7 pointers how to prepare for your job interview

You have passed the headhunter and will have a personal meeting with the hiring manager and the internal recruiter of the company. Perhaps you are totally relaxed about this, because you have got the skills they need and not too many other people do have these. Perhaps you are totally paranoid because this is your dream job and you want to do your utmost. This is the advice I have got to prepare your job interview and execute:

  1. Analyze the job description, the company (not only their website, but also news and Wikipedia) and the LinkedIn profiles of the people with whom you will have the meeting;
  2. Ask the headhunter and perhaps other people you know who work(ed) with the company about the company culture and direction the company is going in;
  3. Prepare questions that help you make a proper decision, show your interest and the skill set you have got to offer. Refrain from the too obvious, be specific;
  4. Let the hiring manager take the lead in the meeting, but be prepared to take over if he does not. Many interviewers are not very experienced in the field. You both need information to make decisions. Create an ideal agenda for yourself and find out how much time is available;
  5. Involve all meeting partners if there are more than one. Do not start an endless monologue and use questions like: “do you want me to elaborate?”, “is this relevant for you?”, “shall I fast forward?”;
  6. Remember that you will be recruited to solve the problem of the hiring manager. Too many applicants and interviewers are satisfied with a “nice meeting”;
  7. You do not have to be afraid that showing your interest weakens your negotiation position. Simply stating that you like what you hear so far is appreciated. Do not start talking about remuneration until you all agree that there is an indication there is a match between the company, the tasks and your profile.

There are many, more detailed, pointers. In my experience the mentioned are most relevant. Remember that it is an exchange of information to make a proper decision. All parties can always ask for more information, so can you. Finally a rejection is not absolute, it does tell something about a specific match. There will be other options in the future.

Pieter de Kiewit

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