Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 21st 2015 Contents B6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, July 21, 2015
So you got the interview, and
now it is make it or break it time.
This is your big chance to clinch
the job, and move onto the next step
of your growing career.
Do these 5 things before the inter-
view to demonstrate your interest in
the opportunity, and you will definitely
stand out from the crowd.
1. Research the company.
When I interviewed candidates the
first question I would ask is "What
do you know about us?"
If I received a token answer, like "I
looked you up on the web," then I
knew I was not looking at a go-getter,
and the interview went down from
Conversely, if you tell me that you
saw our discussions in LinkedIn
groups and on Twitter, noticed our
latest press release about opening a
new branch, or reviewed our case
studies, then I would be impressed.
If you are looking for a sales role,
did you mystery shop the company
to see how they present themselves?
A sales person started her conver-
sation with the sales manager by say-
"I called into 2 of your locations as
if I was a potential customer . Do you
want to know what I found out?"
What an ice breaker and great way
to start a conversation!
Another person was going for an
internship during their junior year in
college and, despite being told that
the employer only hired seniors, when
she was able to ask insightful ques-
tions across all 8 of their case studies,
they were so impressed they broke
the rules and hired her.
Show you are serious, study the
company, and be prepared to present
your findings. Then, ask smart ques-
tions (more below).
2. Research the Interviewer.
People hire people they like. Your
GOAL is to move the interview into
a conversation, and build rapport with
LinkedIn makes that easy as you
can check out the interviewer's profile
on LinkedIn to see their background.
One of my resume writing clients
did this. In his research, he discovered
that the interviewer had an extensive
military background. So, he said,
"I have to tell you that one of the
things that makes me a superior oper-
ations manager is my military expe-
rience where I learned the disciplines
that are so needed to drive increased
Well, the interviewer lit up, turning
from gruff to congenial. He agreed
and added that his military experience
was the best time in his career.
Having bonded over that, the inter-
view took a new direction, and this
job seeker landed the job.
3. Review the job description.
Attentively review the job descrip-
tion, and focus on exactly the things
they mention. If they say they want
someone with a PMP and 5+ years of
experience as a project manager, make
sure you speak to that.
Even a small statement like "Ability
to defuse tension among project team
members, should it arise" can become
a topic of conversation, giving you
the opportunity to talk about how
you did exactly that and adding an
example of an important accomplish-
ment and necessary skill.
4. Check out others at the com-
pany on LinkedIn.
This is very important as you find
out so much when you look at the
backgrounds of people in similar posi-
tions to the one you are seeking. For
instance, you can see how long they
have been with the company.
If you see a lot of new hires, that
can tell you there is growth. Con-
versely, if you see a lot of recent depar-
tures, then you want to know why.
See if there is a common thread to
their backgrounds or skill sets, and
capitalize on that knowledge during
the interview. Also note if there are
discussions in the LinkedIn groups
and what topics they are covering.
5. Prepare questions.
The last thing I would ask when
completing the interview was "Do you
have any questions for me?"
If they did not have questions, they
After all, if a candidate is seriously
interested in the job and the company,
how can they not have questions?
The most important question to
ask in an interview is,
"What are the challenges I would
face in this job in the first 6 months?"
Pay close attention to the inter-
viewer's answer as it will tell you
exactly what they are looking for. Then
focus your responses on the skills and
achievements you have produced that
would give them the confidence that
you will succeed on the job.
Too many job seekers attempt to
"wing it" in job interviews, and that
is usually a serious mistake. Do these
5 simple things, described above, and
you will find that your success in the
interview will dramatically improve.
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