7 Tips for Online Interview Preparation

Posted by Rob Riggins

interview preparationYour goal is to be current on the company’s activities and to develop relevant questions to ask in the interview. That demonstrates you’re an informed professional, current with today’s technology and modes of communication.

To that end, incorporate social media and other online sources into your pre-interview research strategy. Companies show different sides of themselves through different social media channels. Use this opportunity to learn more and prepare to ace your interview.

Depending on the cleared position you’re interviewing for and the contractor, you may find a wealth of information on their social media channels, or next to nothing.

If the company you’re interviewing with is one of your target companies, you should have already completed much of this research. If you have other companies on your target employer list, follow this research list for them as well — before you have scheduled an interview.

1. Company Web Site

First stop is the company’s web site. Review any articles, the press section and senior management profiles.

Read the company’s blog to learn what’s current and important to the organization.

Everyone wants to know what a company offers as benefits, but that’s not something to discuss in an initial interview. However today many companies list this information on their web site, so review the benefits if they’re available.

Most companies include their social media accounts with links from their web site either in the footer or header, an easy way to review each.

Engility Twitter page2. Twitter

If you have a Twitter account, follow the company if you haven’t already. Search their twitter stream and review their tweets. Do you find anything different from their web site?

If you don’t have a Twitter account, go to Twitter Search. Type in the company’s name and click search. You’ll find both tweets sent by the company and tweets sent by others that include the company name. See what others are saying about the company. You might find it insightful.

HP Facebook3. Facebook

The company’s Facebook page will typically talk about events the company may be involved in, recent contract awards, corporate social responsibility and more. Follow the company to keep up-to-date.

You’ll find all the large contractors have Facebook pages while many of the smaller ones do not.

GD-IT LinkedIn 4. LinkedIn

Review and follow the company’s LinkedIn page. If you haven’t done so already, search to see who you may know at the company. Talk to those connections to assist in your preparation. It’s a great way to find out about company culture and values.

Even if you didn’t enter the system through an employee referral, it’s still possible to have your contact put in a good word with either the recruiter or hiring manager.

ManTech alert5. Google / Bing

Use your search engine of choice to review how the company is being talked about in the media. Beyond Twitter, this search may be your best avenue for uncovering any bad news about the organization.

You may want to set up a Google Alert for this company and all your target employers. Google will then email you when Google crawls any future reference to the company or keyword you have selected.

6. Repeat the above for each individual who you will be interviewing

When you’re asked to interview, be sure to get the full name of each individual you will be interviewing with and their title. Follow the above process for each of them, checking their LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook profiles. Most likely they will be doing the same to you.

7. GlassDoor

GlassDoor is a great source of information on current salaries, typical interview questions and general current employee thoughts on working there. This tends to be more helpful with larger organizations because there is a larger sample size of information. Particularly with smaller companies take the information found with a grain of salt as it’s an opportunity for disgruntled former employees to complain.

Review Your Profiles

Just as you are reviewing the profiles of the individuals you’ll be interviewing with, they may be viewing your profiles. This is a good opportunity to doublecheck your profiles and privacy settings so you’re sharing the information you want to share.



This entry was posted on Monday, September 08, 2014 7:00 am

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