Interviewing for the unknown: Unknown territory
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By Sabina Trench, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers
For some people sending out speculative CVs, you are sending your CV to companies that may be hiring at some time in the future. There isn’t a job advertised, so you are not applying for anything specific. As a result, you may not know what job they have in mind for you when you are called to interview or for an informal chat.
So how can you prepare, asks Sabina Trench, Sli Nua Careers?
Either before the interview itself, or when you get into the interview, why not ask what job they have in mind for you? If you can get some information ahead of the day, it will really help your preparation. However, even asking on the day is useful as it might give you some insight into why they are asking certain questions, and what information is most relevant for you to get across from your CV.
Research the employer
One thing you do know in advance is that you are interviewing with a particular company or organisation, so you need to find out exactly what they do and how your CV might fit with that type of organisation. Maybe you have warehouse experience and they have a big logistics department, or you have worked in customer service and they deal directly with a large number of clients. They have called you in for a reason, so they must feel that there is an opportunity in there somewhere for you.
This research will also give you something to work with in terms of how you will ‘fit’ within the company or the organisation. Maybe it’s a new start-up and people are expected to be flexible in terms of duties, or a large organisation where it’s more likely that you will have a defined role. Whatever it is, figure out how you are a good match with where they are at in terms of development and size.
Do you know anyone working for the organisation already? Or know someone who knows someone? Try and get a quick chat with someone who is already working for the company. It will hlep to see what kind of recruitment is going on at the moment. They will also be able to help you with information about the culture in the company and what is expected of employees. Any extra information you can get is particularly useful in this situation. This will help you in a lot of ways so you won’t be unknown territory.
Interview and aptitude test?
A client of mine was called to interview for an unspecified job. When the interview was over she was asked to sit an aptitude test. This really threw her as she didn’t know it was included. If at all possible, try to find this out in advance. You can always ask on the phone when they ask you to call in. Aptitude tests take a little practice. You will give yourself a much better chance if you can prepare for them in advance.
As there is no specific recruitment process in place, you may need to follow up on your interview. It’s the best way to keep yourself on the radar. You may get a polite, ‘we don’t have a position for you at the moment’. It might be just enough to jog the memory. It might lead to a more formal interview, or, better still, an offer.
You can read more blogs from Sabina HERE
Sabina Trench is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers. We have offices nationwide, plus a full online service. Our services include CV preparation, interview training, mock interviews, personal statements, career planning / direction, LinkedIn profiles and application forms.