Over the years we’ve sat on both sides of the interview desk – as candidates and interviewers. While there is a vast range of interview styles, procedures and general nebulousness as both parties get to know each other and figure out if they can work together, we’ve formulated a few helpful hints and tips to help you get that coveted position.
Read about the company and understand how it operates, its history and its vision. Then, once you know the names of the people interviewing you, do some research on them. We were once interviewed by someone who had been enmeshed in a conflict of interest scandal. We knew we’d be uncomfortable working with someone who so easily bent his morals but we figured that everyone makes mistakes. During the interview we asked him a question to which we already knew the answer (another great strategy) and while, technically, he did not outright lie he certainly stretched the truth. The second time it happened we knew we could not work together.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that whether you’re the candidate or the interviewer you’re really both interviewing each other. In other words, you’re interviewing them just as much as they’re interviewing you. Ascertain what the company culture is like. Will you get along with your co-workers? How do you get promoted? We once attended an interview where one of the top executives at the company was present. She simply could not put into words exactly what she wanted. Define clear roles from the start.
Before you go for the interview, make a list of your assets and your liabilities. What are you good at? What can you improve upon? Now write down exactly how much money you think you deserve. Your value is both operational (actions, skills) and monetary.
Listen. It is really as simple as that. We once went for an interview where the interviewer said that he was the “last review,” and approved all communication. The job description was rampant with spelling and grammar mistakes. Another time, we went for an interview where the job description called for a multi-faceted individual. During the interview it turned out the role was not as advertised and actually involved tasks that were at a different level. CSL
OUR BEST ADVICE
Do Your Research Know the brand or organization but also know the interviewers. Make sure your values align with the organization and with your colleagues.
You’re Interviewing Them Ask questions to ascertain the company culture and figure out whether it truly is a great place to work.
Know Your Worth Your value is based on your skills and knowledge which is then translated into money.
Listen It’s the only way to accurately understand what they’re looking for and whether you’ll be a good fit.