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 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) 


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