How To Get The “Inside Dirt” From Prospective Employers, Right Before Your Interview…
Lets face it. Its pretty much common knowledge that if you screw up your first impression before the interview, it’ll be an uphill battle for you in closing any position. That’s why many so called "interview experts" hammer in the importance of putting your best foot forward and making a fantastic first impression. Well in my opinion, aside from getting dressed and looking all fancy for your interviews, the hands down best way to make an unforgettable first impression is knowing more about the company and its VALUES than your competition does. Knowledge is power after all.
So what’s the best way to increase your knowledge about the company you’re about to go on an interview with? Why not get it straight from the source? …by calling the employees of the company and ASKING.
"But what if I mess up?" "What if I make a bad first impression?" "I dont want to RISK screwing up my chances with them."
These are all valid questions and worries that most college students have. Which is all the more reason why you’ll be able to stand out… because you’ll know something that they don’t. Most college students don’t get the juicy information that they need to succeed because the majority of the population prefers to follow the same antiquated strategies that our parents used when they were our age. Think about it, if you use the same strategies as everyone else? How is it possible to even have a chance at standing out and getting the job that you want? I say we need a different approach. One that has never been used by anyone in the past and is fit for the high demands of today’s high paced society.
If you follow my "Secret", Jedi Mind Trick technique I can promise you that you will feel like you’re in more control during your interviews instead of the other way around when you’re asked a tough question. Instead of tongue-tied or regretting that you should’ve spent more time researching the company, you’ll be confident, collected, and in control of your thoughts and emotions.
You’ll be able to walk away from the interview knowing that you gave one of the best responses out of all your competition because of the information you collected and organized from this technique. But if you choose to ignore this technique and fail to implement it, you’ll lose your one shot at making a good impression.
So how do we get around looking stupid?
I’d like to introduce you to a concept I like to call Suicide Calling. Suicide Calling is where you partner up with one of your friends, preferably someone you know and trust who is known for being very charming over the phone, and you have them 3-way call (with you on the other line) one of your prospective employers as a potential candidate expressing interest in the position that you’re applying for.
Give your friend a list of questions to probe for in which you can use for your interview (company health in current economy, names of hiring managers, dept. heads, associations or charities that the company supports, etc.). There will need to be some preparation and coordinating done on the front end before making the call, and you success will be directly correlated with the quality of your questions.
What I love about this technique is that your friend (the suicide caller) does not have to lie about his name or where he goes to school or any of his background. In other words, he doesn’t have to get into "character" or be deceiving or any of that junk. Your friend can totally be the charismatic person he/she naturally is (which is what you want them to be because the technique works better that way).
The biggest benefit to this technique is that your friend literally has the license to crash and burn and everything would be cool because its not you that’s making the call. No risk. Plenty of reward.
Often times I’ll encounter a friend who is skeptical and hesitant about volunteering their services for this tactic. What I recommend you do is be the suicide caller for them FIRST and let them see for themselves how the process works. Sometimes people just need to understand the process before they’ll want to commit to it… and that’s O.K. Once you’ve succeeded in finding some valuable information for your friend to use in their job search, you’ll be surprised at how willing they’ll be in returning the favor to you.
Once you are able to retrieve the juicy information that you need, you’ll be able to connect with your interviewers at an entirely new level. You’ll start noticing everyone from across the table all of a sudden hanging onto your every word. The hiring managers will be eager to hire you because you’ll be able to demonstrate that you already know more about their company than any other candidate whose sat across from them, which means less training time in getting you familiar with the company and more time and money saved. On the other hand if you dont get the inside information you need, your interviewers will be bored with you because you won’t be any different from any of your competitors. They will end the interview earlier and send you on your way so they can go back to interviewing REAL prospects, and stop wasting their time with you.
Its important to remember that not all suicide callers are going to be as charming as you’d like them to be and not all "gate keepers" will be willing to spoon feed you valuable information. Persistence is key. If you can get just one gold nugget of a piece of information to use in your resume or interview, it’ll be well worth the effort.
So there you have it. Now do everyone a favor, and leave your best ideas for getting a leg up on the competition in the comments below. Please don’t just write "good post" or "I like that"… instead, add some value and contribute to this conversation with an insight, a practice, or a resource that we can all use to have a better shot at getting hired in this economy. Thank you!