Instagram May Hold the Key to Interview Success

By | May 28, 2015

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It used to be the case that everybody flocked to Facebook to post everything from where they went on vacation to what they ate for lunch. While that’s still the case for many, there’s no question that the social action these days has moved over to Instagram. In fact, Instagram is so popular most companies have a profile these days – and so do their employees. That makes this social messaging app a fantastic way to research a company, and the executives you might meet at a job interview.

Here’s how to use Instagram to wow the company you’d like to work at, and elbow out the competition.

Find out if the company has an Instagram account. This one is easy! All you need to do is Google the company’s name and Instagram. For example, I’m a big fan of the women’s lifestyle website Pure Wow. Type in Purewow Instagram into the Google search bar, and wah-lah! It’s the first search result. Of course, it’s a possibility that the company you’re researching doesn’t have a profile. If that’s the case, you’re not out of luck. Read on!

Find out if the company’s employees are on Instagram. Head over to LinkedIn, or the company’s About Us page to find the name of some key employees. That might be the chief executive, or people who work in the department you’d like to be part of in the future. After that, it’s the same drill as above. Head over to Google, enter the employee’s name and Instagram. It should bring up their account right away if they have one. Assuming their account is public, scroll through to see if they’ve snapped any photos of themselves at the office or on a corporate outing. Just remember to keep your hands off the heart button, particularly if it’s deep in their archive. That can be…a little weird.

Check to see if the company’s office location carries a geotag. If it does, that means you can check out all the photos taken at that location. It’s likely that those photos will tell a really unique story about the company, and the people that work there.

Look for a company hashtag #. It’s very common for employees to tag their work related photos with a company name. As is the case with a geotag, you’ll probably find great images of everything from the office to corporate events. However, you may also find the photo stream filled with images posted by fans if the company is also a very popular brand. While scrolling through fan photos may be a bit of a slog, those Instagram posts may provide an interesting point of conversation as well. That’s particularly true if social media is key to their marketing strategy, and a point of pride at the company.

How To Use Your Intel! After spending so much time looking at other people’s photos, you would probably like to know the best way to use that information to your advantage during an interview. You may not be aware that two of the most common (and important) interview questions are What do you know about the company? and Why do you want to work here? Recruiters will inevitably be confronted by a sea of candidates serving up boilerplate answers. However, you’re now in a position to wow them with your attention to detail and enthusiasm. If you discovered that they host monthly employee parties, let them know you think the company culture is great. If they have philanthropic initiatives, flatter them by expressing your admiration and support. You get the idea!

When heading into an interview, it’s always a confidence builder to feel prepared. And if it’s a job that you really want to land,  you should always go the extra mile. There’s no questions that this is one fantastic way to impress, and leave the other job candidates in the dust.