You have found an interesting career listing. BEFORE applying for the position, you need to do your homework to assure they are a company that YOU want to be hired by. Job interviews are two-way street. As much as the hiring company is interviewing the candidate the candidate is interviewing the company. Sandy Sanderson provides a list you should review BEFORE contacting the company:
- Understand the company to see if you are interested in them. The more you know about the company the better equipped you will be to evaluate the opportunity.
- Collect as much information as possible: The more you know about the company and position the better you will be equipped to secure the interview. Items to review and analyze include: (Mission statement, CEOs letter, growth objectives, organization, product/service offered, markets, competitors, Board of Directors, associations, management team, sales/marketing materials, key customers/partners, sales/support programs.
- Most position descriptions will be incomplete and missing key information on what they are looking for. The more you know about the position the better you will be at presenting yourself for the position.
- Analyze the position description. Only 50% of job descriptions are useful. Deconstruct the description to identify the key elements: (Title, Reports to, organizational position, experience, education, special skills, objectives, responsibilities, role in the organization).
- Develop a checklist on the position’s role, responsibilities, and goals for the position. Align the items with your strength as the right candidate
- In the interview when asked: “Tell me about yourself.” be prepared to “Tell them WHY you are the right candidate for the position using information about yourself linked to their needs”. (DO NOT give a running history of your career. Stay focused on their position requirements).
- LinkedIn information is critical: Key to understand the company includes. (Management bios/backgrounds, information on person currently in the position, range of employees & backgrounds, publications, individual and company references, connections).
- ‘Tune’ your PDF formatted documents: resume, biography, and, written references, and your synced LinkedIn page to be consistent with your documents. < 80% of the time a hiring manager will go to your LinkedIn page
- If you have published any knowledge paper/articles have copies with you at the interview. (DO NOT) flood the hiring managers with documents before the interview. The key is your introduction and resume are the key to getting their attention and securing the interview
- There are two types of references, written/printed and formatted with your resume and biography, and pre-qualified phone references. (Your references need to know what you want them to and what position is you are applying for.
- Go sit in their lobby at lunch: Before the interview. It is amazing how much you can learn about a company’s culture by observing people coming and going.