6 Great Tips to Landing an Interview


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The emphasis for most job seekers is on how to clearly communicate strengths to the potential employer.  While that is critical, the way in which you focus on skills, experiences, and talents has to appeal to the needs of the hiring manager and corporation in order to get an interview.  One of the most productive strategies to facilitate this “match” between you and the company is to do a little background research.

1) Research the Company

Use the Internet and local resources to find out all you can about the organization.  Most communities have a business section of the newspaper or perhaps a separate publication. The Chamber of Commerce may also have company profiles.  It’s not just major corporations you want to investigate; it can also be helpful to analyze changes among small, local businesses.  Which ones may be expanding? Which ones are on the decline?  Target your energy toward those most likely to render positive results.

2) Local Networking

Expand your research to look for networking opportunities.  Most papers continue to have local news about social events and the “movers and shakers” in attendance.  Perhaps there are some opportunities for you to become involved in the same organizations and meet these individuals outside the office.  Most sources still report that networking continues to be a job-seeker’s strongest key to opening employment doors.

3) Cold-Calling

Okay, you’ve identified the best potential prospects within your target market.  Now, you must get ready to start calling.  Be organized. Rank your contact list from those companies that are most appealing to those that are least interesting.  Include phone numbers, email, snail mail, and the identified contact person.  Set it up like a log so you can keep notes about conversations, such as the day you called, the outcome, and any follow-up plan.  You don’t want to appear disorganized by calling the same person within a couple of weeks!

Prepare a script for phone calls, including your selling points, but more specifically, have responses ready for potential objections. That’s the beauty of phones – no one can see you’re referring to your notes.

Typical examples of objections include:

“I’m very busy” or “We’re not hiring”…

I understand, however, in researching your organization, I feel I can positively impact your bottom line perhaps without the investment of a salaried position, at least at the outset.  May I send a proposal?

“You need to talk to HR”…

Whom should I contact? I’m happy to provide a resume and an outline of my proposals to improve sales or maximize employee productivity to keep on file.

4) Dropping by

Take a resume and a brief bio of your highlights that align most closely with the organization’s current mission.  Here is where your research pays off.  Brainstorming about potential special projects or ways your unique skill set can benefit the company’s new direction can set you apart.  This approach is an expansion of old ideas about cover letters – showing the company you have gone beyond just “doing your homework” to actually envisioning yourself within their corporate mission.  Companies typically need people with vision and initiative, and they will take notice.

Don’t try to make an impression by leaving your glossy 8×10 headshot, using fancy fonts, and colored paper.  Take a professional approach. Attach your business card and make certain you use your best contact information – which means staying away from anything related to a current place of employment or an informal email address.  Include your bio or project proposals.

5) What is your brand?

Think of yourself as a product. What are you trying to “sell” to the employer? What is it about your “brand” that can optimize the company’s bottom line?  These are points to emphasize in any brief contact you have with the organization.  This can be the brief bio you provide, a voice mail, or an email message, all of which should contain a consistent message about strengths, skills, or that special project you are offering. This is not a time to be secretive, coy, or too concerned about proprietary rights.  If you have a great idea and the company actually usurps it, you have dated documentation of when you provided this to the company.  In that event, you have a very different scenario on your hands.  What you want to focus on is your initiative and willingness to be a team player even before you become a part of the team.  Hopefully, you can lessen the odds of any negative outcome by conducting thorough research that includes some information about the company’s ethics, relationships with staff, and orientation toward innovation and intellectual property.

6) Stay Positive

Keeping up your energy level and a positive attitude are important aspects of your job search, though a bit less tangible.  Be aware of the energy you project when you enter a room.  Even though it can be easy to slip into the doldrums if you have not been able to achieve the results you want as quickly as you would like, it is critical that you maintain a positive attitude.  Perhaps doing research about the company has energized you about new possibilities.  Remember to keep up your exercise program, leisure activities, and friendships for rejuvenation.

Your positive attitude is the strongest asset you can display to potential employers.  If contacts at your target organizations remember their interactions with you in a positive way, you are more likely to get a return call.  Do your research and put your plan in motion to get that interview!

Private Equity Research Associate

Financial Analyst / Associate

Fund Analyst

Investment Banking Associate

Financial Analyst

Venture Capital Analyst

Find Local Jobs In Your Area

Author: Alesia Benedic

Doostang Success — Job Not Posted on Any Other Site

Brown University, 2008
Reporter – Pharmawire

“I found my current position as a Healthcare Business Intelligence Reporter through Doostang after several months of job searching without success.  The position had been ‘recommended to me’ by my Doostang homepage based on other jobs I had browsed and applied to.

Within a day of applying for the position, I knew that my resume had been downloaded by my current employer, compared to other job application systems where an applicant has no idea whether anyone has looked at their application materials.

