Draw a line down the center of a blank piece of paper
Stay with me here. This may be the only art project you’ll ever do that will earn you thousands of dollars.  And it should take you less than an hour to complete.

 1. Draw a vertical line down the center of the front of a piece of paper. 

2.  Draw horizontal line across the center of the front of the same paper. 

3.  Draw the same two lines on the back of the paper.

4.  You should have four equal quadrants on the front and on the back of the paper.

5.  Number the quadrants 1-8 beginning with the left top front quadrant.

You: Can I do this in a Word table of four rows and four columns? 
Me:  Yes, of course, but you won’t remember what you’ve written as easily and remembering is important.

Want to make your entries even easier to remember? Use different colors, draw icons, pictures, etc.

This is the fun part
You are going to fill each of these quadrants with info - an exercise that will ensure you ace the interview. 

Quadrant 1
·  List three general facts you know about your prospective employer.

Quadrant 2
·  List three facts about the company’s culture you learned from your contacts within the company and from the company's online presence (website, Google Alerts, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook).

Quadrant 3
·  Referring to your Day #64 task, list three key skills needed by the ideal candidate for this role. include how you will demonstrate or articulate each or handle skill gaps in the interview.

Quadrant 4
·  Referring to your Day #64 task, list three experiences that demonstrate your match for this role.  Add details on how you will address any experience gaps in the interview.

Quadrant 5
·  Referring to your Day #64 task, list three stories you can tell that demonstrate you have the traits to fit this role.

Quadrant 6
·  Given what you have already written in previous quadrants, list the three points you absolutely, positively have to make in the interview.

Quadrant 7
·  Given what you have already written in previous quadrants, list three questions you will ask during the interview.

Quadrant 8
·  Given what you have already written in previous quadrants, list:
           a)  How you should dress (professional, trendy, conservative, etc.)?
           b)  What you will carry into interview (cool pen, iPad, book, etc.)?
           c)  What would you include in your portfolio?         
Done? You should be good to go!

What I hope you got from this exercise
The interview is a conversation.  It’s easy to converse confidently if you focus on what’s important. This exercise will force you to do so. 

Take action
Take 60 minutes to think through every aspect of your interview strategy.

Update Oct 23, 2015:
I wrote this post a while back, but it came to mind recently the night before I was talking with a firm about doing some coaching for them.  I was ready to go to bed, felt I was well-prepared (after all, I had done coaching for years!), and, to be honest, I really didn't feel like bothering. 

But a couple questions were nagging at me:
  • Don't my clients always think they are prepared enough when confronted with this advice? 
  • Who really wants to do it?
So I decided to complete the exercise.  And I did it all the way just like I prescribed it here. I even captured what I would wear because the interview was on Skype. 

The short version?  I had a ton of insights I hadn't considered.  And I completely re-framed my interviewing approach.  (Mostly, I changed the stories I wanted to tell.) It went so well that halfway into the interview, they were making fee arrangements for my services.  I shouldn't have been surprised.  After all, I've seen this work over and over again with my clients.  But I have to admit, I was. 

Just do it.  And let me know how you fare!  See below.

Please share this post with someone who is looking for their ideal job!



05/15/2015 9:13am

Good news! I like this idea and I will follow this advice

05/15/2015 9:28am

Thanks! I've gotten good feedback from my clients who have used this method. Let me know how it works for you...


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