It is very humbling for me, when I realize that others appreciate my writing. I recently had the father of a teammate from my son’s baseball team mention that he likes my blogs and recently read the article, on interview tips. “Did My Potential Employer See That?” regarding why your online “Google” search trumps your written resume.
As we were speaking he asked me if I would be interested in speaking at an upcoming event he was running. He volunteers for an organization that helps individuals who are transitioning between jobs. I was more than happy to accept and have been thinking about what to speak about.
I think what would be effective would be to discuss what I look for in a candidate and also review a few interview tips that can remedy some mistakes I have been running across lately. I sometimes wonder why business schools do not teach a class on this topic.
Interview Tips: #1
Research the Company You Are Interviewing With
Seems simple enough but it would amaze you how many candidates are not prepared to answer the question: “So what do you know about our company”.
I have stopped interviews and have instructed my team to do so when someone cannot answer the question. Seeing as everyone is permanently attached to smartphones or tablets, there is no reason to not have done some simple research on the internet about the company, it’s staff and if it is a public company, it’s earnings reports.
How can anyone expect to be considered for a job in my company when they answer the question: “I know you do some sort of marketing.” Really? Next!!!!
Interview Tips: #2
Speak Clearly, Confidently When Presenting Ideas
You need to be able to communicate your ideas, accomplishments or even pose questions in a well thought out manner. This is especially true if you are applying for a customer-facing or management role.
Too often I see people fidgeting in their chair when I ask about their previous accomplishments. When I pose a question like, “Tell me a time when you did not achieve your goal and what did you do?” I see confused looks because people are not usually questioned about failures.
Be prepared to present ideas to solve problems that are posed in interviews in a logical, well thought out manner.
Interview Tips: #3
Interview The Company to See If They Are a Fit For You
I think candidates are afraid to ask questions at times that really dig into the culture of the company. I applaud candidates who ask me questions. Not about, “How many vacation days”, or “How do you promote people”, but more along the lines of, “What qualities do you want in your employees?”
I think culture fit is more important than skills when I look for candidates so why not make sure my company is a fit for you.
If you want to read a great book on how Hubspot looks for candidates, read The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge. Very interesting how they identify the right qualities they need for success.
I am looking forward to giving back and helping these folks at this event. I think more leaders should lend their expertise to those who are looking to change paths. I know when I was in that position six years ago it was not an easy time in my life.
I wish I had someone give me some interview tips or advice to help present myself in a better light. It would have saved me some awkward moments and would have been appreciated.