- Social media also provides a wealth of information (but don’t just stop at LinkedIn; Facebook and Twitter are good sources to find company pages and the marketing information)
- If the company makes consumer goods, read Amazon reviews about its products. A quick Google search for a specific product review should also turn up results
- Read company reviews on the web to understand more about the culture of the company
3. Know the Competition
Look at competitors to understand the trends in that industry, and the company’s position in the marketplace:
- Use Google to find information on competitors and their products
- Use LinkedIn to learn more about those companies and their online presence
- Again, use Google to check industry trends… what is coming next for this marketplace?
4. Know the People
It’s always good to understand the background and function of the employees in the organization. Who do you know who already works there? Who might provide you an introduction to someone already employed there. Most important: who might provide you an enthusiastic referral?
- Look at your LinkedIn contacts for first or second level connections at this company, then connect with these contacts to get some inside scoop about the company
- Perform a Google search on the individual employees that you are going to interview with… where do they hangout online (hint: look at their LinkedIn groups)?
5. Know Your Role
- Read the job requirements and think about how your unique talents will make you stand out… what value do you bring?
- How will your working style fit into the existing culture?
- How will you help this company move their mission forward?
This information, almost all available on Google and LinkedIn, will kickstart your job interview, and help you make a great first impression. Good luck!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Simply Hired!
About the Author:Tanvi Shah was originally an Engineer who moved into product management. She holds a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Colorado, Boulder. In her free time, she enjoys dancing and tennis.