How to Prepare for an Interview Without the Job Description

How to Prepare for an Interview Without the Job Description

Hey Everybody! It’s Andy! Welcome to my
show where I help you build a career you love today we’re gonna talk about how to
prepare for an interview when there’s no specific job opening now some of you you
know I get but get this question a lot and some of you come up with these
scenarios we’re gonna cover a whole bunch that I think are gonna be
applicable today some of you might be calling these informational interviews
sometimes you might be going to a network meeting with somebody who is
maybe influential maybe you could hire you or certainly put a good word in on
your behalf maybe you can turn into something sweet maybe you submitted your
resume through a corporate career portal and the company just said hey we welcome
inquiries and it turned into an interview and you’re not quite sure what
the job is or maybe your your friend gave the chief marketing officer your
resume and she said sure I’ll have a conversation with him or maybe maybe you
got an interview you know what the job title is but the job description is thin
how are you going to be prepared it’s gonna be a lot of fun I love this topic
been getting this question a ton if you’re here with me live and you’re and
you’re watching this with me we’re gonna just get in there get in a chat let me
know who you are where you’re from what you need put some question marks in
front of your questions if you’re watching this on the recording welcome
to you it’s good time live office hours Thursday so let’s let’s have some fun
with this so I think you got the scenarios let’s talk about the tactics
so when you go into these sessions and you got to make sure that you are you
are actually prepared you know a lot of people don’t know where to start what is
it that I should should cover how should I make sure I know what I’m doing I’m
covering the right stuff I’m gonna give you I don’t know maybe seven eight nine
nine things that I want you to do and then I got a little bonus tip for you at
the end but the first thing that I want you to do is first make an assumption
that it is an interview it’s it’s it’s it’s okay to do that if you are
underprepared that’s bad there’s no such thing as being over-prepared so just
assume that as you go into this session with whomever it is whether it’s one
person or multiple people you treat it as though you are being
interviewed for a potential opportunity that’d be the first thing and so with
that mindset these are the things that I want you to that I want you to take a
peek at the first one got my note cards today first one is on the company you
know I usually start you out with the warm-ups and then they get a little more
creative as we go but this first one there’s a couple parts to this make sure
you are looking up the company and it’s it’s obviously the most important thing
that you you need to understand what are its products what are its services what
does the divisions look what did the divisions look like what is the
organizational structure what does that look like where does this particular
person sit inside that organization anything you can find out about the
company you should know it is and I and this goes for all the points I’m going
to share with you today it is entirely too easy these days to get it
information you need to even if the company is private all companies have a
digital footprint it’s pretty easy to find your way around the internet to
find this stuff that’s the first the first thing but the second thing that I
would say related to that I’ve got this this one I call this one 1a but you
really ought to understand beyond the company what the market is that there
end what’s going on news wise what’s trending right I always keep praying
every day when I get up that one a my one of my youtube videos will be
trending it’s not seem to happen yet but but but what’s happening in the market
what are the trends what’s in the news what are organizations doing what does
the competitive landscape look like for this particular organization what what
do they do what are other organizations that do the same types of things whether
it’s product development service offerings you you really should be be
knowledgeable about all that the more knowledgeable you are about the market
the more effective you’ll be able to discuss whatever comes up in the
discussion second thing second big grouping is you got to research the
interviewer I know this sounds obvious but I dare I say when I interview a
as part of my recruitment firm I will tell you that over 90 percent of them
this floors me don’t have any idea who I am they have no clue what I do what my
history has been anything like that well I asked them so is there what do you
know about me and most of them say well not much you know I talked to Kara and
she said you don’t talk to Andi I mean this is this is this is really what
happens I mean it’s just it’s just that there’s no excuse for you not to take a
few minutes and take a look at whoever it is that you’re going to be meeting
with in this type of situation you there is a great likelihood 99 percent chance
you know who you’re actually going to be meeting with if it’s an informational
interview you certainly do if you’re going in into the organization it for an
interview itself they’re going to tell you who it is you’re going to be
speaking with very likely so I would do tons of homework on the interviewer I
want I want you to make sure that you exhaust all avenues you look at
everything you possibly can go to all the social sites go to LinkedIn
obviously but I would go to Facebook I would go to Twitter I would go to
Instagram I would know everything I possibly could about the person that I
was going to speak with it’s not stalking them if it’s in the public
domain people have a digital footprint so you should be able to find out that
information it should be pretty easy to type my name in Google and see 50 pages
of stuff and even if you don’t look at every single thing the fact that you
know that the person has done a lot has been a lot to a lot of places has spoken
at particular conferences or written books or whatever it is that they’ve
done is pretty easy to find out and even if you don’t like I said even if you
don’t know everything at least know hey you’ve done a lot I saw you had quite a
few things out there I saw this and I saw that at least enough to have a
conversation now you don’t need to bring up the fact that you know what my
favorite cocktail is or my favorite wine is or any of that stuff but the fact is
just have it in the back of your mind if you need it but I would do my research
on the interviewer I just don’t understand why people ethically fail
this they epically fail this all right third thing
is I would look okay you have you don’t want me to tell you how many times it
took me to draw this particular card there’s you there’s there’s you there’s
them and there’s an intersection of what you do and can bring to the table and
what they do and I want to stress the word what they do not necessarily what
they need at the moment but right now you don’t know what they need unless
they’ve given you that in advance but the great likelihood is you don’t know
that so what is it you know that you bring to the table what it what is it
that they do that intersection is where you provide the most value now if God is
shining on you that day what you do and what they do and that particular
intersection is exactly what they need but the great likelihood is it isn’t
exactly what they need at this moment otherwise they would be very very
crystal-clear about here’s what we need here’s the job description here’s what
we want you to do so if you’re in a situation where you’re not quite sure
what that job opening is or you’re not quite sure whether this is going to lead
to a job opening you have to you have to be able to ascertain this information
we’ll talk about this in a minute or two but but the first thing that I want you
to do is from a preparation standpoint I want you to make sure hey these are the
assets I bring to the table here is what they do it would make sense that a
company that services these types of desktop products would need somebody
like me because I’m knowledgeable about that particular desktop product that
