Interviewing can be nerve racking to say the least. It is probably up there in the top 10 least favorite things to do for most of us. You may have read some tips on our blog regarding doing well when interviewing. An important piece of the puzzle besides preparing your responses, is knowing your audience. If you can determine who are the key players you will be meeting with, you can do some additional research that will help you nail that interview.
Take a look at all the communications to see if there are any clues about who you will be meeting with. Sometimes they do send you an interviewing schedule with all the names, sometimes they give you their positions and other times they only give you the name of the first person you will be meeting with. Review the job postings to see if there’s an email address that includes the name or any other indications.
LinkedIn is Your Friend
If you are given the titles of the individuals you will be interviewing with, you can do a search on LinkedIn to find out who they are and do some research on them. Knowing your audience is a huge competitive advantage especially in this very competitive job market. There is a wealth of information on LinkedIn and online in general about your interviewers. If you really want the job, do your due diligence to find out whatever you can about these individuals, what contributions they have made to the organization, their philosophy and values etc. In order to make a great impression, it’s critical to understand these things and target your responses appropriately. You want to be genuine in your responses, establish common ground. Doing some of the work upfront, will allow you to go in with a game plan. If you did not find the posting on LinkedIn, it is suggested that you look on LinkedIn to see if it’s posted. That will give you an indication of who put up the job posting. You may also be able to determine who the position reports into by doing a little detective work on LinkedIn.
The job description has a lot of the answers you’re looking for. In writing that job description, the hiring manager is spelling out what the ideal candidate looks like. They let you know what the priorities are within the position and what skills are most important in order to be successful in the role. It’s like the answer key, your crib sheet so to speak. It surprises me how many people don’t even look at the job description when preparing for the interview. It’s important that you take full advantage of all the information you are provided. You’ve probably applied for many positions. Cover all your bases when preparing for your interview.
The key to connecting with your audience is to first identify your target audience. If you can figure that out, you might give yourself that competitive advantage. Do your research, review all the information that is available to you. The more work you do upfront, the better your chances of nailing the interview.