You Should Always Be Ready to Interviewâ€¦
Looking for a new position? Looking to make a lateral move? Looking to start your career? You need to read this.
In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal titled, The Six-Month Job Interview, a few suggestions were outlined to help you during the long interview processes. Many of our clients are interviewing or being considered for positions within the companies they currently work for as well as new ones here are a few things we do to prepare them for success.
- You need to build your Personal Brand now. Many of our clients did not work on their Personal Brands until they needed’ to. You already have a Personal Brand and if you are not in charge of it, everyone else is. If you have built a strong and well-known brand it is easier to be recognized before you even begin applying.
- In the same WSJ column, it mentions being invited to the headquarters and invited to dine with the hiring managers. Knowing professional etiquette is vital to success. This dining experience can be a test for how well you interact with the company, the staff in the restaurant and if you know dining etiquette. Most people we work with do not know basic rules or need a refresher. If you don’t know what resting or finished position are, it’s time for a review.
- Do you have note cards? Professionally printed note cards? If not, it’s time. Write a handwritten note, legibly, and do it the moment you leave the meeting with a stamp already on the envelope.
- Have you done your research about the company? Do you know the corporate brand? Can you talk about it intelligently? Have you read past press releases? Are you well versed in the history and the goals of the leadership?
In a recent Bizwomen interview, Nina Vaca, CEO and chairman of Pinnacle Group was asked what her eye-roll job interview answer was. Her answer, “When I ask them, “I’m sure you did your homework on Pinnacle, you probably know this about Pinnacle,” and they go “Uh…” You see the deer in the headlights when people don’t do their homework. That would be, for me, “OK, we’re done here.” Rule No. 1, do your homework. (Read the rest of her interview here).
- Have you researched the person or people you are meeting? What do you have in common? Have you LinkedIn? (Have a great LinkedIn profile see our Nashville Business Journal column for more on that here). Have you pinpointed all of the places you can personally make a connection? Schools attended, organizations or associations of interest, companies they have worked for, people in common, languages spoken have something to say to this person other than the interview itself.
- One interview outfit does not fit ALL interviews. This is a common mistake and is why MODA does not give general’ clothing tips for our clients. Your clothing should represent your Personal Brand, but it can be modified for the companies you are interviewing with and still represent who you are. For instance, you may be interviewing at a bank, but when you interview at Bank of America you will want to dress a bit differently than when you interview at a more creative bank that serves a different demographic. Both outfits need to be professional, but you may choose colors or patterns that best represent the corporate brand of the bank. (More here on Individual MODA Services here).
- Have you created a Brand Story? Have you shared bits and pieces of yourself through social media outlets, blogs or while networking? This can include your heritage, value, accomplishments, languages you speak, past experiences (good and bad), lessons you have learnedâ€¦it is about shining the light on pieces of you that are relevant to who you are sharing with in a humble manner. You want people to know more about you than your resume.
- Amit Singh, president of Google for Work, was asked how he hires by Adam Bryant of The New York Times. He told Adam that these were the four questions he asks himself:
1. Is this candidate open?
2. Do I like them?
3. Does their style mesh with mine and the rest of the team?
4. And do they care about things beyond their own success?
(Read the rest of the column here)
I say this in every single seminar I do with any company anywhere in the U.S. – People work with people they like. Are you likeable? Do you know? If not, start asking people you trust and get their opinion about how you are perceived. Many of our clients say they are likeable and then we find out this is not the case. Remember, you don’t own your Personal Brandâ€¦they do.
- Amit’s answer on number 4 is vital to remember. You are leaving a legacy every single day. Do you know what it is? Do you care about more than your own success? People do not want to work with business climbing narcissists. This is important personally and professionally. What do you want to be remembered for? What is your legacy? This is crucial to building a Personal Brand that matters.
If you have not started the process of building your Personal Brand; it is time to begin. What is your story? Have you leveraged your value and shared your experiences? Do people have a well-rounded view of who you are? Do you know what you look like?
Even your worst mistakes can be a part of your story that builds your Brand. A strong brand leads to greater personal and professional success. Get started today.
We would love the opportunity to serve you and your company.
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