What Does Prepared Look Like in an Interview?

bpBe prepared. It’s the number one piece of interview advice for good reason. Being prepared for an interview shows you care about the opportunity and respect those involved in the process.

When Willory works with our HR and payroll candidates, we make sure they are prepared for their interview with a briefing regarding both the opportunity and company. When you’re looking on your own for an HR or payroll position and you get an interview, don’t blow it by going in unprepared. But what does prepared look like? How can you impress the hiring manager to set yourself apart?

Before heading to an HR or payroll interview, your research will need to unearth information about the prospective employer that will impress in the interview. Any information you uncover can (and should) be tied into your skills and why you’re the person for the open HR or payroll position.

You can find out a lot of information out by researching the organization, sometimes too much. However, if you stick with these areas you will come across as knowledgeable and prepared.

What do they do? Don’t assume you know what a company does – visit their website, the About Us and Services pages and make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of what the company does and perhaps how a past position you’ve held ties in. Depending on the organization you can also find out information through investor and annual reports. These can show you what is important to the organization’s stakeholders.

Company philosophy. A passion, mission, or overarching goal often dictates what a company does. Make sure you uncover that on the website or reach out to common connections via LinkedIn. If you align yourself with the mission/philosophy, all the better your chances to land the HR or payroll opening.

News and Happenings. Look at not only what the company is promoting on their website as noteworthy news, but do a Google search and find out what’s going on with the business – layoffs or bad news won’t be on the company website. Additionally, visiting social media outlets the company manages will tell you a lot about the culture and whether you’d be a good fit. Look at how they interact with their communities. A good company culture can often be spotted via social media.

The team. Don’t stop at just looking at the management team on the website or who you may be interviewing with – do a deep dive into your own LinkedIn and find a connection. You may only be one person removed from someone who can help you land the HR or payroll position… or you may have a connection who works at the company now that you didn’t know about. If you can’t find much about the team through your online search, make sure you ask during your interview. You can use that information for subsequent interviews.

Other questions you’ll want to have answered for yourself before going to an interview include company size, locations, competitors, how the company is viewed (leader or bottom feeder), etc. Going in prepared and knowledgeable will help you stand out from your lazier competition.

Good luck and remember, you do not have to find a new job alone. By joining with Willory to find your next HR or payroll position, we ensure you will always be prepared to land your next position!


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