Any job-seeker can tell you the job market is tough right now. This makes it even more important to go into your interview armed with research and prepared for anything.
With social media tools, much of this research can now be crowdsourced through social channels. Your online pals and social media connections could hold the key to your dream job if you know who and what to ask. Here are three ways to get started:
Know the position
Not everything you need to know about the job is in the formal job description. The best place to find out what life is like in a given position is a space where people with that job title gather. This could be an industry-specific Twitter chat, a LinkedIn group or even a Meetup event. Once you've identified contacts who can give you insight about the job, inquire politely if you can ask a few quick questions. Most professionals are eager to help others and make new contacts, and will be thrilled you turned to them.
Meet potential co-workers
Whether or not you'll enjoy a job can often have as much to do with who you work with as what actually you do. You'll want to know how well the team works together and how the office personalities mesh.
If you're not directly connected with anyone in your prospective company on LinkedIn, you can always ask a connection to help you reach out. Utilize big social media networks like Facebook and Twitter to find current and former employees, and then ask if they have a few moments to talk about the company. You might even invite a contact out for coffee to find out more about the company.
Prepare for tough questions
If you know what questions you’re likely to be asked, you’ll be better prepared with intelligent answers. Companies such as Google and Apple are notorious for asking weird, brain-teaser questions. You’ll want to find out what the most common interview questions are so you’re prepared for the basics. Then you’ll want to discover what off-the-wall questions the company is likely to ask.
There’s no way to prepare for every curve ball, but using a site like Glassdoor can help. The site allows you to see the questions other users have been asked, which can be invaluable in your own interview prep so you’re ready for even the toughest questions.