There are two components of every job: industry and position. In order to effectively communicate either your interest in or qualifications for a specific job, you must first have a comprehensive understanding of both the industry and position. I am amazed how often (and it happens often) a person will walk into an interview without truly understanding the job they are interviewing for. Below is a overview of the things that you should understand about EVERY job that you might interview for. You should be able to answer ALL of these questions IN DETAIL when you walk into any interview.
Macro Industry Trends
- How is the overall economic environment affecting the industry?
- What new technology trends are affecting the industry?
- What impact is globalization having on the industry?
- What regulation is affecting the industry?
- How do companies in this industry make money?
- What are the drivers of revenue?
- What are the most significant expense items?
- Who are the major industry participants?
- What are the strengths / weaknesses of the key players?
- What factors differentiate top performers from others
Types of Goods/Services/Transactions
- What types of goods and/or services are offered?
- How are these goods and services produced, sourced or delivered
- What are the product / service price points?
- How do companies differentiate their goods and services from each other?
Customers & Clients
- Who are customers and clients in the industry
- What types of different customers and clients are there and how do they respond differently to the product / service
Industry Specific Knowledge & Analysis
- What types of financial statement analysis is typical?
- What types of market research skills / experience is necessary?
- What types of programming languages am I required to know?
- What types of software programs are used on a regular basis?
- What time does the day begin?
- What types of assignments are required on a regular basis?
- What type of interaction do you have with client & customers?
- What degree of managerial experience is necessary?
- Why is it important to be a team player?
- What are typical high pressure situations that I will be exposed to?
Educational Requirements / Certifications
- What minimum GPA is required?
- What types of certifications are required?
- Why types of graduate degrees preferred or required?