basic interview strategy
Do Your Homework
Understand the company and the challenges they may face. Familiarize yourself with the company history, portfolio or clients, recent success, challenges, etc. If the role is brand, client or therapeutic area specific, make sure you dig deep in regards those challenges and potential. Your research should not stop with the company and products. Learn about the individuals on your itinerary/interview schedule, but understand the line between being diligent and being obsessive.
Conservative suit. None or very little perfume or cologne.
Bring enough copies for everyone on your itinerary and a few to spare.
Get Business Cards
Collect a business card from everyone you meet with. This will allow you follow up and send thank you cards/notes.
Remember - You are Interviewing for an Immediate Need
The group, and especially the hiring authority, is trying to determine if you are someone who can hit the ground running. Make sure you can get your direct experience across within the allotted time. Make a brag sheet of your accomplishments and relevant experience and keep it in your portfolio. This will enable you to have a quick and easy reminder. The brag sheet will make sure you don’t walk away from this process without getting across the key points that separate you from your competition.
Listen & React
This is the most important strategy in this process. You must listen and react to the individuals that you are interviewing with. Don’t blindly follow any set of interview rules. For example, some hiring authorities want someone with a desire to advance, that will aggressively take on challenges to do so. They feel that an individual like this will work harder to get things done. Others may have had a bad experience with an employee focused too much on his or her own advancement, neglecting to finish the job he was brought on to do. Try to get a read on the hiring authority’s personality before exposing too much career aggression.
Answer the Questions
Understand the question you are being asked and carefully craft your answers. If you are unsure or are confused by the question, don’t hesitate in stating so. The questions are designed to get an understanding of the value you could bring to the role and the organization. We tend to get nervous in interview situations and will occasionally stray while answering a question. Imagine a timer in your head and avoid answering a question like “tell me about yourself” with a 30-minute overview of your life. Strive for a complete, succinct, five-minute summary.
Put together a list of questions that show your interest and intelligence, as well as potentially providing you with the information you will need to make a decision.
Not only in the position but also in the individuals interviewing you.
The Wrap Up
If you are truly interested in the opportunity, try to give at least a couple of reasons why and inquire what the next steps in the process will be. You want to try to get a read on where you may stand in the process.