Monday, April 26, 2010

Interview Training

About a month a ago I mentioned on Linkedin how I had developed an “Interview preparation” module that took three hours and how excited I was about it then one of my contacts noted that they were looking forward to a blog entry. So this is that entry; if you can hire us, it will be more effective, and in every case working with someone else will help.

Our outline is pretty straight forward:
Hour 1 – Preparation:. Does the resume you sent in highlight the right experience? Have you researched the company? Have you researched the opportunity? Do you have a connection that can get your resume in front of the hiring influence? How qualified are you for this position and have you done a good job setting up that story?

Hour 2 – Interview 1:  30 minutes of interview, 30 minutes of feedback. Are you prepared? Do you know enough about this opportunity to ask relevant questions? How does your body language work? Do you walk into the room standing up straight, look the interviewer in the eye? Shake hands? Is your dress appropriate for this opportunity?

Hour 3 – Interview 2:  40 minutes of interview, 20 of feedback. Have you learned from the first practice? If you said “mmm” 14 times on the first try is that under control? Have you integrated questions into the answers you are providing?

In many ways the most important hour of this training is the first. It starts with finding a specific job that you are interested in. This should not be theoretical!  The job description will have the key requirements in their hierarchy. That’s the outline for the resume and for preparation. If it says “Seeking team building sales executive” then the resume better include a history of building teams. If it says C# developer, then the resume better include a history of C# development. One of the consequences of this exercise is refreshing your memory of your past success. Another consequence is developing high levels of alignment with the opportunity.

I’ve written previously about “OGOOALS” and “Five Questions that Matter” those are important here because they are key to this preparation hour. The “G” in OGOOALS stands for Gather information and the five questions are just that, five questions that both you and the company need to answer in order decide that you have a good fit. During the Interview Training Module this first hour is all about translating those into specific questions, answers and research into the company, the hiring influence, etc.

Interviewing is a skill, plain and simple. Learning it isn’t that much different than learning our addition tables. The key to success is practice and feedback.  That's the idea behind this module.

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