Bren over at slacker Manager offered this excellent post called, The First 100 Days, which is about he approached his application and interview process for an internal promotion opportunity. I love how he has taken the bull (the interviewing process) by the horns. Even if he does not receive the promotion (he thinks it’s a long shot), he will leave a positive and lasting impression on the hiring manager and HR folks. And this will benefit him in the long run.
I see many people blow their chances because they are not:
They let the interviews happen and don’t do everything possible to prepare. I think Bren’s First 100 days plan is a great idea for management and leadership roles.
Here’s the way I would look at all interview situations:
“It’s mine to win.”
And really, if you have an interview, you have a shot (unless it’s a courtesy interview, which should be outlawed as a colossal waste of time and crime against candidates). If you have a shot, you want to do EVERYTHING possible to prepare and impress, right?
Bren’s ideas are great. Here are a few more:
Know the company (or the business unit if applying for an internal promotion). You see this on all the lists, but do you know what this means. Checking out their website and know the CEO’s name does not cut it. What are their goals for the future? What do current employees say about working for the company? What’s going on in this market?
Know what you will be asked and prepare thoughtful responses. I don’t mean that you should practice or lack spontaneaity, but you want to think about what is likely important to the hiring manager.
Be prepared to share how you will approach the job, management, leadership, stress, project management, and getting results. I cannot tell you how many times I have asked questions about these areas and have been rewarded with blank looks or pitiful answers. Bren’s 100 day “personal marketing” agenda answers this recommendation.
Be 100% utterly professional and easy to deal with. Don’t quibble over silly stuff and don’t be difficult (I write this knowing that most difficult people don’t think they are difficult…).
Ask thoughful and wise questions. This is critical because it shows that you are taking the process seriously.
If you want more insider info about to answer behavioral interview questions or what questions to ask, check out my short e-book called Interviewers’ Secrets Revealed.