Within days, I had my first interview and case study.  It was great for the application process to move quickly for a change!

I hadn’t seen this job posting with any other site, and without Doostang I wouldn’t have my current job.”

Share your Doostang success story and get a
$500 Signing Bonus
from Doostang!

Here’s a small sample of the exceptional jobs you’ll find on Doostang:

Research Associate – Independent Financial Services Advisory, New York, NY

Engagement Manager – Rapidly Growing Management Advisory Firm, Washington, DC

Investment Banking Analyst – Top Tier Boutique Investment Bank, Los Angeles, CA

Principal – Global Life Science Management Firm, Boston, MA

Intern – Independent Financial Services Advisory Firm, New York, NY

More recent jobs you might like…

Happy Job Searching!

The Doostang Team

Doostang News October 4: Tips for Making an Industry Transition

Investment Banking Analyst, New York, NY
Consultant , Irvine, CA
Associate, SF Bay Area, CA
Product Development Analyst, Chicago, IL
Research Associate, Stamford, CT

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With the job market making a fresh recovery, it’s natural that you may be looking to make the switch to a new industry.  But we all know that it’s hard enough transitioning to a new position, so what’s the best way to make the move into an entirely new field?  Check out some of our tips:

Do Your Research

Spend your time researching as much as you can.  Pour over the latest literature of the industry, brushing up on trends, research reports, conference call transcripts, investor information – whatever you can get your hands on.  The more you know, the easier the change will be.  Try to get to know the ins and outs of your field, going beyond what is expected of your desired job; that way, you’ll be better equipped to face challenges that come your way.

Revise Your Resume

Update your resume to reflect the transferable skills from your previous work that will best suit the type of employment you’re looking to gain.  And if a previous position didn’t require any of these talents, then leave it off.  It’s tempting to list all of the substantive work experience from your past to demonstrate that you are a devoted worker, but employers will spend very little time looking at your resume before moving on to the next one.  Highlight what’s relevant, and if you still feel the need to include the less relevant job experience on your resume, make sure to downplay it.


It’s also imperative that you get out there and get to know as many people in the industry as you can.  Use your existing network to get introductions to workers in the industry you are targeting. These new contacts will be the ones to vouch for you and get you jobs.  They’ll also be the ones that you’ll be doing business with if you land a new job, which will give you a huge leg up from day one.

Finding a new job is tricky, and navigating foreign territory is even trickier.  So make sure to prepare as thoroughly as possible so that you when the day finally comes, you’ll be ready to conquer!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

Doostang News April 5: What You Need to Know When You Walk Into an Interview

prepared-jobseekerInvestment Analyst, SF Bay Area, CA
Director of Marketing, Boston, MA
Financial Analyst, New York, NY
Administrative Assistant, Los Angeles, CA
Sr Research Analyst, Chicago, IL

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Showing up to an interview requires possessing more than just that arsenal of resumes, business cards, and reference lists in your portfolio. There are also a few key things you need to know and be able to discuss with an interviewer come the big day – things that require a little bit of light studying, but that can do a world of good in pleading your case.

Know Your Background

This may seem obvious, but it’s so easy to freeze up and forget about the basics of your career history when you’re in the middle of an interview. On one hand, that’s why it’s great to have a copy of your resume in front of you, just in case you find yourself in one of these terrifying, awkward moments. However, suffice it to say, constantly referring to your resume doesn’t come off quite as well as confidence, preparation, and steady eye contact do. After all, if it’s on your resume, you’re expected to be able to discuss it. So take the time to go over your experiences and think of potential talking points. If you do this ahead of time, you’ll have a much smoother – and ultimately a much more successful – interview.

Know the Company

Surfing the web the night before your interview to find and memorize the “About” section of the company’s website is not enough. If you’re aiming to impress, figure out what the company is really all about. Read the mission statement, look for recent company appearances in the news, become familiar with sister companies or corporate brands. Firms want to hire individuals who can truly contribute something, and someone who knows the company is more capable of doing this. Convey a vested interest in the company, and let the interviewer know that once you’re brought on, you can spend less time learning the ropes and more time underscoring that “About” section.

Know the Position

Again, this is another one of those “you may think you know” topics, when in reality, you have a lot to learn. Knowing the position is about being acquainted with similar positions in the company, or similar positions at other companies. You should be familiar with the industry to which you are applying, and should know the ins and outs of the position itself, including duties, qualifications, and salary requirements. You should also consider how different aspects of your background compliment the job requirements. Finally, contemplate your goals, and how this position will fit into them or help you get closer to them. Really understand what it is that you’re going after, and hiring managers will be much more receptive to your pitch.

Understanding these key elements in a job search can really lay the foundation for a great interview. And while some may write these off as the “basics”, understanding the nuances of what you want and what you bring to the table can truly affect whether or not you ultimately land that dream job.

Happy hunting,

The Doostang Team