Granted. An MBA, an international background and relevant experience as an intern are most certainly going to help. But what will make you stand out really when you are interviewing for your dream job?
This is the main question during a workshop called ‘Nailing the Interview’, scheduled on the International Business Day at the International University of Monaco on March 12th. Caroline Frisenberg, Managing Partner of Frisenberg J. & Associates / Kennedy Executive Monaco and Markus Unterberger of Managing Partner of Unterberger & Partner, Kennedy Executive’s partner in Frankfurt, Munich, Salzburg and Zurich are the hosts. With their impressive experience in high-end Executive Search, they’ve designed an insightful 90-minute workshop to help students to be prepared and confident when they go for interviews.
To nail the interview, it takes more than the usual musts like being on time, dressing the part and researching the company and the position. Body language, style of communicating and general appearance are just as important to win over the hiring managers. Whether you grew up in a cosmopolitan and international city or hail from a small rural village in a remote area of the world; there is a story to be told. But how to tell this, and how do you make your background and experience stand out in just one interview?
In the workshop Caroline and Markus provide valuable insights in what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for during the mere 45 minutes an average interview lasts. They prepare students for the most frequently asked questions like ‘Why do you want this job?’ ’Are you a team player?’ ‘Do you have other job opportunities?’ or ‘Where do you see yourself in five years from today?’. And these are just the questions about the actual job. Other questions those at the recruiting end love to ask are more personal. How about ‘What have you learned from your mistakes?’ ‘What do people most often criticize about you?’ ‘Have you ever had difficulty working with your manager?’ or philosophical favourites like ‘If you were to live your life again, what would you change?.
Dealing with these and other challenging questions is probably the hardest part of any interview. But the answers can be crucial in the decision-making process. The way you respond, in what words and how you deliver them can drastically impact the perception. Imagine the difference in impression after ‘I want to have your job in 5 years from now’ or ‘I want to grow as a person and as a team player and be able to help others achieve their goals’. It is vital to have an understanding of a company to predict which answer will help get the job.
To avoid a vocal shut down or panic overtaking because you don’t have the perfect answer, the workshop looks at ‘how’ to answer those questions. In some cases it is important to distinguish private life from business life, where sometimes understanding how the private life can be of valuable to the professional one. The interactive workshop will explain the reasons why these questions are asked and will give examples of possible answers. Participants will be made aware of body language, the power of the first impression (you only have one chance for this!) and how to research the company, the position, the markets they operate in and the type of people that work there.
But hiring managers do their research too. To be prepared for this, the workshop also examines the positive and negative impact social media can have on the candidate’s image. Furthermore, participants will learn how to broach the ever-awkward salary question and, last but not least, how one can follow up after an interview to leave a permanent mark.