Would you come to class without your homework done? No. And you shouldn’t come into a job interview without doing your homework either. There are three very important questions that I ask during an interview with a candidate.
1. Why you want to work for my company?
It goes a long way with a recruiter when you can demonstrate some knowledge about the company you’re interviewing with. With research, you can tell me that it was my company’s presence within our industry that attracted your attention, or our commitment to feeding the hungry that you admire, or the diverse and inclusive work environment, or the commitment to developing our employees through training and mentoring programs.
Take some time to thoroughly research a company before your interview. Look at their website, Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn groups or any other site that offers information about the company, and find out how they match up with your goals, ideals, and values. Conveying excitement and energy about being part of the organization will set you apart from other job seekers who haven’t ever read the company’s vision statement or taken the time to understand the company’s role in its industry.
2. What are your salary expectations and is the location of the job a geography that you are open to?
Salary expectations are not only crucial for you to know, they are for me as well. The last thing I want is to find a great candidate and get down to an offer, only to lose them because we could not offer the salary they expected or wanted. Unsure about what salary to request? Check out the salary calculators at salary.com.
If you’re local to the job then chances are you already know what the commute will be like and the region’s cost of living. There are plenty of tools out there to find out about areas of the country you’re not familiar with and the impact relocating will make on your life:
3. Don’t forget to review the job description ahead of the interview so that you are prepared to talk about how your experience qualifies you for the job.
This is probably the most important. As a recruiter, I’ll ask questions about your experience to see if you’re a good fit for the job. To prepare, try to think of questions I might ask and practice answering those questions out loud–maybe get a friend to help you practice. Make a list of examples that you can use to talk about and show why you’re the best qualified candidate for the job. And, if you’ve done your research, it’s likely that you will have some questions for me, too. A good interview includes some dialogue back and forth about you, the job and our company.
The whole interview process may seem overwhelming, and a lot like getting ready for exams. But, all the work you do prior to an interview will only benefit you, both as an interviewee and, hopefully, when fielding multiple offers. Remember, you have that one chance to make a first impression with a recruiter–make it count and make them remember you.
Michele is a Senior Recruiter for Sodexo, a world leader in quality of daily life solutions that contribute to the progress of individuals and the performance of organizations. As a former assistant director at the University of Maryland University College’s Career and Cooperative Education Center, she’s no stranger to students trying to plan their careers. During that time, she worked with non-traditional college students to gain school credit for on the job work experience. Michele also taught seminars on job searching, resume writing and interview techniques, and partnered with local employers to help students gain employment. At Sodexo, she has continued her interest in shaping student careers by serving as a mentor to an intern in the company’s Future Leaders Program. Michele began her recruitment career in 1999, joining Sodexo in 2008 where she recruits for a range of food, facilities and environmental services positions. Michele holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland College Park (go Terps), is a charter member of a Baltimore area Toastmasters chapter, and a Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) and Certified Diversity Recruiter (CDR). When not giggling with her two girls, Michele enjoys writing … and watching the Yankees win, much to the dismay of her husband. Join her on LinkedIn or just Network with Us at Sodexo.