Employer Advice Spotlight: The Seven P’s

By Joshua Pringle

Joshua Pringle is the Director of Marketing at CO2Meter, a leader in Carbon Dioxide metering, sensing, and detection.  CO2Meter designs, manufactures and distributes industry leading devices to consumers and companies in diverse business segments.  Mr. Pringle has put together a series of articles providing advice, from a company’s perspective, on interviewing.  The series will be added throughout the spring semester. 

Like most of the other suggestions I will make about interviewing, these little tidbits also apply to life and your career too.  This little hint is probably at the top of the list and again comes from my grandfather.  While I regret the mild expletive in the phrase, I was taught later on in life that it is used to create a little humor and make the phrase memorable.  Trust me…you will remember this one.

Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

If you can learn and act on the Seven P’s, you will not only be successful but well ahead of your peers.  Whether it’s a class project, homework, reading, Christmas shopping, project management, car payments…anything you do can have the Seven P’s applied to it.

When thinking about preparing for an interview or business meeting, I always review the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg for financial statements, press releases and financial filings from the last year, LinkedIn and Glassdoor, and any critical articles I trolled for online.  These tidbits will help frame your approach to preparing.

imagesAs it pertains to your interviewing though, the Seven P’s are essential to your interview success because the better and earlier you prepare the more successful your interview will be.

1)      Follow the instructions the interviewer gives you in the pre-interview email/letter to a tee.  They are likely to give you all the clues you need to properly prepare for your interview.  For example, if the interviewer suggests that you review their website, don’t just look at the site – study it, learn it, Google things you don’t know about, and become an expert on their business.

2)      If the interviewer does not give you any hints beforehand, I suggest you ask.  Be straightforward with the interviewer and ask them, “Is there anything you’d like me to prepare in advance for our conversation?”  This says to them that you want to prepare and are eager to ensure you meet if not exceed qualifications and expectations.  If they say “yes,” you now know what to prepare for and expect.  If they say “no,” one of two things is occurring: the interviewer is not prepared for you, or they are testing you to see how well you can prepare without direction.

3)      Be prepared to ask questions (another article coming soon).  I don’t mean, what will my daily responsibilities be?-type questions; I mean ask in-depth questions about the website or their business.  Crafting well thought-out questions in advance is somewhat of an art, but it is imperative to a successful interview.

4)      Plan your day, trip to the interview, etc. in advance.  Don’t leave things to chance.

5)      Plan your outfit in advance.  Don’t wait until the morning of the interview to choose a shirt.  What if it has a spot on it?  What if your shoes have a scuff?

Preparing in advance allows you time to recover if you have prepared incorrectly or if other issues arise.  Do not put off preparation.  It is virtually impossible to over-prepare.

But here is the ultimate key to the Seven P’s – it allows you to relax leading up to and in the interview.  The military and professional sports teams stress the Seven P’s because a well-planned and trained team does not worry in combat/competition about what they should do…they just act on instinct because they have prepared for all possibilities.  If you wait until the last minute, you will be stressed and tense throughout the process.  Your stress will be very visible to the interviewer.  If you prepare well in advance, it gives your brain time to process the information you’ve taken in, prepare great questions, and then relax.  When you are in the moment, the interviewer will sense your calm and your preparation telling them you are a capable, responsible potential employee.

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