kind of stuff but that’s what you want to make sure of you you understand what
it is that you can bring to the table from an obvious standpoint so make sure
all of that is in order and then the other thing is take a look at the people
in the organization so I’m talking about you know go to the company in LinkedIn
and look at who’s there what their titles are what it is that they’ve put
in their LinkedIn profile or any other places sometimes there’s little BIOS on
the on the corporate website but ultimately what you’re trying to do is
you’re trying to get it who are the people that work there what is it that
they do what is it that they’re called right if you if you are just
using some basic LinkedIn searching you should be able to get at this we do have
more in my job search bootcamp we have some advanced tactics where we give you
some Google strings to be able to be more targeted to find the particular
individuals based on job functions and titles and those kinds of things but
anybody who’s got access to LinkedIn which all of you should have just going
to LinkedIn do some searching on the company see what they’re calling those
people look at the description see if you know anybody see if they’re doing
the kinds of things that you can do but just get an idea of what they’re calling
those people what they’re doing and use that as data and then what I would do
next is then I would take that and I would perhaps look at job descriptions
if they are available in the company there might be some job descriptions now
what you don’t know is what you know you might see the responsibilities you might
be able to iterate between this and this and go kind of go back and forth between
one of the job descriptions and are there people out on LinkedIn and vice
versa but the fact the matter is just because
there’s a job description out there does not necessarily mean there’s an open
position on that team it doesn’t mean they might have it filled they might
have you never know if they have individuals who they are looking to
replace you don’t know if they might want to create a new position that might
have some of those responsibilities with some of the things you can bring to the
table but I would go and I would take a look at all the job descriptions in the
organization see which one or ones closely match to what it is that you do
then what I would do is I would take a look at all of their competitors again
you did this as part of evaluating the company but I would do it on a more
specific basis I would probably do a couple of things here I’d look for their
competition who are the organizations that they compete with I would look at
those job descriptions and what the job descriptions are of their competitors
now it’s not always gonna be a one for one a system engineer over here might
not do the same thing as a system engineer over there and what you’re
looking for is you’re looking for what type what would that competitor
the positions that I could perhaps do what would the makeup of that role look
like and what’s really great to tuck away in your mind is if you’re having a
conversation with somebody in this in this info informational interview or
this potential interview you will be amazed when you can say things like hey
you know I was evaluating some of your competitors I noticed that their
engineers have this suite of responsibilities which I think is really
great because and there’s advantages to that and so on that might fit with what
you do and and these these might be eye-opening to the people that you’re
talking to it may not be but still I would want to know that I would want to
know maybe there’s something that interests you at one of their
competitors it’s okay to talk about this stuff depending on you know kind of what
the theme is of this interaction that you’re going through and depending on
how formal or informal of an interview it might be but that’s great Intel that
you can get you can go to sites like indeed calm and even career builder and
– there’s all these all these other sites not necessarily to apply through
those sites but just to look to see what those job descriptions look like you can
also go obviously to the competitors career portals so I would do that here’s
one other thing I can’t believe how many people do this one when they meet with
me they don’t bring their resume and you never know if it’s an interview and
you’re going in to a corporation and you’re meeting them at their location
this is probably going to be on your mind but if you’re meeting somebody at a
coffee shop or something like that you might forget to do this bring your
resume you don’t have to shove it in front of their face unless they ask for
it or if you ask them and they want it that’s totally okay but don’t forget
this and the other thing that I would bring I would bring I would be a little
careful about jamming it into into their face as well is depending on your
position is it worth bringing a portfolio or sample work products or
other things we have some of our clients that we’re working with right now they
request all this stuff so we try to ask people in advance if they have some
things that they want to share with us you never know how this might really
come off well here again I want you to pull this out in in the natural course
of the disc rushon not hey I got a bunch of work
stuff that I just did or I’ve done and I’m really proud of it do you want to
see it but more like if it if it comes up in the conversation hey would you
would you be interested I actually have some that stuff with me
is different there’s a different tone to that and it’s usually a little bit more
welcome it’s better well-received if it’s done that way so don’t don’t don’t
forget this stuff now I would do all of those things I would get you know I
would get myself dialed up and then and then here’s the one bonus tip that I
want to get you third that I want to give you with with the interaction
itself the one thing that’s really important I had that little that little
picture up with the circles where I was talking about the intersection between
you them and and the in the intersection and where you provide value if you’re
super fortunate they’re gonna come to the table and say hey this is great
we’re in need of a system engineer that’s fine rarely will that happen in
these types of situations it’s going to be incumbent upon you to try to figure
out where do I want to take this discussion the big mistake that a lot of
people make is they just they just want to talk about themselves right well
here’s what I do here’s where I’ve been when you would be far better served if
you could elicit from the other party hey where’s your company going right now
what’s its biggest need what is the biggest need on your team right what
what would be at this very moment what would be the best way anybody could help
you and then try to get that out early so that if you are gonna talk about
yourself you’re gonna talk about it in the context of what they need at the
moment you’re looking for that segue in if they start the conversation with hey
tell me about you and you know just tell me about your background or whatever say
hey I’d love to do that I’m happy to share all that I’d love to do it in the
context of you know what it is that that you might need or your greatest need at
the moment so you know just as a bonus tip when you start that discussion and
you start that meeting or you start that interview you always want to make sure
that you know what their immediate gap is and it’s okay if their mind at the
moment is a little malleable as far as how they might be able to deploy you
because some of the greatest positions that we
have ever filled as a recruitment firm have come on the heels of one of our
clients creating or tailoring a position for one of our candidates that they saw
that they love same thing can happen for you here so so keep that in mind so I
hope that helped I hope that helps just just try to keep those points in order
those seven or eight or nine or whatever it was that I that I shared with you but
that’s how I would prepare that’s all the data that I would want to know as I
go into the discussion and if you have that data the great thing about having
that data is it’s going to allow you to be nimble on your feet to take that
conversation anywhere which is what you want to be able to do all right hope
that serves you you

