When was the last time you had an interview?
For the lucky few who found themselves tenured for over a decade at the same organization – the thought of ever having to interview again never enters their mind.
But this is not a forgiving world. And all too often these days, an entire department gets laid off, or a company goes under, and you are back out looking for a new job.
For senior executives, or those who have been out of the workforce for extended periods of time, conducting a job search can be like learning to ride a bike all over again – except now instead of a bike, you are leaning to ride a Segway.
Much has changed in the interview process over the past 7-10 years. The job market is more competitive, and employers expect more from potential candidates during the interview process. So if you are about to have your first interview in years – learn what has changed in the interview process.
Prepare for a video or Skype interview
Don’t expect to be flown out across the country, interviewed, wined and dined. Skype and other video interviews are now the norm. An OfficeTeam survey suggests that 60% HR Managers are using Skype or video interviews to screen candidates – up from 10 % in 2010 according to Aberdeen Group.
Employers want to see how you carry yourself, even in preliminary interviews. Be ready to interview as if you were meeting face-to-face, in the room with the other party.
Research the Company
“Companies now expect that you will do a tremendous amount of due diligence when it comes to researching the company” says Ivy Exec’s Director of Talent Acquisition, Sara Farkas, “not simply reviewing their website.” You need to be aware of the latest news about the company, and “have an up-to-date understanding of where they fall in the competitive landscape,” says Farkas. Since all or most of this information is readily available online, most potential employers expect that you will take the time to read up on them.
Once you have all the details about the company and the challenges they face, you will need to weave in STAR / PAR stories to effectively demonstrate your value.
Research the Hiring Manager
It doesn’t end with the company. You have further research to do: “It used to be that when you went for an interview, you would know your interviewers title, and maybe get a corporate bio…” says Farkas, “today you are expected to find their bio on the company website, review their profile on LinkedIn, and be aware of articles they have published or articles they have been quoted or referenced in.” The more you know about the hiring manager, the better you can understand their pain points and address them during the interview.
Doing the right research can even help you make connections (attended the same university / grew up in the same town / etc.) that can help build rapport.