Thinking about job search during the holidays is probably last on most executive minds, however, January is just a few days away. Are you prepared for interviews in the new year? It is more important than ever to be organized and knowledgeable about the position you are interviewing for, as well as knowing something about the interviewer.
In part one of this series I presented the first section to this worksheet that includes company information, Google and LinkedIn tips. To complete this worksheet, here are more pertinent things to add:
Who are you interviewing with?
- You can often find this information on LinkedIn, Facebook, or through a Google search.
- Interviewer’s Twitter handle — @
- Approximate Age (and Date of Birth, If Known)
- Degree Pursued/Achieved
- Year Graduated
- Military Service No Yes (if yes, which branch: )
- Family – Married? Kids?
- How Long in Current Job?
- Previous Positions with the Company
- Previous Company
- Previous Job Title
- Professional or Trade Organization Memberships
- Social Clubs / Associations / Affiliations
- Active in Community (Community Service) or Religion (describe)
- Hobbies / Recreational Interests (Do not bring these up unless confirmed by evidence in interviewer’s office (i.e., trophies, awards)
- Sports Interests (Teams)
- Do a Google Image search to find a photo of the interviewer (images.google.com/)
- Is this individual making the hiring decision? Yes No
- If no, what is the name/title of the hiring decision-maker?
- Job Title
- Does the interviewer have a profile on LinkedIn? Yes No
- Who do you know in common? Who do I know who knows this interviewer?
- What LinkedIn groups is he/she a member of?
- If the interviewer is a technical manager, has he/she written any LinkedIn Recommendations for current or previous employees? What skills/attributes did they value?
- Who is the company’s biggest competitor?
- Website URL:
- Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats (SWOT) Analysis:
- STRENGTHS (compared to the competitor, what is the prospective employer’s greatest strengths in the market)
UNDERSTANDING THE POSITION
- Who does this position report to?
- (name and job title)
- Do any employees report to this position?
- (names and job titles)
- What are the top three challenges of the job?
- Which “employer buying motivators” apply to this position?
Make work easier
Solve a specific problem
Be more competitive
Build relationships / an image
Attract new customers
Retain existing customers
- Based on salary research, I would expect this position to pay between $ ____ and $_____
- What is my biggest strength/qualification for this position?
- What sets me apart from other candidates?
- What might keep me from getting the job?
- What question do you least want to be asked in this interview?
Context / Challenge / Action / Results Statements (CCAR)
- Prepare 2-3 CCAR stories (Context – Challenge – Action – Result) based on your research of the company and the position.
Employers generally formulate their interview questions around the skills they are seeking in an executive. These skills can be:
- Job-Specific: Technical skills that are gained through education, training, and/or hands-on experience.
- Transferable: Skills such as problem-solving, organization, or leadership – that are inherent to you, not specific to any one job.
- Interpersonal: Skills such as communication and collaboration.
Identify up to five skills that are required for the position you are seeking. These can be skills identified in the job posting or by reviewing job descriptions online, on O*NET — https://www.onetonline.org/, or the Occupational Outlook Handbook https://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Context (“While working at”)
Challenge (“I was given the responsibility to”)
Action (“So I”)
Result (“As a result of my efforts”)
Based on your research, what three questions would you want to ask in the interview:
Who are your “ideal” references to use for this position? Contact each of them to ask permission to use them as a reference for this position; let them know you’ll be in touch with them after the interview to let them know how it went and prepare them for any specific issues they may be asked to address.
Contacted on (date)
Contacted on (date)
Contacted on (date)
This complete worksheet can be a valuable document to organize pertinent information for your next interview.