5 Ways Twitter Can Help You Prep For A Job Interview – Update

May 9 2012 in Featured, Interviews, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

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Today’s career advice gives job seekers tips to use Twitter information while researching companies and hiring managers prior to interviews.

This is an update of an earlier article, making it relevant for today.

Twitter’s not just for following every earth-shattering thought of Lady Gaga, Justin Beiber, or Brittany Spears. Twitter is a tool that can make you much more effective in your job search, helping you gather information and identify company contacts.

As companies and professionals are using Twitter for far more than lunch updates, Twitter has turned into a great place to get real time information. Why not get that real time information about your target companies and hiring managers?

Is your hiring manager on Linkedin? There’s a good chance the hiring manager, people in the hiring manager’s department, the HR representative, and the especially the recruiter are also on Twitter.

Now that about 500 million people use Twitter (as of 5/12), almost triple Linkedin’s user base, there’s a good chance you can find people from your target companies on Twitter. With that large of a user base Twitter can help you with your “Dirty Rotten Job Search Secrets” http://www.recareered.com/blog/2010/12/03/dirty-rotten-job-search-secrets/ – it’s especially helpful to help you prepare for a job interview.

Career Advice – 5 ways Twitter can help you prepare for a job interview:

  1. Find target company contacts: Beyond the hiring manager, HR Representative, and recruiter, find out who else from your Target company is on Twitter. There are three major ways to accomplish this:
    • Search Twitter – Many people will put their company or company’s website on their Twitter profile or in tweets
    • Search Twitter followers – When you find one person within your target company, there’s a good chance they will follow others within the company. Search target company contact follower lists, to grow your list of company insiders.
    • Search Twitter lists – When you find individuals at your target company, search their Twitter lists for other company members. Some users might even have a list of their own contacts within the company, specifically to keep up with their friends inside the company.
    • Search Linkedin – Now that Linkedin has connected its status updates to Twitter, many Linkedin users list their Twitter information on their Linkedin profile. For those contacts on Linkedin that have not listed their Twitter information, just make a list of contacts. Then search for each name on that list on Twitter to expand your Twitter contacts at a target company. If the company is large, just search Linked for a specific location, function or department.
    • Search Facebook – You probably won’t find as many contacts through Facebook, and you probably won’t see as much information about the contact on Facebook (because of Facebook’s privacy controls), but you’ll probably find additional contacts on Facebook. Again, search for them on Twitter
  2. Choose who to follow on Twitter: You don’t have to follow everybody at a target company, so choose wisely. Choose people in the department and location you are targeting, but not necessarily all the top people. Follow the CEO & C level people – some CEOs use Twitter as ways to communicate company goals and marketing to both employees and customers. Follow a few management level people as you might get wind of what problems people are working on. A Tweet as simple as “Burning the midnight oil” can give you some insight into questions you might ask, such as … why?. Administrative assistants and staff level people can be great to follow as they are often the most talkative and open.
  3. Follow conversations: What are people at the your target talking about? Look beyond just tweets relating to work. Look for interests that you can use as conversation starters. If you find that the hiring manager is tweeting about her kids or her dog, plan on working that into the beginning of your interview to build rapport. If another contact at your target company could have information that is valuable to you, learn what you can about him from his tweets. If he’s involved in a charity find out how you can help. By helping him achieve his goals, especially if done in person, you’ll be much more likely to gain information about the company, its problems, and the hiring manager’s personality.
  4. Start conversations: If you find that a contact is involved in a charity, find out how you can help. By helping him achieve his goals, especially if done in person, you’ll be much more likely to gain information about the company, its problems, and the hiring manager’s personality. In addition, you can send relevant articles about work, industry or the contact’s personal interests using direct messages or Twitter’s @ function.
  5. Ask: Why not just ask questions directly to contacts, or to the Twittersphere? You might be surprised how willing people are to help you. By using Twitter’s @ function, you’ll do both at the same time – you’ll direct a question to a specific user, but the user’s contacts will see the question also, so you may get an answer from a new company contact interested in providing help.

All of this takes time and you’re not going to be able to get much useful information in just the night before the interview. It will take you a while to get the really useful stuff.

So prepare ahead of time. To use this career advice the right way, you’ll want to start your research as soon as a company comes up on your radar screen as a potential target.

But consider the payoff – how effective will you be in an interview if you know what you have in common with the hiring manager, you know what her department’s problems and goals are, and you already have a pretty good idea of her personality style?

Could this career advice give you an unfair advantage in your next interview?

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Source: http://reCareered.com
Author: Phil Rosenberg

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