Comments (4)

  1. Folks, I hope you enjoy this video that covers a tricky situation! We sometimes find ourselves heading to a job interview with a company we love, but we don’t have a detailed job description.
    Maybe it’s an “informational interview.” Could be a network meeting with an influential person. How about going for an interview and you’re not even sure exactly what the job is? What if they’ve asked YOU to write the job description? I've got you covered today with all of these. Check out the video and let me know what you need. Also, please make sure to SUB so you don't miss any of the new content and live shows!

  2. Hi Andrew, I would like to ask you a question. I am applying for jobs in the UK and I follow your advice, I downloaded the college template. Should I follow your advice as a graduate in the UK and create my CV based on your college template or are there any differences between the CVs in the UK and in US? For example should I mention my skills on my CV? like Organizational, hard-working etc. Keep going with the good work!

  3. Andrew, we love your videos and wanted to speak with you regarding a TV inquiry & other opportunities. Please send us an email to [email protected] – looking forward to hearing from you..

  4. I got fired. What do I say to interviewers?? I was with company for 10 years. One of the more successful and accomplished sales people there, won awards and cultivated new high revenue business regularly. I was let go due to new management and not hitting sales call metrics. In my last months there I brought in 2 high profile customers. I have recommendation letters from some folks there. How do I navigate myself through this? Thank you and I love your videos!

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