The 3 most important things to do before a job interview

You have spent countless hours writing the perfect resume and surfing the job boards looking for potential employers. You fill out all the necessary forms and hit the send button. What you do next can make a huge difference in landing an interview or job offer. 

Over the last decade. I have coached hundreds of business owners on how to hire super-star employees. We have helped small business owners that have a history of making common hiring mistakes and help them focus on ways that they can streamline the hiring process to find an employee that fits their company needs and culture.

Today, I want to share with you the 3 things that you can do immediately after sending your resume to a potential employer to get you ahead of the pack. (If you are on the other side of the hiring table- keep reading- this is good stuff!)

1. Do Your Homework.

A typical job listing will lay out the day-to-day tasks expected of a potential candidate as well as a little bit about the hiring company. If the listing sparked your interest, take the time to research the company further. Find out what they do, who they serve, key employee or owner background information, etc. Look for the hiring company on various social media platforms and take note of what their customers are saying. Are they happy and singing their praises? Or do they seem upset and in need of customer service? This bit of detective work will not only give you a better feel for whether you want to work together, but could help identify pain points to bring up during your interview. 

On the other side of the hiring table? What do you look like to a potential candidate? If a potential hire (or customer) can't figure out what you do- then you have work to do.   

RELATED: Here are some phrases you should always say in a job interview: 

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2. Make Sure That You Are Right For The Job. 

After you do your homework, the next thing that you should do is a bit of self-reflection. Have you done the things that the company needs you to do? Have you done it in a comparable environment? For example, if the company in question is a start-up think about your experience in that environment and put pen to paper. Write out the experience that you have in that arena and be prepared to talk about it in the interview. Your resume won't indicate the size of the companies on your work history, so it will be up to you to share this crucial information with the hiring team. 

On the other side of the hiring table? Look for a candidate that is familiar with your type of business or industry. Hiring someone that worked for Heinz for the last 10 years may not cut the mustard for your artisan ketchup start-up. 

3. Forget Hypotheticals. 

The standard "How would you approach situation X" is so 2017. Turn the question around on your employer and have concrete examples of a time that you tackled the problem in question and came out victorious. Brainstorm potential questions based on the industry and job you are being hired for and go one step further and think about real-life experiences you have had. The hiring manager doesn't want to know how you would handle an irate customer in theory, he wants to know about the time that you calmed a customer down and got them to buy more product.

On the other side of the hiring table? Asking a job candidate hypothetical questions about how she would handle a specific challenge, or how he would approach a certain situation is a major mistake. Why? Because almost all of your finalists for the job will know the right answers to say.   Instead, make sure you ask them to walk you through concrete examples of what they did -- behaviorally -- in their work past.

Good luck landing the perfect job! (or perfect candidate)

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