Your University Name    the Competitive Edge

with Michael Goodman

Overview/What You Will Learn

A surefire way to send a powerful message to your interviewer is to arrive fully prepared to talk, in depth, about his or her business.  Beyond B-School President and expert interviewer Michael Goodman shares his particularly memorable interview story -- and several instructive tips -- about the success his candidate had because of what she focused on before walking through the door.  

Key Points

  • Do your homework. Arrive at your interview armed with information about the company, the particular area of the business you want to be involved in (and are interviewing for) and your recommendations for how you might help improve the company’s results in that department.  Michael’s candidate really impressed him away with her bound notebook and right-on-target presentation related to her research.
  • Go into the marketplace, not just into your computer.  In his example, Michael discusses how his candidate for the sales manager position had:
    • Visited 15-20 stores;
    • Interviewed current and former employees;
    • Talked to customers;
    • Taken pictures of his company’s products, competitors’ products and even unrelated products that demonstrated interesting marketing strategies.
  • Organize your information and analyze it in a way that demonstrates your grasp of the business.  Offer suggestions or recommendations based on your analysis that you think would advance the company’s goals.
  • Read your audience.  Statistics or observations that one interviewer may find compelling may not necessarily interest another. Gear your message to the right person.
  • Be thorough.  Communicate that you have done your homework, including the extra credit.

Your Next Steps / Tips for Focusing on the Company

  • Focus on one company, the one you really want to work for.  It’s too difficult – and counterproductive – to research and prepare for any more than that.
  • Do your research in the marketplace itself, not from behind your desk.  Interview anyone (consumers, customers, competitors, employees, etc.) who can offer insight into the business, department or company and who will make you a smarter and more prepared candidate.
  • Organize and present your research in a thorough way that conveys your understanding of the business as well as the value you would add to the organization’s needs and objectives.

Expert BIO
with Michael Goodman

Michael A Goodman is Executive Vice President of Beyond B-School.  He has had a distinguished career as a marketer, brand manager, consultant, and author.  Goodman received his MBA from Purdue University, and did his PhD studies at Stanford University.  He is author of four business books -- including two on careers and job-hunting for business professionals: The Potato Chip Difference: How to Apply Leading Edge Marketing Strategies to Land the Job You Want and Rasputin for Hire: An Inside Look at Management Consulting Between Jobs or as a Second Career.  In 1979, Goodman founded the Dialogue Marketing Group, a management consulting firm serving corporate giants like DuPont, IBM, International Paper, Kraft Foods, and PepsiCo.