There is only one reason people hire someone: to solve their problem. Can you do that? Maybe. But you won’t get the chance unless you make it through the interview. Don’t fake it or take shortcuts. Arrive prepared.
Six Things you MUST do in Preparing for an Interview:
- Research the company by reading current news releases, their website, etc.
- Try to determine their needs so you can address how you have the experiences to solve their problems.
- Research the hiring authority. You may find you have some things in common like belonging to the same professional association, knowing the same people, etc.… this is just another layer of your due diligence and a chance to make a powerful connection with the interviewer.
- Talk to current or former employees of the company to capture information not available through formal research methods.
- Create a list of questions and write them down: group them according to the company itself (do you like their products/services) and the job you are interviewing for (what are career growth options, what’s the culture like and what is the hiring authority’s management style).
- Create value proposition statements… they sound like this: “I did ABC that resulted in XYZ.” This is a way to distinguish yourself from other candidates who only talk about their responsibilities.
During the Interview:
♦ Bring great energy and enthusiasm
♦ Physically present yourself with confidence: firm handshake, sit up straight in the chair, strong eye contact, etc.
♦ Take notes so you can refer back to the conversation (but maintain consistent eye contact)
Among Your Questions:
♦ What would you like the professional to accomplish within the first six months or nine months?” Or, you may choose to ask, “What are three of the most significant criteria you will use to evaluate me for the opportunity?”
♦ When you know exactly what the interviewer is looking for you, can be more on-target in how your experiences relate to what is expected.
♦ Try to make your answers to questions short and to the point… in other words, don’t ramble.
♦ Insert value proposition statements referred to in item #6 above.
Toward the end of the interview, ask if you addressed the questions/concerns to the interviewers satisfaction… you are giving yourself another chance to insert information that the interviewer may have forgotten to ask about.
When leaving the interview, mention that you would like the opportunity to move forward in the interview process… you must let him or her know you are interested (do not assume).
Maurice Gilbert is Managing Partner of Conselium Executive Search, which specializes in placing Compliance Officers and Legal Counsel for clients in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Maurice is also CEO of Corporate Compliance Insights, a worldwide publication devoted to governance, risk and compliance issues. Maurice can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.