The Power of an Agenda for Your Job Interview
During lunch with a field sales manager of a major consumer goods company, I heard again the importance of preparing an agenda before each call. He told me about a day in the field he had recently spent with the Chairman and CEO of his company. At the end of the day, the Chairman pointed out to the field sales manager that throughout the day the Chairman had maintained control of the discussions. The reason he said is that sales manager had not prepared an agenda for the day.
The first sales call I made with my supervisor’s supervisor at Procter & Gamble, he asked me, “What is your objective for this call?” Fortunately, perhaps out of nervous anticipation, I had made scripted a call sheet for each place I planned to go that day.
When I entered the recruiting industry, I went to work for a search firm that had a former Pfizer executive for a CEO. The only thing that the CEO asked of us recruiters is that we sit down at the beginning of every day and go over a single sheet that contained a list of search assignments and prospects and that we update that sheet every day.
So began a practice of having a plan written out on a sheet of paper, reviewed daily, updated as the day progressed and then created anew or further updated as the passed into the next day. Managing my business became a process of following an agenda.
The same practices can apply to any business, including the business of managing your career. The following outline is the agenda that my daughter Heather used for her interviews with a National Basketball Team (NBA). She got the job. Using this type of outline to prepare for an interview, helps a person anticipate and practice how to manage many of the questions and the direction of the discussions in a job interview.
Interview Agenda Summary
Why I am interested in working for your company?
- The reputation of the company as a customer-based marketer
- The long history of success of your company
- The opportunity to work in an environment that enables me to use the promotional and marketing tools I have developed for my career
- The commitment to respecting and honoring all employees for their service
- The opportunity to work in the field of my choice: sports promotion and marketing
What I bring to your company
- Team skills with work with other people in all departments
- Experience in creating promotional marketing programs to target community customers
- A successful history of developing marketing strategies that include customer service, pricing, product choice, graphic design, and product presentation at retail and in the media
My thoughts on marketing and sales promotion
- Does it present value to the customer?
- Does it create the correct brand image?
- Does it reach your target customer base?
- Does it make a buyer out of your customer?
- Does it create repeat customers?
Ways that I can make sure that you reach your goals.
- Identify the target customer
- Identify the message that will reach and draw that customer
- Create a consistent brand image that will build customer loyalty
Create your own agenda. Prepare for the interview with research and outline your research results in an agenda that you take the interview. Show interviewers that you have an interest in their company through the agenda you bring to the interview.