Research the company
Here are a few tips on learning more about the company:
- Review the company’s website. Pay particular attention to the “About Us” page — and, if it’s a publicly-traded company, look at the information for investors. You’ll find a wealth of information about the company’s people, performance, and plans in the company’s reports.
- Google the company. Conduct both a regular Google search as well as a search on Google News (http://news.google.com/). The Google News search will identify any recent news articles featuring the company. You can also set up a Google Alert (http://www.google.com/alerts) for the company, so that you will be notified via email when there is something new about the company online.
- Assess the company’s social media presence. Check out their Facebook business page, company page on LinkedIn, and/or Twitter account. They may also have a company Google+ page, Instagram account, or Pinterest boards. Take the time to look at what the company posts on its social media accounts. This will help you get an idea of the company culture, and may give you a clue as to how the employees dress, as well as what kind of community involvement the company supports.
- Check out the company on Glassdoor.com. On Glassdoor, you’ll be able to get “inside” company information from employees and folks who have interviewed at the company. There is no charge to join the site, but the site uses “crowdsourcing” to collect data, so you will be asked to provide information on previous or current employers to add (anonymously) to the Glassdoor database.
Picking Your Interview Time
When you are contacted to schedule the interview, sometimes you may be offered a choice of interview times. Which time is best? The answer depends on how interviews are being scheduled. Ask the interviewer. If interviews are being conducted in a single day, or on consecutive days, choose the earliest slot you are offered. Surveys reveal that hiring managers who try to interview a large number of candidates in a short period of time suffer from “interview fatigue.” That means that, by the end of the day, the interviewer is tired, and the interviews all start to run together. Consequently, you have a better chance of making a positive, memorable impression if you interview relatively early in the process.
However, there is one exception. If the interview dates are separated over several days (for example, a Friday and Monday), your best bet is to choose the earliest slot available on the last day interviews are being conducted.
Ask how much time to set aside for the interview. There are few things worse than having an interview go exceptionally well, and the interviewer offers to show you around (or introduce you to the people who would be your co-workers) and you have to leave to go back to work or go to another appointment. Make sure you set aside sufficient time for the interview and any associated tasks (paperwork, testing, tours, etc.).
Also, speaking of paperwork, make sure you arrive early for your interview — at least 10 minutes early. (But don’t show up an hour early either. If you get to the company more than 30 minutes early, wait in your car.)
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