Must Haves for your Next Interview

Posted by on Sep 7, 2011 in Articles

As I have been recruiting for a number of years, I have learned that candidates often have one basic underlying theme in their career transition or job change… Lack of Preparation!

Here are a six simple, thought provoking ideas that will help you in your search efforts.

1. Your Story

You must be prepared to explain your background to include reasons why you may have left a company. Never bash your co-workers or your previous boss. Explain with confidence the reason that you are making or have made a career change.

Your career change or transition may take several different directions. Be prepared to discuss the reason for which you are taking your career in a certain direction or market segment.

Lack of conversation reflects lack of interest. Be prepared to incorporate the storyline of your background into their organizational challenges.

2. Understanding Compensation

Know the difference between your “Needs” versus “Market Trends” and your “Value” to the company. Your financial “Needs” are of no importance to the hiring manager or the hiring company. They care about your success, but they are not accountable for your financial responsibilities.

You should know what the “Market Trends” are for the position that you are interviewing. This information can be collected from a variety of websites and market research. This dollar amount is usually defined by what the market will bare for your position. Keep in mind that this will also depend on the size of the company, to include revenues, headcount, geographic location etc.

The “Value” that you bring to the company is one that only you can define and present to your prospective employer. This will be based upon your demonstrated experience as determined by contributions that you have made in your previous roles. You will want to capture and reflect revenues that you may have generated, corporate costs and expenses that you may have managed or saved and/or numbers of people or clients that you have supported.

Understand acronyms such as OTE and MBO. OTE = On Target Earnings. This is what your total compensation package is, including annual base salary, bonuses etc. MBO = Management by Objective. This is typically used to identify a percentage of your annual base and may be paid quarterly or once a year.

3. Commute Threshold

How far are you willing to commute to get to work every day? Some candidates will use this threshold to represent “miles” and some will use it to measure total “road time.”

4. Willingness to Travel

This will usually depend on the position that you are applying for. Your previous experience will be a true indicator to consider. You should also carefully consider the impact that this will have on your family and personal lifestyle.

5. Value Proposition

You need to be able to address the “value” that you bring to the company. Be prepared to share your skills and accomplishments and discuss ways that they benefit the company.

Problem – This will reflect the specific problem, challenge or situation that you are faced with. The way you would describe this is in the form of an overview or summary. Action – This represents that activity that you took to address the problem, challenge or situation. Describe your methodology or process that you took to drive results and deliverables. Results – This is where you define the success or accomplishment of your action. Use this as an opportunity to share how you evaluate the end result.

6. Management Style

Be prepared to share and discuss the environment or culture where you can be the most productive. Are you most effective in a chaotic, fast paced, high stressed environment? Do you bring a calming influence in a chaotic setting? Are you detail oriented, driven by reports in a micro-managed matrix driven management structure? Be prepared to describe your typical activity in a normal work day.

If you do your homework well, you will be extraordinarily successful in your interview. It will become easy for you to open new doors of opportunity towards landing the job of your dreams!

Go get’em!


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