The New Rules of Work: Preparing For An Interview

In this EIGHT PART SERIES we chronicle the new ways to NAVIGATE YOUR CAREER in the MODERN WORKPLACE. This week we’re discussing how to PREPARE FOR AN INTERVIEW


The mere thought of an interview can make our hearts pump a little faster, sometimes in abject fear, sometimes in enthusiasm—and some­times in a mixture of both. Regardless of which camp you fall into, know this: being asked for an inter­view is a big milestone in your job search quest. In all the excitement (or nervousness), however, it’s important to re­member that interviews require a lot of preparation.

The first thing you should do when you’ve landed an interview? Research. We know: you’ve done this at several steps along the way, including unearthing lots of details about the company and the role when you applied for the job in the first place. But before you meet the hiring manager face-to-face, you’ll want to go even deeper in learn­ing about the company, position, and even the people you’d be working with if you got the job.

Specifically, you want to have a good understanding of:

The company: What are its strong suits? Who are its competitors? Has it won any recent awards or accolades?

The people you’ll be meeting with: At this point you’ll likely have been given the names of the person or people who will be interviewing you, so dig up as much on them as you can. What are their positions and what ex­actly do they do? How senior are they, and how long have they been at the company? What are their backgrounds? Do you have anything in common with them, like LinkedIn connections?

The role: What do the day-to-day responsibilities look like, and what key skills and strengths are needed to accomplish them? What would success in this role look like, and what are the metrics used to assess it? And most important, what questions do you need answered? Remember that while yes, technically, they are interviewing you, this is also your chance to interview them.

Finally (and this is the easy one, since it’s about you), be prepared with specifics on your background: What are your key strengths that you bring to the position? What sets you ahead of other candidates? What specific projects and achievements relate to this role and highlight your skills? What questions or concerns might the interviewer have about your background, and how can you address them?

Having done this legwork ahead of time it will give you a good grasp not only of what the role entails, but also of what you want to commu­nicate as a candidate. This in turn will help you answer questions more thoughtfully and effectively, connect with the interviewer on a deeper level, and follow up in a more meaningful and personal way.

Copyright © 2017 by Million Things LLC. Extracted from THE NEW RULES OF WORK by Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew. Published by Orion Spring at £14.99 in paperback. Also available in audio and ebook.

Whether you are starting out in your career, looking to advance or navigating a mid-career shift, this eight part series will provide you with the tips and advice you need to thrive in the new world of work. Stay tuned for the next excerpt from The New Rules of Work next Monday.

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