Interviewing Part 3: Preparation

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Anne Weeks
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You have read the job description and have an idea of what the interviewer will be looking for in a successful applicant, but is that enough to be prepared for the interview?

Absolutely not!

Preparing for an interview is HARD WORK. This is the chance to demonstrate why you are a good hire – a chance to bring life to your resume and transcript.

There are no “perfect” answers in an interview. If you do the hard work necessary to be well prepared, you will certainly crush the interview!

Do Your Research

There are 5 guidelines to follow in doing your research:

  • Vision/Mission:

Demonstrating how well you understand the organization’s vision/mission makes you a stronger candidate for hire. Look at their value statements. What do they say about the organization’s culture? How do you see yourself fitting into that culture? Think of personal examples of when you have been aligned with those values in your own life.

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  • Product/Service

How does the organization’s product/service fit into the market? Are they for-profit? non-profit? What are the distinguishing characteristics of the organization? Who are their competitors? Make sure you understand the product/service they offer.

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  • Research Ability/Interest

The internet allows you to dig deeply into the organization’s footprint. Look for articles written about the company or interviews/speeches given by the CEO. What has been trending about the organization or the market within which they operate? Read about the person who will be interviewing you – LinkedIn is a great place to start. The more knowledge you have, the better you demonstrate your research ability and interest in the organization.

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  • Employees and Connections

When using LinkedIn, go a step further and put the organization’s name in the search bar. This will bring up current and past employees. Read about them, look to see who their connections are, see if you have any crossover, or look for commonalities you can use to personalize the conversation. Reading about employees will give you further information about the organization’s culture. It is also a good idea to see how the organization makes use of social media and what that may say about them.

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  • Personal Brand

You WILL be asked why you want the job and how it will fit into your career aspirations. Your answer MUST go beyond the simple fact of wanting a good job and benefits. Think about being a part of this organization as though it is a family – How do you fit in? What do you bring to the table? Why are you the right fit? Be thoughtful in crafting your answer, and be prepared to be consistent with this personal brand, throughout the hiring process, to give authenticity to your answer.



Beyond The U has never heard a hiring manager say they hired someone because they have a 4.0 GPA. If you have done your RESEARCH and HARD WORK, you will be hired because the hiring manager saw you as THE BEST FIT.

You are now ready to CRUSH THAT INTERVIEW!


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Anne Weeks

Anne Macleod Weeks is a graduate of Lawrence and Villanova Universities. She has been an educational administrator and English teacher for 38 years, specializing in the area of college admission. Ms. Weeks has been a leader in the college admission and Advanced Placement arenas and has published on pertinent educational topics in a variety of national papers and journals. She currently resides in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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