Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Step 3 of The First Interview - Knowing The Company/Product Knowledge

Hey Everyone! 
I hope everyone had a fun/safe labor day weekend. this week I want to break down step 3 of the first interview: Knowing the Company/Product Knowledge.
As important as the first 2 steps are, step 3 is what I call the "core of the interview". It's imperative as you transition into this part of the interview that you as a candidate are not just regurgitating information you read on a company website or the "About the Company" section back to a manager, they can pick up on it right away  and can promptly end any interview and bring in the next candidate waiting. 
Knowing about the company/product knowledge is a managers way to gauge a few different things about you as you go through this stage-
1.It's their way to see if you've actually done your "homework" on the company/products.
2. They want to see how much you care about the position and how bad you want the job (Body language, enthusiasm, conviction while speaking is key as most managers are taking mental notes while you talk) --> do you look at this position as just a job to cure your boredom while you look for something else or can this position become a potential game-changing career? 
My recommendation to candidates for this stage of the interview process is to obviously do your due diligence on the company, the company's direct competitors and have 7-10 facts/speaking points about the company that you can follow up with simple questions to engage the manager as you're going through the interview. By having speaking points you're already putting yourself in a better position than by just talking about what the manager already knows and it will better your chance of getting the position you want. 
Product knowledge is important for obvious reasons. If you get the position you're going to be selling these products and managers will test your knowledge to gauge how much you know as well as your presentation skills of these products. Like the company history and about the company, a manager wont want to hear you recite what the product does. 
As a candidate and potential employee, you can ask certain questions about the product like 1) how the product became a main product of the company, 2) how it evolved to where it is today, 3) what changes have been made over the years to the product, 4) what type of money/research is going into the current product and future product development to sustain the company's success going forward?, and 5) what type of impact has the product had on the market from past to now? it keeps the manager engaged with you and ultimately will also better your chance of getting the position you're going for, as always you can find my linked in page Here and email david@seerion.com if you have any questions or are interested in any positions that you see. 
Next week we will talk about Step 4 of the Interview process, the position breakdown and why it's important to know about the position you're interviewing for, have a great week everyone! 
"Be quick but don't hurry." - John Wooden 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Building a Rapport With The Manager

Hey Everyone! 
I hope everybody had a productive week! 
If you're reading this for the first time and would like any advice/help on interviewing or are interested in some of the jobs that i've posted, please feel free to connect with me on linked in by clicking Here, or you can email me - david@seerion.com , always happy to help anyway I can. 
Last week we discussed an overview of the 6 steps of the first interview, I hope my story helped everyone get a feel for what happened because we all go through situations like that, especially when we're looking for the right career. 
This week, I'm going to break down Steps 1 & 2 (1. exchanging resumes/business cards and 2. building a rapport with the manager) of the first initial interview with the manager as well as interviewing with Confidence and why "Buzz Words" on a resume are important, even in the first 2 steps. 
In any interview, you're judged as soon as you walk through the door for the first time, so it's crucial you look the part and more importantly, act the part because your first impression could have a lasting impact on the manager and anyone else you meet with that day. the first 5 minutes are vital to the overall interview process let alone the first interview. 
The first interview is always going to be a little awkward, if you're on site or at an office location you're going to have eyes watching, ears listening, and current employees talking, judging, wondering, and questioning who you are and what your purpose is for the company. 
To start off, I always encourage candidates to bring at least 3 copies of a clean resume with multiple sales rankings/numbers/achievements on it (I'm using the sales field as an example but this applies to any industry).
Why 3 copies? well it's simple, if the candidate brings only 1 for the manager, you're not going to have a copy for yourself to go through with the manager and they're going to think you're unprepared or lost if you say something wrong or are lost as they go through it with you (this happens more than you think with candidates) and if you bring 2 copies, you and the manager will have one, but if he calls in another manager or a rep to meet with you then they're going to be sharing which is never good, it's uncomfortable and if blame gets put on you then it's not a good sign and also looks like you're unprepared, that's why I always encourage candidates to bring a minimum of 3 copies of a resume to an interview, and if you can, bring them in a nice leather folder, after all, you wouldn't walk into a closing meeting bringing documents into a paper folder from a supply store, the same rules apply to the interview. 
Building A rapport with the interviewer is crucial to any interview. the same rules apply in the interview process just as they do in the sales cycle with customers, people buy from people they like/trust. A manager will hire a candidate if they like them and see the potential in them.
Is that true? To a certain degree it is. Of course, qualifications/experience always come into play, especially for jobs with bigger roles, but if the manager  sees unlimited potential in your personality/energy/attitude, then they know they can coach you into the type of employee they want you to be, and a lot of that comes from building a rapport and interviewing with confidence. 
As soon as the resume is in the hands of your potential employer, the manager is going to want to get to know you, and find out besides your employment history/qualifications, what else you can bring to the organization. 
Like we discussed last week, any good first interview will last around 90 minutes, and building a rapport takes a good 20-30 minutes if it's done right and professionally. I always encourage candidates to do their homework on the manager before they go into the interview for a few basic reasons. 
  1. It will keep you calm and collected before you transition into the intense questioning about the company/job responsibilities/product knowledge, etc during the interview.
  2. the manager will get to see your human side and how you interact when you're being put on the spot. 
  3. It shows that you have the ability to build a rapport if needed which is crucial, especially for all the sales reps out there that walk in cold to appointments or cold-call over the phone.
What's also important is finding something in common with the manager or person that's interviewing. Looking at someone's linked-in profile/social media page and seeing what their background is can give you a whole laundry list of items to build a rapport with, remember, all it takes is one topic of discussion or question to get you off the ground. 
I like to think of the term "Buzz Words" (words or phrases that will jump out on your resume) and how it can apply to every stage with the manager/interviewer. For example, the person you're interviewing with could've looked at your resume and saw that you both attended the same college or were both student-athletes, or had previously been a part of the same extracurricular activity you were a part of and it could've helped develop him into the position he/she is in now, right away it establishes credibility and a common ground as the interview starts, and managers enjoy talking about themselves and how they got established, especially to someone that they have something in common with. 
More importantly, it jump-starts your conversation with the manager and helps you establish a common ground, which should help you transition into the next stage of the interview process - Knowing about the company you're interviewing for. Have a great week everyone! - DB 
"Success is the progressive realization of a worthy idea"
- Earl Nightengale 


