Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Interview like a pro series - Why you always have to do your research

"Interview Like a Pro" is an ongoing series written by Tatiyana Cure, Executive Recruiter, CFS New York

It’s unlikely that you are preparing for your very first interview, but most likely you’re not a professional interviewee either. I’ve found that some of the most talented individuals, even those who have been promoted several times at their current job, fall short on some interview skills. You may already know which skills need improvement, and it’s good to skim through the other parts as well. Do NOT rely on your charm or wing an interview. Doing that is not going to get you the job.
Part 1 – Do the research

Research the company. Understand what the company does, visit their website, research the competition, and know what the reviews say. Understand the products or services that the company offers and to whom.

- Know the news and recent developments. Most companies have press releases directly on the website, but if they don’t, you can easily search this on the Internet.

- Understand the company’s culture and core values. The hiring authority would love nothing more than to hear the direct core values incorporated directly into your pitch.

I was recently working with a CEO of a company who explained that the core values that all employees abide by were identified years before the company was born. It would obviously be a good idea to keep these in the back of your mind while interviewing.

- Identify the key players of the organization and know their background. You would be surprised what kind of leverage you may have by knowing what college they attended and what they majored in.
I was recently working with a Hiring Manager who met with one of my candidates. The candidate interviewed quite well and later spoke about his interest in watching the Huskies. Now this candidate did not attend UCONN, but the Hiring Manager did. I cannot with certainty say that this was one of the reasons behind the offer being extended, but I can guarantee the Hiring Manager made a mental note and remembered this candidate above others due to this connection. 

Know who is in the department for which you will be interviewing, and know what their background is in. If there are 5 people with similar backgrounds, then try to identify a missing factor that only you can bring to the table. Imagine you have experience in IPO, and you gathered that the company is preparing to go public. Would you consider not discussing this particular aspect in your background? Of course not! It may not be so obvious, but I guarantee that if you really look at the job description and do your due diligence, you will find a missing piece of the puzzle. You need to identify what makes you stand out among the other candidates.

- Identify the attire! This is something that most frequently is overlooked.
I was recently working with a candidate who came to my office before his interview in a polo shirt and casual dress pants. In any other circumstance, I probably would have pulled my hair out. However, he was interviewing with an advertising firm where the
President wore jeans and a t-shirt. If he wore a suit, he would stick out like a sore thumb and could have raised concerns if he was a “fit” or not.  
In another instance, I had a candidate who wore a 3-piece suit (delete the e) and didn’t button the top button of his dress shirt. The offer was not extended due to concerns of whether or not he would be able to be the face for investor relations. My point being, research the company’s attire expectations.

- I would say the MOST overlooked factor is researching yourself. Ask yourself if you were the Hiring Manager, would you hire you based on your social media footprint? You need to make sure your online presence is professional and appropriate. On the other hand, were you were recently recognized in your current position? There’s a good chance those achievements are why the Hiring Manager is interesting in interviewing you.

Have more questions about interviewing? Please comment below or contact one of our recruiters. Find the closest office to you at http://www.cfstaffing.com/contact_cfs/

Executive Recruiter
CFS New York

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