Job Interview Preparation - Be ready to invade Canaan
Amazing keys to successful job interview preparation can be found in the book of Numbers, chapter 13. Let's get the context of the story:
After been delivered from Egypt (place of frustration and unsatisfaction), the children of Israel crossed the Red sea and were preparing to invade the land of Canaan.
But before going into the battle, the leader Moses sent 12 spies into the land with a list of 7 questions.
“Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, ‘Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains, and see the land, (1) what it is? (2) Whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak? (3) Few or many? (4) Whether the land they dwell in is good or bad? (5) Whether the cities they inhabit are tents or strongholds? (6) Whether the land is fat or lean? (7) And whether there is any wood? Be of good courage and bring some of the fruit of the land .’” Numbers 13:17-20
Let's uncover from this passage some keys to successful job interview preparation through preliminary research on the company.
1. What it is (the land of Canaan represents your prospective employer)
You need to know everything possible about your prospective employer. What are their most common problems? What is their position within their industry? What is their image? Nowadays most companies have a corporate website. This is a great place to start your research.
You need also to find as much information as possible on the position.This part of the job interview preparation is expected of you. It shows your interest in the company and the position.
2. Whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak? Few or many?
(the people who dwell in the land represents your competition). It could be the other candidates for the job. It could be the person who occupied previously the position. It could simply be the mindset of your interviewer. What are the obstacles between you and the position. You need to know what they are and their amplitude. Are they big obstacles or small ones? How many are they (few or many ?) What are their strengths and weaknesses?
You can ask the following questions to the interviewer: What did you like most about the person who occupied this position before? What did you like less about him?
3. Whether the land they dwell in is good or bad?
This is an overall evaluation of the position. Don’t forget any element. Is this an employer you will be happy to work for? What are the perspectives for career evolution ? What is the morale of their current employees? Obviously, to get this part of job interview preparation right, you may need to contact one of their employees. This is not always possible.
4. Whether the cities they inhabit are tents or strongholds?
How big are the feet of the person whose shoes you are stepping into? Which marks have they left on the position? Which expectations have they created about the position? Or on the other hand, how frustrated have they left their customers (either internal or externals)? Were they long-term thinkers or short-term thinkers? Have they built good foundations for the position or would you be starting all over.
This is also valid for the company. Is it a company that has invested in the long term or not? Do they have good foundations? Is it a stable company? Does the corporate culture favour stability and steadiness or high flexibility and constant changes? No answer to the last question is really good or bad but you need to determine if the answer suits you.
It is not always possible to get this part of the job interview preparation done. In that case, get ready to ask some of these questions during the interview.
5. Whether the land is fat or lean?
This part has to do with the profitability of the company. Are they doing well financially? What are the results? Did the previous position holder maximize the potential of the position.
6. And whether there is any wood?
In other words, which resources will be available to succeed in the job? What are the goals and vision of the company? Do they seem to have a bright future?
And lastly, Moses instructed the 12 spies to bring some of the fruits from the land. We are not told from the Scriptures if they did but one thing they brought back for sure was a grasshoper complex. Don't ever do that, it may cost you 40 years in your career...:-).
The objective of doing some preliminary research as part of the job interview preparation is not to get intimated by the competition. There may be giants in the land but there is a strategy to overcome giants as well.