Monday, 27 October 2014

On doing research before your job interview

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On doing research before your job interview

Today's theme: doing research before your job interview.

My advice, as an industry insider, would be: you should, like, do it.

Let me put it another way. You know how it's bad to turn up at an interview drunk and do that trick where you waggle your finger through your trouser zip? Turning up having done no research is sort of like that.

Most of you will agree with me, but there are a few avant garde job-seekers (naming no names) who seem to have difficulty with the idea.

As recruitment agents, we can tell you about the company, we can send you a link to their website, we can urge you to research the company prior to your interview, and we can advise you on how to go about this. We can't, however, do the research ourselves, dress up as you and then attend the interview in your place.

We'd love to! But since the laws changed in 1986 we can't.

Now, we make a point of actually begging our candidates to do research - tears, hand-wringing, the whole shebang - and most of them do, but if you're one of the minority who prefer to prepare for your interview by doing nothing whatsoever, you might profit from the following 'behind the scenes' insight:

When candidates turn up at interviews with our clients having done no research, the only thing the clients ever say to us afterwards is, 'We're not interested in taking it further. They obviously hadn't done any research.'

They never say, 'Bob turned up completely unprepared, and didn't even know we were an online marketing agency. We've hired him - he's a maverick.' Any more than they say, 'The moment Bob put his finger through his fly and waggled it around while crashing drunkenly into our cardboard cutout of Bill Gates, we knew he was the one for us.'

Let's recap. When our client asks you what you know about the company, it's usually not enough to wipe your nose on your sleeve and say, 'Something to do with the internet?'

To those of you who refuse to heed my advice (and there are plenty of you out there): Instead of going to the trouble of attending job interviews, why not consider staying home and watching television in your underpants while eating Monster Munch?

To those of you who do your research: Take heart; your competition may not be as competitive as you fear.