Preparation...and Your Role as Interview Candidate

A successful interview starts with effective preparation and research by the candidate prior to the interview day.  Here are several ideas to consider as you prepare for your next interview. 1) Research:  Know the company.  Leverage your network to learn more about the specific team or business unit with which you will be interviewing.  This will help in crafting the right questions about organization, structure and culture.

2) Organize:  The best candidates are at times, more organized and "on top of things" than the interviewer who has run from another meeting to conduct the interview and feels the pressure of emails and voicemails piling up on the Blackberry.  By being overly organized, the candidate effectively makes the interviewers job easier and this goes a long way in making a positive first impression.  One additional idea in preparing for interviews is to consider defining more about yourself than what is on the resume - outline your strengths, weaknesses, developmental interests, work style, etc.

3) Inquire:  Ask specific questions about the organization's direction and stated strategies and goals.  Ask the interviewer to describe the culture.  Request an opportunity to meet with and/or interact with potential team members or colleagues to get an idea if this is the place for you.  Ask how the role enables specific business processes or provides specific capabilities to the organization.

4) Listen:  Avoid the urge to talk too much or feel the need to prove yourself by listing more and more examples of your work.  The interviewer will make the request if needed.