I always get nervous when a candidate we are working with is somehow “not available” when it’s time to discuss their upcoming interview. OK – actually I’m floored. In most cases the search consultant (if they are worth their salt) has “inside information” that can be invaluable to help you “knock the cover off the ball” when it comes time for you to come face-to-face with a potential hiring manager. Preparing for an interview is serious business and candidates should invest the time to make it a priority. A good search consultant usually has the following information regarding their clients:
- Details about the organization
- Dynamics about the hiring manager
- The company culture
- Key initiatives for the 1st 90 – 180 days
- The profile of the “ideal candidate”
- The backgrounds of each member of the interview team
- All compensation/benefit related information
- Interview and hiring process
Trying to “wing it” is never a good plan. It takes solid preparation to go to an interview and “nail it.” As a candidate you have other duties and responsibilities regarding this interview as well – right? Here’s the scoop. While the company is interviewing you (which you need to prepare for) you clearly are also interviewing them. It’s not a one-way street. Make sure you have prepared a few meaningful questions to ask the person conducting the interview. Make your questions count. Here are a few to get you started:
- How would you describe the ideal candidate for this role? (the answer to this question should give you a lot of information)
- How would you envision the candidate that is selected spending there 1st 90 days?
- What are the top 3 things the candidate selected will need to accomplish first in terms of priority?
- How will you know in the 1st 30-45 days that you have hired the right person?
- What is the culture like in your organization?
Whether any of the questions above are questions you would ask is irrelevant. Make sure they give you some insight into the organization, its priorities and culture, because it’s a two-way street during the interview process – make sure you walk away with the answers you need that will give you a comfort level when the offer is finally presented. Going blindly into the fog and not preparing for an interview is not a good plan – so make sure you know what you are signing up for and make sure it fits into your career plan.
Nailing an interview and getting an offer feels great! To get there – just make sure you do your homework and avoid surprises. Just 30 minutes of prep time with your search consultant and a couple of hours of research will help you stand out from other candidates who are not prepared.
Now – go for it!