• Sarah

The Business Interview: Secrets On How To Stand Out

We’ve talked hundreds of talents through their interviews, and talked to them after their interviews, so when we say we’ll turn you into expert interviewees, trust us. Business interviews are the fluffy cousin of the technical interview. Your prospective company would be looking at assessing how you can contribute to the teams, how well you fit in with the company culture, and you essentially. So, to get you as prepared as possible for your next interview, we’ve compiled some of our top tips here so you can be sure to impress.

1. Know the Company

It’s on literally every article about interviews you can find, but we just couldn’t leave this one out - that’s how important this is. It shows you’re interested in what they actually do instead of just seeing them as another job opportunity. You’re not limited to just scouring their website here either, you can take it a step further. Do they have a product you can use? Try it if it’s available. Are they offering a service with a free trial? It’s free - what do you have to lose? Going into the interview with not only knowledge about what the company is trying to achieve, but also an understanding of how their product or service works would definitely push your application to the next level.

If trying out their product or services isn’t an option for the particular company you’re interviewing with, you can always go the more traditional route. Try figuring out some of the challenges the company may have, and align these challenges with your skill set. Or in other words, show them how you (and only you) can help alleviate the challenges the company is facing. Also, the fact that the challenges they face may not always be readily available shows that you’ve really put thought into the company and how you can contribute.

2. Research your interviewer

Admit it - we’ve all stalked our crushes on their socials. The good news is that the skills you’ve gained from that can potentially help you with your interview! If you know who your interviewer is, it may be a good idea to check out their LinkedIn (maybe not as far as Instagram though) and get an idea of what they’re like. This would not only better prepare you to relate to the interviewer, and answer their questions but help familiarize yourself with them, so you don’t get as anxious when meeting them. It would also give you an idea of which perspective to answer the questions with. For example, someone from the product team may not be able to completely understand and appreciate the complexity of your technical explanation.

3. Research the company culture

While most people would gloss over the company culture section while doing their research for the company, it may be a good idea for you to spend some time to figure out the qualities and values the company values in it’s employees. Nowadays, most companies, startups especially, want to make sure that their next addition to their team not only has the skills to contribute to the team, but also would be able to gel well with their team-mates. So, understanding your prospective company’s culture, and highlighting how you may fit well personally, may just be the tipping point for you to get your offer.

Make connections between your experience and the position

Okay, so you’ve done all your research, but maybe you’re a bit apprehensive about your interview because your skills don’t exactly match up with the position you’re applying for? That’s not exactly a bad thing sometimes, as long as you’re able to pull out bits and pieces from the things you have worked on, link them up with how these experiences could potentially put you in a better position to contribute to the team. This could be because you’d be able to provide the team with a different perspective, or come in with a unique skill set that would allow the team to explore different areas.

4. Think about your motivations

We’ve covered your knowledge about the company, and how you can contribute to the company. A lot of the time, your interviewer would also ask you about what you want to get from your new position, and how they can contribute to you. Now, everyone is going to talk about how they’ll be able to develop their skills or that they’re excited about the technology they’d be working with.

This is another area where your research into the company and its culture can come in handy. You can set yourself apart by showing your interviewer that you’re not just there for a job, but for the company. Some useful things to think about here are: What (other than their technology) gets you excited about the company you’re applying for? Does their mission resonate with you? Can you not live without their products? Or are you just a sucker for their pool table and unlimited pantry?

5. Ask smart questions

At the end of literally every interview, your interviewer would ask if you have any questions for them. And while this seems like them handing the reins over to you, they are not, and you are still being assessed. But, if you don’t ask any questions, it would seem like you don’t have an interest in the company. The answer? Smart questions. You can check out a great guide to questions to ask in an interview here, but we thing the main thing to point out is their last point. Ask the questions you care about. Thinking about what would make or break the position for you would be beneficial to you in the long run, because even if it may be the wrong question to ask, it may be worth it for you to find out that the company you’re interviewing at really isn’t a good fit for you.

Remember - you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you.

Feel ready to kick butt in your business interview yet? Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be coming out of the room a top contender for sure. And once you’ve got past the business interview, remember to check out our guide to the technical interview so you can be sure to rock that one too.

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