Using Social Media to help prepare for an interview
For the busy professional, preparing for an interview can be a daunting task if you don’t know where to start.
With meetings, projects and general life getting in the way, finding the time to prepare whilst using the correct sources can also be tough - that's why we've highlighted key tips to help you get started online:
Who are you meeting?
Starting your meeting positively is vital, therefore taking some time to understand who you are meeting is the best place to start.
LinkedIn or Xing will normally provide an overview of the person that you are meeting, and their current and previous job history - perhaps you have worked for the same or similar companies?
You may also share common connections that can provide a point of reference for you. They may be able to give you a perspective of the business, provide you with interview insights specific to the company that you are meeting, or to provide your interviewer with a favourable reference. You may also discover similar social interests to help with those ice-breaker moments.
LinkedIn will give you a fantastic platform to understand the business, people and culture; including recent hires, company insights, social posts and information on their major competitors – typically in the ‘people also viewed’ section. Perhaps you already know people who work there.
If you are connected to them on LinkedIn, they will show on the company page when you visit it. Do they have a ‘work for us’ page? You might find valuable tips on any unique areas within their hiring process. LinkedIn will also enable you to see how your interviewer has got to the position that they are in.
Understanding their journey may be useful when interpreting what has made them successful within their organisation. You may also be able to draw upon potential talking points if you have shared experiences, contacts, previous employers, etc.
Don't waste time on corporate statistics. Hirers will always appreciate it if you can express knowledge in their organisation, however, with limited time you have to focus on the areas that will give you the greatest insights. Take the time to understand the products and services offered, specifically focussing on the relevant areas to you.
Are there relevant case studies on their website? Do they name the clients that they are working with? Have you worked with similar clients or projects? Knowing what they do and who they do it for may allow you to highlight similar projects or clients when explaining your experience.
Google, Facebook / Instagram / YouTube
Google is another great place to build quick intelligence on your prospective employer. Google alerts can be set up in minutes delivering content to you. Otherwise a quick scan of Google News or pages 1-3 of Google should suffice.
Most employers will also provide access to their culture through Instagram or YouTube channels. If you have an account, it is definitely worth a look.
You may have common interests, friends or talking points that could prove useful during the meeting, or just to better understand the type of people that you would be working with.
Much like TripAdvisor, you cannot expect every review to be relevant or entirely with merit. However, it is a great place to see how different individuals rate the company that you are meeting and to see whether there are any common themes from one review to the next.
It's important to remember that whilst you have all of this information at your finger tips regarding the company and relevant individuals, so do they - review your own online presence and don't let an old tweet or Instagram post ruin your chances of getting hired.