If, like me, you work from the premise that performance in an interview is indicative of how you might operate if you got the role, be prepared to do just that at the interview. Start to operate like someone already in the business. Gen up on the industry, know what the hot topics are and understand the latest performance of the business you are talking to.

More than anything, try to know as much about the people you are meeting. Check them out on LinkedIn; find some common connections; find some common ground. I still blow hot and cold in this area: I look silly when it’s obvious I haven’t done my research; I look much better when I open with common career observations with the person I am meeting.

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Case Study

Movements in share prices can really impact a conversation. I vividly remember making a sales pitch to a US tech giant the morning after their share price had taken an overnight battering. We didn’t know this because we hadn’t done our homework. The paper value of some of the potential clients in the room had literally fallen by hundreds of thousands of dollars overnight. It was top of mind of everyone in the room except us, and we were not prepared or able to contribute to the conversation. Not a great start.

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So, what’s the lesson? Make sure you do your homework and, in particular, check the news that morning for relevant information. You need to be equipped to show you are as interested in their business as much as they are.

 

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Email oliver@catalystthinking.com

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