One piece of advice thrown around often at Chemsearch FE, especially for those entering a sales career, is “control what you can control.” As a current outsider to any company you are applying to, it is impossible for you to have all the facts in that company’s interview process. So instead of bogging yourself down with worry and fret of the unknown, prepare yourself pragmatically with habits you can control. We recommend reading the first piece in this series here, which walks through preparation aimed at getting the first interview, before reading this section. This part will walk you through the due diligent behaviors important to prepping for an in-person interview.
Interview planning can be broken down into three main steps: Think, write, and rehearse. To make it even easier, we’ve created this downloadable form.
Step 1: Think—Revisit Research
During an interview, you have a brief period to summarize and express the best version of yourself to an individual whom you’ve likely never met before. To best think of how to condense relevant information, start by pulling up the following:
- Your resume
- The job description of the position you’ve applied for
- Research you’ve gathered
- Notes from the first interview
- Interview process and potential questions posts from a credible source such as glassdoor.com
- Information using sources such as LinkedIn on the company representatives who will be interviewing you
Laying out all this information, think through the “elevator pitch” that would best describe the company operationally and culturally. Next, use the job description to think through where this specific position fits into the company and the impact it has to the company’s overall operation. Finally, think through some unique skills and personality traits you have to offer that will best lead to meeting the expectations the company likely has for this position.
Step 2: Write—Capitalizing on Experiences
A good recruiter will be able to guide you through questions to pull out relevant information. However, recruiters are impressed when a candidate can use past experiences and stories to answer a question and provide supporting evidence. To be proactive, use the template we’ve provided to write up example stories from each experience listed on your resume that would highlight one of your unique skill sets you listed earlier.
Step 3: Rehearse—Practice Makes Perfect
In any of point of the interview stage, whether it be a phone, virtual or in-person interview, it’s vital that you practice. Glassdoor’s Interview Questions section, is a great resource to locate expected interview questions on a company’s individual profile. Later in this series, we will provide an Interview Styles Guide and how to prepare. For now, have a friend pepper you with questions they can find using a quick internet search. Here is one we found helpful: Common Job Interview Questions and Answers. Bring the filled-in template to life by verbalizing appropriate responses to each question.
All of this might seem like an overwhelming amount of work, but doing the work up front will only make you more confident when walking into that in-person interview. Best of luck!