There’s nothing like an interview to soak up critical intel and propel your job search. As a professional sales person calling on corporations, I learned early to “steal with my eyes”. This information gathering technique helped me land many new customers because I came to solve real problems. Nowadays, you can also steal with your eyes online before an interview. Be keenly observant to create your best interviews ever.
Steal with Your Eyes for a Great Interview
Look for problems you can solve online before the interview.
If you want to be a social media community manager, look at the company’s sites, identify issues and use this observation to help you explain what you can do to increase their followers and engagement. If you are a SEO guru and you observe that the company website does not perform well in a Google search, consider tactful ways to bring up your ideas.
Company lobby and Conference rooms
Be ready to learn a lot in many corporate lobbies. On the coffee tables you will find industry magazines and annual reports. Great chance to skim through and catch up on any last info before your interview. Scan the walls and find out what the company is sharing publicly. What awards did they win? What are the executives up to? I usually like to chat up the receptionist about whatever is on the wall whether it is corporate focused or artwork. Use the chance to learn about the company while you are waiting.
Your interviewer’s office
Maintain good eye contact but also try to visually scan the room, the walls and the desk. Check out the bookcases too. People display things that they are proud of showing off. You might have the opportunity to compliment the family photo or new baby picture. Ask about the autographed football or golf trophy. You might be a soccer player or fan and walk into an office of a soccer mom or dad. Don’t miss the chance to observe and connect.
Your interviewer’s attire
Attire can also be telling. Be careful to not be too personal but definitely steal with your eyes as a way to initiate contact and be interested in your interviewer. He might be wearing an alumni tie. You already know where he went to college from your advance research on his LinkedIn profile so this is a great chance to comment on his school and tie.
Look for problems you can solve onsite
You can also find problems at the company site while you are interviewing. Perhaps you notice an unfinished marketing project or some other area that might benefit from your expertise and assistance.
Sales people look for problems that can be solved. Your role as a job seeker is no different. Be observant before and during the interview and then communicate how you can make a real difference. So what have you noticed lately?