Successful companies want people with great dreams and big ideas, simple. But, when it comes to digital transformation, hiring those with the right qualifications is not a small endeavor.
All companies have their own set of processes for hiring and know the skillset needed to propel them forward along the transformative pathway. However, there are a number of key considerations to ensure you uplift your personal brand throughout the interview process.
10 ways to boost your profile during the interview process
- What have you been reading and why? Whatever you do, don’t respond with a list of fashionable business books or articles, such as the Harvard Business Review’s ‘Most Popular’, it screams one-dimensional. Big ideas, instead, flow from minds that are eager for challenges, constantly expanding into new terrain. If you have a curious mind and are hungry to learn more, that should be reflected in your current reading list.
- Work-life balance is always a hot topic and some candidates feel it’s a tightrope. Don’t hiring managers want someone who’s hard working and can demonstrate a deep commitment to work? Sure – but nobody wants to risk hiring a burnout. Every good hiring manager wants people on his or her team who are balanced, stabilized and supported by friends and family. And that means more than burning the candle at both ends at work. Don’t shy away from sharing your private commitments: activities, hobbies, family interests and more will communicate that you’re not just a worker bee, but a well-rounded human being.
- Knowledge and understanding about the company and culture of the company you’re interviewing with are fundamental. They’ll want to know if you are well-prepared for the interview and have done your homework. They’ll care about learning what you admire most in the company (or its client); and, if you’re bold enough, where you see room for improvement. You’re at much greater risk of appearing second best in a competitive interview if you don’t have ideas about the hiring company – and if you haven’t done your homework.
- Success and Failure. Does everybody always win at everything? Did every decision you’ve ever made prove to be brilliant? Really? “The unexamined life isn’t worth living”, according to Socrates – a statement that has stood for more than 2,000 years. By all means, share your great wins and show that well-deserved pride in your work. But don’t stop short of sharing projects that didn’t work out so well. These are opportunities for you to demonstrate your ability to think critically, and to learn as you go forward – and to demonstrate honesty with yourself and your interviewer.
- Do you have entrepreneurial DNA? That entrepreneurial flair can spell the difference between a great project and a competent one – especially in such a demanding area as digital business transformation. Formulate one or two ideas for a startup activity – maybe related to business, maybe not. Just demonstrate your ability to see the world for its unfulfilled possibilities.
- Financial acumen isn’t just for CFOs. Do you understand the basics? Can you read a balance sheet? And can you think in terms of real value? For example, given one million dollars, and an objective of generating a sustainable income, what would you do with that money?
- Questions are never an option. When an interviewer asks if you have any, he or she is not being cordial. They want to know if you’re thinking. They want evidence of retention and comprehension, and your ability to think a move or two ahead of the conversation. Hiring managers expect tons of question related to job and company challenges you’ll be facing (but don’t ask questions about salary or compensation in early-round interviews; it’s far better to establish value first!). Candidates who don’t bombard their interviewer with questions will likely make him or her very nervous.
- How do you stay informed? You’re working in a fast-moving technology field, with plenty of opportunities for disruption. What do you do to keep yourself up to date? This is key to understanding not only whether the candidate can leverage experience from the past, but also has the foresight to keep up to date on both technology and business trends. This is incredibly important for the SAP world where innovation is a constant.
- Personal behavior. A savvy interviewer will check with the office receptionist, assistant, intern – anyone you came into contact with in their organization – to see how you treated them. Were you polite and humble? Or arrogant and obnoxious? Everyone wants to work with someone who likes, respects and cares about his or her teammates. Be that person every day.
- Technical knowledge. Throughout the interview, you should get questions about Finance, Marketing, Production and/or Engineering, depending on the specific job. Obviously, your expertise must be a fit. But why is this #10 on this list? Because at best it’s 10% of the interview time and maybe less. Your interviewer has likely already made this judgment based on reading your CV, reviewing any certifications and examining the former positions you’ve held.
These tips are meant to help you reach your best during an interview, but above all else they sum up one idea: be genuine. If you’re skilled within your field and you have the drive and inventive spirit that people love to discover – then you can relax during that interview, be the great candidate that you know yourself to be.
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