By now, one might assume that all of you senior IT execs out there know how to conduct a job interview. After all, you had to succeed on some interview, somewhere. You wouldn't qualify for this magazine if you hadn't. Yet, every once in a while, after touching base with a candidate I've sent in for an interview, I find myself incredulous and asking: "You did what?! You said what?!"
It's at moments like this when I remind myself that interviewing — like cooking or speaking French — is a skill that gets rusty when you don't use it. For that reason, we can all use a refresher course once in a while to help tune up our interviewing skills. With the help of some CIOs who recently landed new jobs — and the bosses they impressed in their interviews — I'd like to offer some guidelines for doing an interview right. [[LeftQuote:Don't spew a bunch of facts and figures. Instead, choose a few choice stats and then bring them up in a context that showcases your understanding of the business]
Be prepared. Obviously, you want to know everything you possibly can about the company and the people who will be interviewing you. For a public company, you can find a bevy of documents online. For a private company, you have to work harder but you can usually find its core values on its Web site. Armed with this information, you can prepare for your interview by thinking about the connection you want to draw between those values and your own experiences.
Herbalife CFO Rich Goudis recently hired a new CIO for his company. He says he is sometimes surprised that candidates don't do more than read the company's annual report.
"Some people are just not prepared," says Goudis. "They don't take the time to find out who our key technology vendors are and then use their own connections with that vendor to learn about our approach to technology. Candidates who do good investigative research are impressive to me."
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.