Interview Insights | Interview Question: Who are our competitors?

Interview Question: Who are our competitors?

*This is particularly helpful if you are trying to land a job in a newer industry or one where there are fewer direct competitors.

Any senior professional looking to land a role in a Fortune 500 firm should be able to confidently list a handful of key competitors.  It’s easier when you are vying for a traditional role in a longstanding organization. It’s harder, however, when you are trying to break into a new company that is creating a new category or industry. In these scenarios, it’s often tough to find real competitors when there are limited players so you have to think more broadly.

Here is an example:

Imagine you are applying for a job at Seamless.com. This website makes it easy for people to order take-out online rather than having to call a restaurant on the phone in addition to offering other conveniences. You can think of obvious competitors such as Foodler.com. However, to really stand out and more accurately consider the competitive landscape, you should include other businesses vying for your target audience’s attention in this space such as supermarket buffet tables (ex. Whole Foods), or restaurants with websites, or even mobile apps for finding food trucks in your area  (ex. Eat St.).

Here is a sample response:

The major competitors in this space include Foodler and Eat24hours yet I’d include supermarkets with buffets as a growing threat. When it comes to Foodler, Seamless really wins when it comes to the number of restaurants who partner with Seamless within its key markets. You have more than X restaurants in your system in NY whereas Foodler only has Z. [Side note: you can provide crisp comparisons of Eat24hours here too]. However, let me explain why I think any supermarket a tired professional can stop into on their way from work to their home is also a competitor. One example that comes to mind is a local Whole Foods.  The supermarket continuously replenishes its offerings and provides a number of cuisines to choose from. Customers can also manage how much or how little they want to pay for on an ounce by ounce basis. At the same time, there are further expansion plans within precisely your key markets. [Side note: you can name another quality that makes Whole Foods a threat to Seamless]. As a result, I’d consider buffets as your competition as well.

The key insight is that if you are going for a company that is operating in uncharted territory then you’ll need to broaden your thinking in this situation to a) answer the question, and b) show a hiring manager that you can bring in well-thought out ideas.

*This is a sample to guide you. It is not an actual competitive analysis based on real data.

Interview Question: What would you rather do X or Y?

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Interview Insights | Interview Question: What would you rather do X or Y?

 

This is a very frequent occurrence. A recruiter accepts your invite for a call. They start out by saying we don’t have any immediate openings. This is simply exploratory.  If after this call there is an opening then I will throw your name in the mix.

Does this sound familiar? Continue reading

How to Land Interviews: Do Your Homework

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How to Land Interviews: Do Your Homework

 

 

You’ve submitted cover letters. You tailored your resume. You called the human resources manager directly and left messages yet you STILL have not landed an interview at your target company.

Go all in if you are committed to working for a specific company in a defined industry. Continue reading

Interview Insights | Interview Question: Where would you like to be in your career five years from now?

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Interview Question: Where would you like to be in your career five years from now?

While this is a common question, the truth is that no one has a crystal ball.  Chances are that five years ago you wouldn’t have imagined being where you are today. So take this question with a grain of salt and be creative. Here’s how you can tackle this question tactfully. Continue reading

Four Ways to Confront the Challenges of a Change in Leadership

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A client came to me recently after being with the same company for ten years. There was a change in leadership and she soon wondered where she was going to fit in or if her role would be valued. The insurance conglomerate then put her in charge of outsourcing her function. Panic set in as she, like many professionals, had lost touch with the job market and assumed she would be with the same company for many years.

Continue reading

Interview Insights | Interview Question: What other companies are you interviewing with?

Interview Insights: What other companies are you interviewing with?

 

Sometimes it’s out of curiosity that interviewers ask this question. Other times it’s a critical data point that taints their evaluation of your marketability. If you are interviewing with other companies then you can share this information if you are a junior to middle manager. If you are more senior then you might want to rethink your strategy. Continue reading

I want interviews

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I WANT INTERVIEWS

 

How long have you been looking for a job?

Do you feel like you are sending your documents off to a black hole?

Would you like to discuss your strategy and marketing materials?

Want to better understand why you never got that callback?

Chances are you are a few tweaks away from gathering interest. I’ll figure out and make those tweaks. Continue reading

I have interviews

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I HAVE INTERVIEWS

 

Are you interviewing—meeting with executives, the board of directors, and cross-functional leaders?

Do you have a rich background yet find it hard to convincingly prioritize your experiences and articulate them in a crisp manner?

Would you like to role-play with an expert?

 

Here’s your chance to fully prepare in time for your next interview and feel more confident and ready to convince others why they should hire “You” and not “The Next Guy.”

I am creating a unique half-day VIP session focused on you!

 

We could focus on landing one job or multiple opportunities. It’s entirely up to you.

Here is how this program works

We’ll jump on Skype and discuss your greatest professional wins.

I’ll ask you the toughest questions you will be asked, taking into consideration the biggest potential reservation that a hiring manager may have regarding your candidacy.

  • Do you have 7 years of direct management experience and they want 12?
  • Are you not yet a certified financial planner, yet you are taking the exam soon?
  • Have you never worked on mobile campaigns, yet have a strong viewpoint on how to go about launching one?
  • Are you hesitant to say what you did during your time out of the job market?
  • Have reservations about using a prior boss as a reference?
  • Nervous about tackling the salary question because you’ve been underpaid for so many years?

I’ve helped clients tackle every single question you can possibly imagine since 1997.

You’ll learn tips and pointers to ensure that you are getting your key message across.

We will review your potential competitors and strategize on how to stand out.

You and I will partner for three intense hours to help you land a better opportunity.

This is meant to be an intense experience, dedicated to helping you master the art of interviewing.

To learn more, email me.

The investment is $997.

This program will run through the end of July.

However, it is limited to 10 participants.

What this program includes

We’ll review your 90-day plan or any document you intend to share.

You’ll share your draft answers to the questions you think will be toughest.

You will get clear frameworks to interview questions.

You will benefit from extensive problem-solving focused on addressing all of your biggest interviewing concerns.

You will gain access to an open forum where you can share anything and leverage an experienced sounding board.

You’ll know how to show that you are more than capable of handling any job.

You’ll have a one-on-one confidential experience.

Here’s a case study that will help you evaluate this investment:

Meet Amy, an HR team lead within a technology firm.

Here is what she has to say about partnering with me:

“I looked at my session with you as a very small price to pay for something that would pay off in the long run. When I came to you in 2013, I was unemployed and before that, I was being paid grossly under market value. Today in 2015, two jobs later, I’ve completely fast-tracked my career. Obviously, a better title and more pay are not the only ways to measure professional success, but they were important to me and I was pretty single-minded in pursuing them. If you cast it in this light, my investment with you has paid off quite literally 100 times over. We only spent 60 minutes on the phone but after that session, I have had the career confidence I needed to last years.”

More case studies.

How ready do you feel for your next interview?

Schedule your session today. Email melissa@melissallarena.com