The Interview Process

I was advising a young friend of mine on the interview process and figured I might as well share my thoughts.

Get a professional looking email address for all work related inquiries – something like joe.schmoe@gmail.com or jschmoe@hotmail.com. Something that revolves around your actual name. It will be easier for future employers to remember and it makes a better impression than hot4U@hotmail.com.

Post your resume on craigslist – Truly, it is the first place local employers look when searching for employees.

Now, do your research. Pick out a few (10-15) companies that look interesting to you. Submit your resume directly to their head of Human Resources. Most companies websites will have a “Careers” or “jobs” section that posts all available job openings. It impresses and flatters companies that you would submit your resume directly to them.

Write a killer cover letter – This is what gets you calls. Resume’s are a bunch of BS, but if you can write a cover letter that makes a possible employer say “this guy has something”, you will get calls.

Once you get a call for an interview – DO YOUR RESEARCH. Don’t just glance through their site, really dig deep. Work is a place where you will be spending 10-12 hours a day. You better like what you do. Here are a few research points you should consider –

Read their press releases – what types of things are they announcing?
Go to technorati.com and search for the company name – What are the blogs saying about them.
Go to news.google.com and search for the company name – what is the main stream media saying about them?
If they are a publicly traded company, go to finance.google.com, enter their ticker symbol and view their finances. Look at their earnings report.
Do Google searches on the Executive team – Just type their names into google and see what shows up.
Ask family and friends if they know anything or anyone about the company – If yes, ask for a referral and ask to have someone’s phone number who may work for the company. Take them out to coffee and grill them on company culture, product/service offering, market penetration, etc.

In the interview, take a note pad with you and take notes – this is perfectly acceptable. Write down everyone’s name that you meet and their title, ask for business cards.

Have five to 10 questions ready to ask them (questions that help you make an accepting decision) – employers love this. Questions you might ask include –

How long have you been working here?
What is your favorite part about your job?
Can you tell me who your major competitors are? – Research these post-interview.

Post-Interview always write a handwritten note to everyone that interviewed you thanking you for their time. Highlight a few points from the interview in your note that you enjoyed learning about. Do the same in an email.

If you have not heard back from them in the time frame they told you, contact them. Start with email, then call them if you still haven’t heard. A company you want to work for will call you back when they say they will – whether it is good news or bad.

Be picky – You’re allowed to be.

About Dan Ogdon

Dan has been with Swiftpage since 2006 and has a passion for delivering solutions to companies that increase the value of their product offerings. Dan is an avid fly fisherman and spends any time he can with his growing family.

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