Thursday, April 24, 2008

Before Interviewing for an Internship or Job -- Do Research on the Web

Before Interviewing for an Internship or Job -- Do Research on the Web

If you’ve answered an ad for an internship or job and then been offered an interview, you need to do research BEFORE the meeting.

Of course you probably won’t be able to research exactly what you might be doing if you got the internships or job. That kind of information will hopefully be provided at the interview.

What you can research is information about what the company does and, more importantly, if there are any possible connections to you.

By possible connections I mean the kinds of things that create rapport in an interview, because employers like to hire and work with people they like. And if there are 10 equally qualified applicants, and one applicant has a special connection to the hiring person, that applicant will probably get the position.

Let’s talk about what kinds of connections I mean. You first check out the company’s website. Yet for some reason, even though there’s cool flash animation on the site, there’s no name or information about the people running the company.

You do a Google search using the company’s name, and you find links to articles about the company. You read the articles and find out the CEO’s name.

You do another Google search of the CEO’s name. And at the same time you check out MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn and any other social or professional online networks to which you belong. You may find out something very interesting, such as the CEO graduated from the same college as your parents.

This little piece of information that seems so unimportant can establish a connection between you and the hiring manager – “My parents went to the same college as the CEO” (which shows you’re interested enough in the position to do some research) – or between you and the CEO who shakes your hand after the hiring manager introduces you – “My parents went to the same college as you did” (again demonstrating an interest in the company).

Especially for young people who are very comfortable surfing the web, use all the resources at your fingertips to prepare for an interview. The better prepared you are, the better chance you have of getting the position.

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