Friday, January 07, 2005

Do Your Homework!

A participant in one of my writing seminars today made an excellent point about preparedness for job interviews. The participant, an administrative support staffer for a New York City government agency, said, "Over ten years ago, I went to the interview for my current job completely unaware of the agency's business. The interviewer asked me just a few questions to see if I knew the basics of the job and hired me. Today that's unheard of. My boss expects job candidates to have researched the agency's mission, objectives, services, and initiatives because that information is so easily available on the Internet."

Without question, employers are forced to do more with fewer employees today; therefore, the job market has never been as competitive. One way to get a jump on the interview process is to research the employer thoroughly. Here's how:

1. Study the employer's website. (If the employer has no website, you might want to reconsider seeking employment there.)

2. Consider the key concerns, markets, services or products, and ventures of the business and determine how your skills match those factors.

3. Prepare a list of questions and comments for the interview.

This is the least you should do. You may also want to conduct an Internet search for any recent media coverage of the employer. By showing your interest in the organization, you will become a more attractive job candidate.
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