Used by so many people in so many different situations but it’s so true. ‘By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.’ And it couldn’t be more true with interviews.
We've all been there and I can't think how many times I've had candidates coming out of an interview saying, 'I wish I'd have done more research', or 'they really drilled me on what I knew'.
So what constitutes good preparation and why's it so important these days? Most of this is common sense and far from gospel but hopefully there's a few ideas you can take away here. And we could all do with a refresher on things every now and then.
Firstly, the obvious thing is jumping on a company's website and learning the facts, figures, products and solutions. What do they do and how do they do it.
A step deeper than that would be to look at their marketing; what does the website look like, what's sort of messaging and tone do they use, how do they generate leads, how much effort do they put behind brand building, do they have a social media presence. Then put your marketing consultant hat on. For their target audience, and what they're looking to market, does it make sense? What's good about it and what could be improved? Often companies want marketeers to come in and do more and not just reproduce more of the same. So putting your view forward highlights your marketing nouse.
Secondly then is diving into the job spec you're interviewing for. Often people think an interview is a memory test. Ask yourself how often in your day to day job would you meet a marketing agency with no notes? So an interview shouldn't be any different. Put down on paper some examples of what you've done to tangibly demonstrate your experience. Think about; background to what you did, what you did in the process (don't use the word 'we') and what the result was, numbers are good!
Take this with you, have it with your company research notes in front of you and refer to it if you need to - make sure you maximise how effective you are in that hour or so.
Lastly get some questions together. Not the 'me' ones; pay, holidays etc but ones that are going to show them your commercial acumen.
These days good preparation is important because there's a lot of competition and companies only recruit if they're 100%. So do the prep and feel confident you've done the best you could do.