The Ultimate Pre-Interview Checklist

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Interviews are nerve wracking to say the least, especially if you’re shy or not great at thinking on your feet. The secret to walking into any interview confidently? Do your research.🔍

Here’s a checklist of things to look up when prepping for an interview:

✔️ What is the company’s mission?

First thing’s first, learn what the company believes in. Start by checking out the company website, in particular, the “About” page which should highlight their mission and values. You’re looking to learn about what drives them: Are they philanthropic, all about the customer or driven by business? Take note of how your own values may align with theirs.

✔️ Have they been in the news?

Once you know what the company does and believes in, give them a Google. Do they have any recent news stories or were they featured in a blog?. This will clue you in on some of their recent wins (or missteps 😬). Remember all these stories so you can casually mention that you saw an article about that big project or partnership they had.

✔️ What is the company culture?

Learning about the company culture early on will help you decipher if it’s the right place for you. Do they appear very corporate, relaxed, or creative? And is that an environment where you thrive in?

This can be harder to figure out from only external sources, but stalking their social media, newsletter, or blog is a good place to start. You can also review resources like Glassdoor and LinkedIn to see what past and present employees say about the company and/or job. (Take those with a grain of salt, as everyone’s experience is different.)

The best way to learn about a company vibe is by talking to a current employee. 🚫 Do not go adding people on Facebook. 👍 Do put feelers out into your communities (like the #BUILTBYGIRLS Slack) to see if anyone in your network can make a connection.

✔️ Who are their competitors?

See who are their biggest competitors and what types of projects they are working on. This is impressive information to have in your back pocket because it shows you’re tuned into their industry. 💪🏽

✔️ Who is their target audience?

Find out who their users are and learn everything you can about them: age, geographic location, gender, passion 💕and pain points. Being keyed into their user will help inform your answers to interview questions about the business or brand.

✔️ Who are the company leaders?

Look up the leaders of the company. When was it started and why? Who are the people at the top making the big decisions?👩🏽‍💼 Being aware of who the CEO, founder and CFO are is a good idea in case their names come up. You don’t want to be caught off guard not knowing who the big players are.

✔️ Who is interviewing you?

This may be the most important pre-interview step. Find the person interviewing you on LinkedIn and familiarize yourself with their profile. This will help you learn about their role, what’s important to them and if you have any commonalities. When you know who is interviewing you, it’s easier to come up with answers that will relate to them and their role.

Once you’ve learned all about the company, your role, and the interviewer, start practicing answers to three common interview questions.

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