Monday, August 24, 2015

Introduction/6 Steps of The First Interview

Hi Everyone!

My name is David Bagga, I am an executive recruiter at a staffing company in Orange County, CA. My areas of expertise are finding the top candidates for high level B2B, medical device, and some software/tech positions that require strategic hunting.

If you don't know me you can find my linked-in profile Here - and feel free to connect with me, because I'm all about helping people, that's why I ventured into recruiting. I'm sure if you're reading this we've had some type of interaction on Linked-In, by phone or email, whether it's been for a job, advice, or connecting you with someone that can always help.

I Started this blog because I love what I do and I have been blessed with the ability to connect the right people with the right opportunities. However, in the last 2 years since I ventured into recruiting, I have become more curious and fascinated as to why candidates were deemed "not a fit" after they looked like the ideal candidate on paper.

I've been fortunate to partner with some of the best recruiters in the country and I wanted to share with everyone exactly what I feel is a strategy for not only getting the job that fits your personality, but becoming "the guy" for an organization going forward, before anything else, I'd like to share my experience interviewing for my first job out of college in the fall/winter of 2009

When I went in to interview for my first job in the fall of 2009, I had just returned from playing basketball from England for a few months and I was referred to a well known pharmaceutical company for a territory manager opening that's meant to groom young reps to eventually get into high level selling or sales management.

My first question to the person that referred me over the phone was "What do I need to know for the interview?" "Not too much", she said. Because I was a former Division 1 college athlete she said they would only be talking about how determination/discipline/competition applies to this job and that was pretty much it.

Like most pharmaceutical/medical device interviews, the interview was held in a hotel conference room and as soon as I entered their realm, I didn't know what to expect. To start off, I was never told I'd be interviewing with the regional sales director, which made me extremely nervous. The first 5-10 minutes they got to know my background in athletics and then it became a 2 on 1 with the sales manager and the regional manager backing me into a corner and firing off questions about the company's history, stock prices and what their products do and what the call points are and what my plan was to out-sell the competition.

As a wide-eyed 22 year old, I didn't know anything about the company, product or anything relevant that would want to make the 2 executives move me forward for a second interview. After 25 painful minutes, they both looked up at me while standing up, thanked me for coming, shook my hand, and walked me to the door, and then said they'd be in touch with the recruiter. I heard a day later through an email that they had passed on me and the reason being was "not ready for any real world selling". After that email I made it my personal goal to never let that happen again which is why I wanted to share these Interview points with everyone.

I've been an experienced rep for the last 5 years and I've found that in the interview process there are 6 steps that take place during the first interview which are below this paragraph, now depending on the industry/vertical you're interviewing for things can always be changed and tailored, this is just a basic guide to help people get an idea of what managers are looking for from people with potential to join their team.

A good first interview will last anywhere from 1 - 1 1/2 hours depending on how prepared and interested both parties are, here are the 6 steps that occur in the first initial interview. Over the next several weeks, I'll be breaking down each step as well as putting together the best resume for the position you are aiming to interview for. As Always, should readers/candidates have any questions, please email me at david@seerion.com and i'll be happy to help in anyway I can, the next post will be breaking down steps 1 and 2 of the interview process and interviewing with confidence.

First Interview Progression Stages

  1. Introduction/Exchanging Resumes and Business cards - (5 minutes)
  2. building a rapport/MGR & Candidate getting to know each other - (20 Minutes) 
  3. Company/Company History/Product Knowledge - what do you know about us/our products? (30 minutes)
  4. Position breakdown - 20 Minutes 
  5. Q & A/Closing for the next step/Objection handling - (15 minutes) 
  6. Follow up/thank you email -  (to be done after the interview)