The Job Interview


A job interview, like most business selling calls requires preparation, execution and follow-up.

Preparing for an Interview

Seeking a most effective interview the candidate should do some research prior to meeting the potential employer. The company and its industry sector should be investigated. After all, it is about a long-term relation. Similarly, the reasons for the job opening (or new position) should be explored, as well as critical areas, success factors, career development opportunities and employee stability. If the candidate is being referred by a third party their assistance should be sought to gather this information. Other valid sources would be friends or professional acquaintances that work in the company, former employees, known suppliers, chambers of commerce, industry associations, Internet, annual reports and so on. But if the referring party is an executive search firm this information should be part of their briefing to you on the company and the position.

An Effective Interview

Punctuality, appearance, eye-to-eye contact, formal approach (professional conduct), straight answers and keeping focus are important items to observe in an interview, just as is asking relevant questions, showing interest and enthusiasm, and saying thank you. Avoid interrupting, criticizing a current or former employer or supervisor, revealing company secrets or sensitive information and giving away more information than solicited. Do not bring about the money issue during the interview, but if asked be truthful about it. The interviewers should be left with the idea of your genuine interest in the job.


Professional conduct calls for delivering a thank you note to interviewers and referring third parties. That note should also state the job seeker’s continued interest in the position or a kind decline with excuses and (brief) rationale to support that decision. In case the candidate was turned down, a note should also be delivered to thank the individuals that took the time to consider him/her for the position. The candidate should not ask the prospective employer to explain the reasons why he/she was not selected, but should ask the executive search firm or referring party instead, so that he / she may learn from that experience.

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