We all know to find out as much as we can about the role and organisation before we go for a job interview. If we’re fortunate enough to actually know who’ll be interviewing us, it’s a good idea to also do some research on this person. Follow our advice on how to go about this and you’ll go into the interview in a position to better connect with them.
1. Research the Job
Find out as much as you can about the job and the specifics around what the organisation needs from whoever will end up doing it. The more you know about the job specification, the more you’ll understand where your interviewer fits into the company relative to the role they’re interviewing you for.
2. Ask the First Point of Contact
As soon as you’re given the name of your interviewer, ring reception to find out if they work in the building and, if so, to get more information about them. Whoever’s on the reception desk will answer your questions if they have the time.
3. Contact HR
Similarly, make contact with HR and ask if it’s possible to get some background on the person. Whoever phoned or wrote to invite you to interview may be part of the HR department and therefore able to help you. If they aren’t, they should be able to point you towards someone who is.
4. Look at LinkedIn
Look up the interviewer on LinkedIn. After all, they’ll probably be looking you up. Take in all the information you find on their profile, not just the details of their professional career. What school did they go to? Did they go to university and if so what did they study? Who are they connected to? How come they’re connected to those people? Look at your own LinkedIn network to see if there are any mutual connections who can shine a bit of light on your man or woman.
5. Use Your Recruiter
If you got this interview through a recruitment agency or head-hunter, get as much information from them as possible. They want you, as their candidate, to get this job so they’ll be happy to pass their insider knowledge on to you.
6. Identify the Boss
Find out who this job is reporting to. At some point during the interviewing and assessment process you’ll probably meet this person so it’s a good idea to find out who they are so you can research them as well as your named interviewer.
About the author
Simon North is the Founder of Position Ignition and the Career Ignition Club. Position Ignition is one of the UK’s leading career development and career planning companies. The Career Ignition Club offers a range of career support tools, advice and e-learning materials for its members. Follow Simon North and his team on twitter @PosIgnition and get more advice from him on their Career Advice Blog.