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Using Social Media and the Internet to Your Advantage before an Interview

“So, can you tell me what attracted you to our company?” 

Are you prepared to answer this question during a job interview? All too often students show up for an interview dressed to impress and prepared to answer questions about themselves, but balk when the conversation turns to the company itself.

It is imperative to research the company with whom you are interviewing so you can sell why you’d be a great fit. You can be spot-on with all other responses, but if it’s apparent you don’t know anything about the company, it’s an immediate turn-off to a recruiter. Plus, how do you know you’re a qualified candidate if you haven’t done your homework about the employer?

It’s not necessary to memorize the entire profile of an organization, but it is smart to at least browse their website, especially the “About Us” section. Also, many employers hold information sessions prior to an on-campus recruiting event—attend these! It may be an opportunity to make an early positive first impression! Another recommendation is to come up with a few questions to ask the interviewer about the company, for example: “I noticed that company XYZ focuses a lot on giving back to the community through various programs—can you share a bit more about that?” This not only shows you’ve done your research, but that you’re interested in learning more.

In addition to browsing the company’s official website, it is a good idea to check out the organization’s social media presence. Many employers are targeting college students and recent grads through Facebook fan pages and Twitter feeds. Many Facebook pages are geared to specific opportunities within the company, especially co-ops and internships. Check these out to gain an understanding of what these positions are all about. Current employees may write about their experiences or answer questions posted by interested parties. Spending a little bit of time perusing a company’s online resources might just put you a step ahead of other candidates.

There are few things that you have complete control over during the interview process; researching the company beforehand is one of them! Impress the recruiter with your knowledge, and hopefully increase your chances of landing the job!

"Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs.  Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger.  If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves."
-Dale Carnegie

About the author

Krysta Kirsch

Krysta Kirsch is a Previous On-Campus Recruiting Coordinator at Engineering Career Services.