Caroline Hauser Slapak
Try | Make Mistakes | Learn | Succeed

The Ultimate Guide to Acing Your Next Job Interview (part 1/2)

“Opportunity does not waste time with those who are unprepared.” - Idowu Koyenikan
“Opportunity does not waste time with those who are unprepared.” - Idowu Koyenikan

I’ll start this post with a real dialogue that I had with a very intelligent and capable woman that is a very good friend of mine. I’ll keep her identity hidden for obvious reasons…

Friend: Carol, I have an interview scheduled for next Thursday!

Me: Great! Congrats! Did you prepare enough for this interview?

Friend: Hm… Yes, I read the company’s website, but the product is a bit difficult to understand. Actually, since you asked, I’m not sure if I’m well prepared for this interview…

Me: What is the name of the person that will interview you?

Friend: I don’t know…

Me: Is this person from HR, from the team, or your soon to be boss?

Friend: I don’t know… Should I know all of this in advance?

Me: This is just the beginning…

Friend: Carol, can you help me to be more prepared for this interview, please?

Me: בכיף! (gladly!)

I helped this friend and she got the job! I’m so proud of her!

* * *

What I want to emphasize here is that nothing that I’m posting on this blog is new. I, myself, never worked in any HR. But because I’m curious by nature, I always try to learn from my mistakes. This is why all my posts have so many links! There is so much information on the Internet, you just need to know the right questions to ask.

“Sof sof”! You finally landed a face-to-face interview (like my friend in the dialogue before). Here are some questions that you should consider before planning for your job F2F interview:

  1. Do you know who is the person that you’ll be talking to? Get the person’s name.
  2. Do you know in which department they work (HR or the department you’re applying to)?
  3. How well do you know the company? Is it a global company or is it a start-up? The research you’ll need to do may differ.
  4. How well do you know their product(s)?
  5. How well do you know their market? Do you know who their main competitors are? What are the main industry trends?
  6. What are the main interview questions this company usually ask?
  7. How much do their employees make? What is your salary expectation?

* * *

Once again, use the Internet to find the main answers and “do your homework”:

  1. About the person that will interview you (answering questions 1 and 2 above):
    • Search on LinkedIn: read their profiles.
    • What is their career track like?
    • Do you have something in common? It’s very important in the Israeli job market! You have to connect with your interviewer. It won’t be the main factor in the final decision, but for sure, this person will always remember you because you connected somehow!
    • Are they connected to someone you know? If yes, call this person and try to get some insights about the interviewer.
    • Google this person, so you won’t miss the big picture about them, for example, in case they write a blog, or are part of an organization that you are interested in…
  2. Use the sources below to research more information on the company (answering questions 3 and 4 above):
    • Company’s website
    • LinkedIn
    • Craft
    • Crunchbase
    • SimilarWeb
    • Start-up Nation Finder
    • Company’s blog, if applicable (I got really good insights by reading the CEO’s blog before an interview)
    • A friend that works in this company (use your network!)
    • Very important to emphasize that if you’re interviewing for a start-up, you must know their total funding, main investors (especially the big ones). I’ve been asked about it, and I have to admit that the first time I was asked that question I wasn’t ready with an answer…
  3. About market / competitors / trends in the industry (answering question 5 above):
    • Some of these insights will already be clear by researching the company using the links I shared in the topic above
    • Google the company and check what the mass media write about them
    • Here are a few websites to get you started – the list is endless:

If you would like to add a source to any of the lists above, please write to me in the comments or in private. I would love to learn new things as well and will be happy to share with others.

* * *

So far, I have covered topics 1 to 5. I have described the best ways to get information about the person, the company you will interview for and their main challenges. My next post will help you answer to the rest of the questions mentioned above (6 and 7). I will further explain about how you can anticipate some of the interview questions that might be asked; where to find information about employee salaries; how to know what your salary expectation should be, and many more tips on how to ace your next job interview!

About the Author
Caroline made Aliyah from Brazil in 2015. She has a BA in Business and MBA in Finance. Most of her experience in Brazil was working for business consulting firms (locals and globals). After she made Aliyah, she was "lucky" to find her first job very quickly. The second time she was looking for a job, she had encountered some differences in the hiring process. In an attempt to expand her network, she was constantly meeting new people and exchanging experiences. From these discussions, she understood that the differences are not only specific to the Brazilian job market, but they are very peculiar to Israel. As everybody else, she had to make mistakes and learn with her own failures; some important information she had to dig deep to find them. As a business consultant, she have learned a lot about organization & methods and this is how she's able to summarize them as "lessons learned". In this blog, she'll share her knowledge and practical tools to help all the other job seekers. "Happy is that one who transfers what he knows and learns what he teaches." - Cora Coralina (Brazilian writer)
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