Monday, July 29, 2013

Making the most of a job interview.

As a candidate there is a lot at stake when you have a job interview.  How can you determine whether the role and company are right for you within such a limited time?

A great deal can be done prior to the interview to make the most of the face to face time.  Research the company.   Review their website many offer great information about culture and benefits.  Review with profiles of employees who work at this company on LinkedIn.   When you get the schedule of people you will be meeting with review their backgrounds on LinkedIn.  Google articles on the company to see what is written about them.  Glassdoor can also be a great resource.  For public companies read the latest quarterly reports to see how their business is.  Google articles using the names of the sr. leadership team to see what is written about them and what you can find out about their point of view.   Use your professional network to see what you can find out about a company.  If you know anyone who works there visit with them about the benefits and challenges of working for the company.

If you start your interview fully educated on the company you won’t waste time asking questions that could have been answered with a little research.  You can formulate specific intelligent questions that result from your research.  For example if you read that cool weather negatively impacted sales of summer product and they lost margin in marking it down.  You can ask how they plan to recover that lost margin in second quarter.  Tailor these questions to the people on your interview schedule.  If you read something you want to know more about regarding their benefits that is a question for the person from HR on your schedule.  

This is a selection process for you as well so keep your eyes wide open.   How long have people on LinkedIn stayed with the company.  If you see a lot of turnover of employees this could be a question for the leaders.  While you are there look around you closely.  Are people smiling?  Are office doors open?  Do the people you speak with seem passionate about what they do?  Do they give a consistent message with what you found in your research?

When it comes to answering interviewer questions, whenever possible draw from your actual work experiences versus hypothetical answers.  We tell candidates to review their performance reviews and their business wins closely the past three years and make a list of their successes both financial and interpersonal.  Have this list top of mind and use specific examples to answer questions during the interview.   Have an honest point of view on the brand.  What you think they do well and where you see opportunity for them. 

We would love to hear about your interview experiences good or bad! 

Check out what roles we are sourcing candidates to interview for on our website

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