I’ve interviewed so many people this year. Easily 100 people on the phone or in person. Many of the people I’m interviewing are going for their second or third job. In other words, they haven’t done many interviews and don’t interview people very often to get a perspective from the other side of the table. Many are really bad at it. I’m sure I’ve rejected people that would make great employees during the interview process because they didn’t have basic interview skills (which are different than job skills.)
I was recently reminded that most people learn this skill through trial and error. In an effort to eliminate some of that trial and error here are some tips I hope will help. If you are going to interview with me (and probably anyone else) consider the following:
1. Do a little research on the employer’s website. How can you be sure you even want to interview with a company if you nothing about it! You could hate my company. Do you want to work for a company you hate? Isn’t my time and yours worth enough to do some research before? Read what other people are saying about the company. If you see something you don’t understand or that concerns you, ask about it and cite the source. You give the person interviewing you the impression you’ve done your homework and you also get to see how they respond to the criticism while distancing yourself from the criticism. A double win!
2. Research the person you are meeting with. If you are meeting with me and know my name, google me and you will find this blog. Many people have and reference it. If you read this post let me know you did. It will mean something to me. Like most people who blog, I want people to read it. Flattery gets you everywhere.
3. Bring your resume. I know, paper is dumb and so last century. Just do it. Really. I don’t care about the weight of the paper either.
4. Have a least 3 questions ready for me. You’re interviewing me while I’m interviewing you. If I ask you if you have any questions and you say no, I’m not impressed.
5. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. I always ask a question that is meant to get at what you’re like as a person. When people say what they think I want to hear I can tell. Unless you’re really good at acting don’t do this.
6. Follow up in e-mail. Refer to something specifically discussed from the interview conversation. Send me a link to something that you think I might find interesting. Ask an additional question. You get the idea.
It is so very difficult to find the right person for a position. It is the most important thing I do in my current position. The only rule above I will ever overlook from the above list is the resume rule.
If you aren’t reading this in preparation for an interview but are interested in working for Federated Media – we’re hiring. Check here for the latest openings. If you don’t see one that maps well to your experience but still think you’d be a great fit for the company e-mail me at pspandeATfederatedmediaDOTcom.