The Pre-Interview ChecklistSeptember 15, 2020
Hiring season is in full swing and there are a lot of people looking for new jobs and the talent pool is deeper than ever. Once you’ve gotten the interview, you obviously want to stand out and put yourself head and shoulders above your competition. Follow this checklist to stand out from the crowd and make it an easy decision for your future employer.
Know coming into the interview that you are not the only person they are interviewing and you need to sell yourself. I always imagine that the person I am competing with has better credentials, more industry experience, and a better suit (you’ll never catch me wearing a suit to an interview). That’s OK. There is a reason you are being chosen to interview and you should come in confident and ready.
Know the product inside and out.
- Check out the website (all of it).
- Sign up for their newsletters and other content and read through everything you receive.
- Check out their product reviews.*
- Check out their social media pages.
All of these resources will give you insight on their message, their audience and how the product should be sold.
Know the customer profiles, the value the product provides them and how to reach them.
- Who is buying this and why?
- What industry are your customers coming from?
- Are there common demographics or regions for your customers?
- How are you customers learning about the product?
- What are the reasons people are not buying your product or canceling your product?
If you know who your customers are and what they care about, it should be easier to understand how to approach them and sell them.
Company & Culture
Know what is important to the company and the kind of characteristics they are looking to hire for.
- Who are the leaders and what are they about?
- Check their linkedin posts.
- Google Search them.
- Message them, introduce yourself, and ask them what’s important in a new hire.
- Who will be your peers there?
- Start a conversation with them and ask them about what it’s like to work there.
- Talk to people who left the company.
- You need to know that not everyone works out at a company and some people are bound to have bad experiences. That said, a good litmus test of a company’s character is how they treat people who leave.
- Check their Glassdoor.*
If you want to really impress an employer: don’t talk about it, be about it. Some of the best interviews I’ve ever had, the interviewer had called prospects and customers of ours and talked to them about the product, gotten their insights, and talked about their experience. Want to really stand out, come into the interview with a warm lead.
Your research should be reflected in your interviews. If something is unclear or needs to be addressed in your research, ask the person you are interviewing with to clarify or explain. As someone who has conducted literally thousands of interviews, I am always impressed when the person comes prepared and turns the interview process around on me. It means they are taking this seriously, they are a critical thinker and they mean business.
Lastly, put on the show. Interviewers are doing tons of interviews and it gets old. Make it fun and show off what you will be like to work with.
Once you blow someone’s mind, let me know about it on Linkedin – I love these stories.
*Note that all reviews should be taken with a grain of salt. In my experience, people either leave a 1 start review or a 5 star review. Use them as a source of information and don’t read too much into them unless there are serious red flags.
“He is a misfit of the sales world, just like 90% of the folks that get into the profession and today he tells his story of struggle and triumph.” – Dale Dupree talking bout me, and I am 100% ok with being a misfit.
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