You have landed an interview for a great position. Great! Yikes. How do you prepare now?
First of all, congratulations! This is great news, but you are not done preparing yet. Below you will find tips that will help you navigate the executive interview cycle. Keep focused, keep calm, and good luck.
- Get into the mindset that the job is yours. Study the position, research the company and the challenges you may be asked to resolve in that role.
- Aim to build rapport with your interviewer. This is not an interrogation. Come into the interview with the goal of educating, sharing, and enlightening. After all, this is your expertise.
- Look up the most common interview questions for your industry and the role you seek. Google will lead you to great resources.
- Don’t let a little pressure throw you off. This interview is about showing them how you lead. So, lead your interviewer in realizing you are the perfect candidate.
- Close the interview with a question. Ask about next steps in the interview process. Do not bring up salary or benefits yet.
- Follow up with a thank you letter that is strategic and helps you strengthen your candidacy.
Phone Interview Preparation
As with an in-person interview, preparation is key. Prepare just as well for a phone interview as you would for an in-person interview. Otherwise, you might not get the chance to get a face-to-face interview.
When scheduling a phone interview with an interviewer, find out:
- Who is calling whom (and on what phone number)
- How long to expect the call to last
- Any specific preparation required for the call
- Who will the call be with (name, job title)
Create a “talking points” outline. These are key points you want to cover in the interview. This can include:
- Position and industry-specific accomplishments
- Unique assets you possess as an employee
Information about the company that you learned from your research that ties into your skills, abilities, and qualifications
Anticipate the conversation — think about the questions you might be asked and the key points to include in your answers. Prepare a list of questions to practice for the phone interview.
You should also prepare questions ahead of time that you will ask in the interview.
Your First 90 Days
- The first 90 days in a new position are critical to your long-term success with a new employer. Creating a plan for your first three months can be helpful in landing the job — and it can also guide your actions during the transition period in your new position.
- Creating a 30-60-90 day plan can signal to the hiring manager that you’re a serious candidate and you’re willing to invest the time and resources necessary to be successful in the position, while also demonstrating your knowledge of the company’s needs.
- Conduct research to find the information you need to include in your plan. This can include reviewing the job description or job posting for the position, reading the company’s website (including news releases and the company’s annual report), Googling the company, reviewing the company’s social media channels, and even asking the hiring manager to provide you with access to additional data that will help you develop the plan.
Answer these questions:
What is the biggest challenge facing the organization in the next six months?
How is this role expected to address this challenge (or is it?)?
What do you absolutely need to accomplish within the first 90 days?
What is the biggest problem that needs to be solved in this role?
Get feedback from your manager about the objectives and actions you’ve outlined in the plan.
Make sure you’re focusing on what your employer actually wants you to accomplish.
Comparing Job Offers
- If you know what you want in your next position, it will help you decide between competing job offers.
- Make sure you are comparing apples to apples when deciding between two offers. It can help to make a chart to evaluate the offers — especially when the salary and benefit packages are different from one another.
- Determine a way to compare job offers against one another — using a plus/minus system, ranking criteria, or a simple comparison of facts.
- Consider the total compensation plan — salary and benefits together — when assessing a job offer.
- Other factors to consider besides compensation are the nature of the work and the chance to contribute to the company.
Above all — make sure this is going to be an environment that will help you reach your five or 10-year goals!
Again, good luck!