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Interviewing Reminders

Provided by Alyssa Gelbard, Founder & President, Point Road Group

If you're considering a job search this year (or want to go on a few interviews to test the waters), here are some key reminders to put your best foot forward.
 
Before The Interview
 
Research the company
Go beyond the basics of company research, i.e., overview, management team, board and financials (if available). As best as possible, endeavor to learn about their new products, acquisitions, events and sponsorships, regulatory approvals, litigation etc. Look at their social media (especially LinkedIn, but elsewhere if applicable too) both for recent news and to get a sense of company culture, positioning and more.
 
Look up your interviewer(s)
Once you learn who you’ll meet with, in addition to reviewing each interviewer’s LinkedIn profile and company bio (if available), identify people in your network who can help you learn more about them and where they fit in the organization. Google each interviewer’s name, reading beyond the first two pages of results. All intel helps in conversation – from relatability, to thinking about questions they might ask and to role-based questions you’ll want to ask them.
 
Review your career materials
Anything mentioned in your resume and LinkedIn profile is fair game, even if it's a brief mention from earlier in your career. Prepare to talk about your role, successes, results, key learnings and, importantly, how any of that applies to the role you’re being considered for now.
 
Practice your intro
What will you say when asked to tell them about yourself? Your answer shouldn’t take 5 minutes to deliver; it should be concise and informative enough to where they want to know more. Plan to tailor your response to the role and company too.
 
During The Interview
Besides the obvious (dress well, be on time, make eye contact and offer a firm handshake), also remember to:
 
Show some enthusiasm! 
Dream job or not, people often focus so much on prep and responding to questions that they forget this. You’re not just being evaluated to see if you can do the job well, but also if you fit in. Especially if you’re interviewing with a prospective boss (CEO, CFO etc.), they want to see your personality because they’ll be working closely with you. Plus, you’ll be a key representative of the company.
 
Ask questions. 
Remember that you're evaluating the fit with the company too. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions, preparing ones that provide further insight into the role itself, the company, your team, growth etc. Also listen carefully during the interview so you can ask questions on the fly. The best interviews promote dialogue in which both sides organically share and learn helpful information about the other.
 
Remote Interviewing
Video
Test technology beforehand. Address background imaging and lighting. Dress as well as you would for an in-person meeting. Look into the camera, not at the screen. Speak slowly and clearly (in case of delays) and watch for nervous habits – they’re magnified on screen. Turn off email notifications to reduce distractions.
 
Phone
Check reception in advance and use headphones, not speakerphone. Eliminate background noise as much as possible and reduce distractions by closing your laptop, facing away from the window and silencing cell phone alerts.
 
Immediately Following The Interview
Email a personalized, well-written thank you note within 24 hours to each interviewer. If it’s a second interview or beyond, still email a personalized thank you, even if you’ve met with the person before.
 
Further Reading
https://www.cfo.com/job-hunting/2014/09/botch-interview-cfo-job/
https://pointroadgroup.com/deep-dive-research-job-interviews/
https://www.theoverturegroup.com/blog/preparing-for-a-cfo-interview/