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Learn about your recruiters before an interview

Posted on 12th February 2016

Have you been told who will be conducting your next job interview? If you know who is in charge of recruitment at the organisation you want to work for, you could find yourself in a strong position to succeed.

After all, a surprising amount of information about individuals - particularly professionals - is available online, thanks to resources such as LinkedIn, Twitter and even company blogs and websites. Add to that they might have been featured in newspaper reports or other media outlets.

So why not do a little digging online and find out as much as you can about them before your interview? 

There are a number of advantages to this approach. Firstly, it makes your interviewers seem far less remote and much more human. By knowing a little about what makes them tick, you might find you relate to them far better and see the entire interview scenario as something much less intimidating and nerve-wracking.

As a result, you'll be more likely to appear confident and competent in equal measure - and better able to say all the right things.

This leads us on to our next point. If you know a little about the people that are going to interview you, you can set yourself up to say something that will impress them.

A few little nuggets of information like the fact they have kids the same age as yours or support a particular football team could be invaluable in helping you strike up a connection.

Of course, you don't want to let on that you've been researching them online and are just saying what you think will impress them! After all, you have to be honest and true to yourself if you're going to get selected.

But if you drop in a few relevant comments naturally and organically, their ears might just prick up and make you more memorable than the last candidate they spoke to!

Finding out a little about your interviewers can have the added benefit of helping you learn what NOT to say. Their views on their likes and dislikes might be well documented on everything from their LinkedIn page to online forums and blog posts. If it helps you avoid unintentionally putting your foot in it, then it has paid off!

It's all about forging a connection with your interviewer and making them remember you for all the right reasons. Someone who is able to present themselves as a likeable and engaging person with outside interests and hobbies is far more likely to make an impression than someone who has little to say beyond what's written on their cover letter.

Jim Kukral, author of Attention! This Book Will Make You Money: How to Use Attention-Getting Online Marketing to Increase Your Revenue, is one advocate of this approach and readily recommends it to job-seekers.

Writing for Reliable Plant, he noted: "Learning a little bit more about the decision makers in the hiring process will do nothing but help you. Learn as much as you can and then use some of those nuggets of information in the interview. It's those details that will help you to break the ice and connect with them personally - and that will in turn make you more memorable."

Recruiters and hiring managers meet a staggering number of people - and while there's obviously a lot more to acing a job interview than hitting it off with the panel, there's no doubting that it helps!

After all, they are not just asking themselves if you have the skills and capabilities to perform well in the job. They're also evaluating if you're likely to be a good cultural fit and work effectively alongside the existing workforce. Showing off your personable side is therefore crucial if you want to impress!