Interviews: How to prep for success

How do you prepare for an interview? Are you a meticulous and thorough researcher or a candidate that improvises on the spot? Recent research from Randstad reveals the secret to successful interview prep, outlining that in such a competitive job world the completion of a Google search just won’t cut it.

Its findings revealed that candidates who consulted a former or current staff member and a recruitment consultant saw considerably more success, securing a job, on average, within eight weeks and three days – two weeks and two days faster than the national average. Candidates who found the most success used a combination of these research methods alongside reading the company’s marketing material and checking out the organisations presence in the media. However, only 1% of candidates used these methods in combination, with just 20% of respondents consulting employees and former employees of the prospective employer, only 15% speaking with relevant industry professionals and just 1 in 11 seeking the advice of recruitment consultants.

So how are candidates currently preparing?

In an age where search engines like Google and content aggregators such as Wikipedia have made searching for information easy and instantaneous, Randstad’s survey reveals that this easy access may have made job seekers less thorough. With such a wealth of accessible information at their fingertips, for some, research preparation has become limited rather than limitless. One in five (18%) of the British candidates surveyed did not perform any research, past reading the job spec and application, for their last interview and 9% relied solely on a company’s website. Mark Bull, the UK CEO of Randstad explained where candidates who use these methods are missing out:

“…People are seduced into thinking the internet has all the answers. It certainly offers a valuable insight but the perspective of former employees – not to mention the insight of a recruitment consultant, will fill in many blanks about a company that an online search can’t. In today’s marketplace it is the candidate who understands the nuances of an organisations’ culture and skills requirements that really stands out.”

The limited nature of researching only on the internet is emphasised further by the average length of time it takes these candidates to secure a position from an interview – eighteen weeks and three days. The length of their job search is almost triple that of candidates using the combined research approach. Through ill-preparation job seekers could be extending their job hunt unnecessarily. Randstad’s findings reveal just how essential comprehensive research is to success.