Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Interviews - the pre-screening

If you've ever been called to the Principal's Office... an interview feels much the same. You sit in a chair waiting for someone to see you who may, or may not, be swayed by what you have to say. You make sure your hair is brushed, your buttons are buttoned and your palms unsweaty.

Preparing for an interview happens well before the actual appointment. It starts with a well-crafted resume and is often preceded by a phone interview. Most folks are happy with hearing they have a phone interview and usually spend most of their effort convincing the interviewer to let them move to the next step. (at least, that's what I do :-)

I also use the pre-screening call to prepare for the 'big' interview and to ascertain that the company will fit me. It sounds pushy but it creates a more engaging conversation to do more than answer questions (a passive conversation). By having some questions of my own ready to roll, I can appear more interesting and more of a leader.
  • First, I make sure I know my current skills for which I wish to be most known. Then, not only can I answer the question of "what skills do you think are your strengths" but I can ask "What skills are currently the hardest for your company to find?" "What is the most valued leadership trait in your organization?"
  • I have an answer ready for "what do you want to be in 5 years"...just in case they ask. Then I ask "What's the company's philosophy on moving people around internally?"
  • Then, depending on my connection (or not) with the phone interviewer, I may ask: "What's the one thing your company did this year that made you proud to work for them?" "What's your company's involvement around Women in Leadership?" "Are employees encouraged to blog either within the company or outside?"
You can google many ways to do a good pre-screening interview. Just add a few questions of your own and make it a two-way conversation; create a connection and stand out for your people skills.

1 comment:

Dennie Theodore said...

I found this infographic on Ragan around common interview perceptions. Interesting!
http://www.ragan.com/Main/Articles/46556.aspx#