Megacorp Interview Advice

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skinsfan
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:14 pm

Megacorp Interview Advice

Post by skinsfan »

I am looking for advice from people who have worked their way up the career ladder at megacorps.

I am currently a sr. manager at a megacorp and am in the running for a director level position in a different department/business unit. Based on a conversation I had with the hiring manager who is the department head, I believe I am a strong candidate for this position and potentially the top candidate at this point.

The position hasn't posted yet but the hiring manager emailed me the job description and told me he'll let me know when it posts. My experience lines up closely with the job description and the hiring manager knows this in a general sense. I also have a strong reputation with many people in the department. That said, this would be a promotion from my current role (both in title and grade) and there may be applicants that apply laterally.

I have a decent amount of interview experience on both sides of the table and usually feel pretty confident in this area. I am looking for any tips or advice from people who've been through similar situations. Specifically, what can I do to go above and beyond/seal the deal/leave no doubt in the hiring managers mind that I'm the right person for the job?
tony_roach
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Re: Megacorp Interview Advice

Post by tony_roach »

Based on my Megacorp experience this is where you need to spend some political capital with your internal Advocates. Do you have any mentors/advocates within the company or other internal business partners customers you've worked with or supported that can vouch for your work ethic, experience, reputation to this hiring manager. This is where managing your internal brand at work plays an internal role.

You'll still have to go thru the interview process but if you can have other respected internal leaders put in a good word and confirm you're the right person for this role and team it will go a long way.
imfocusedman
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Re: Megacorp Interview Advice

Post by imfocusedman »

Agree without Tony. Might also set up some coffee chats with peers on the new team / future potential direct reports to learn more about the culture, requirements, ways of working, etc.
msk
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Re: Megacorp Interview Advice

Post by msk »

Interesting. I worked in a Fortune 10 (trust that is a megacorp?) and had a 2 year stint in HR (training and manpower planning, deputy HR director) to my own final director position and I do not recall ever having anyone "interviewed" for a senior position, departmental head and above. Basically anyone in the running for a director level position was already well known to all who matter in decision making. If people were a bit unfamiliar he/she would be called in to make a presentation on his current project to the management team. So, be wary, if you are called in to make a presentation, that IS your interview :annoyed
davewi
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Re: Megacorp Interview Advice

Post by davewi »

I've worked at a megacorp for 26 years. In my experience, interviews for internal postings are pure theater. Hiring decisions are made long before the interviews and the interviews are held for two reasons: to comply with company policy that interviews be held, and to shield the company from potential lawsuits concerning discrimination. This means that you need to start working with your mentors/sponsors in the company to get them to use their influence to get you the job. If you wait for the interviews to happen, you will not get the job.
Murgatroyd
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Re: Megacorp Interview Advice

Post by Murgatroyd »

It could also be the hiring manager wants to identify the candidate he can best communicate with. Fit is a real thing.
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Random Musings
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Re: Megacorp Interview Advice

Post by Random Musings »

davewi wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:42 am I've worked at a megacorp for 26 years. In my experience, interviews for internal postings are pure theater. Hiring decisions are made long before the interviews and the interviews are held for two reasons: to comply with company policy that interviews be held, and to shield the company from potential lawsuits concerning discrimination. This means that you need to start working with your mentors/sponsors in the company to get them to use their influence to get you the job. If you wait for the interviews to happen, you will not get the job.
That is spot on. Happens in small companies as well like ours.

RM
I figure the odds be fifty-fifty I just might have something to say. FZ
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8foot7
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Re: Megacorp Interview Advice

Post by 8foot7 »

Random Musings wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:49 pm
davewi wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:42 am I've worked at a megacorp for 26 years. In my experience, interviews for internal postings are pure theater. Hiring decisions are made long before the interviews and the interviews are held for two reasons: to comply with company policy that interviews be held, and to shield the company from potential lawsuits concerning discrimination. This means that you need to start working with your mentors/sponsors in the company to get them to use their influence to get you the job. If you wait for the interviews to happen, you will not get the job.
That is spot on. Happens in small companies as well like ours.

RM
+1. I’ve never worked at a place where, at a senior enough level, “openings” weren’t already all but filled.
Topic Author
skinsfan
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Re: Megacorp Interview Advice

Post by skinsfan »

tony_roach wrote: Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:23 pm Based on my Megacorp experience this is where you need to spend some political capital with your internal Advocates. Do you have any mentors/advocates within the company or other internal business partners customers you've worked with or supported that can vouch for your work ethic, experience, reputation to this hiring manager. This is where managing your internal brand at work plays an internal role.

You'll still have to go thru the interview process but if you can have other respected internal leaders put in a good word and confirm you're the right person for this role and team it will go a long way.
Thanks for the advice. I have good relationships with leaders in the department so this is an area I can definitely leverage.
Topic Author
skinsfan
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Re: Megacorp Interview Advice

Post by skinsfan »

8foot7 wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:05 pm
Random Musings wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:49 pm
davewi wrote: Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:42 am I've worked at a megacorp for 26 years. In my experience, interviews for internal postings are pure theater. Hiring decisions are made long before the interviews and the interviews are held for two reasons: to comply with company policy that interviews be held, and to shield the company from potential lawsuits concerning discrimination. This means that you need to start working with your mentors/sponsors in the company to get them to use their influence to get you the job. If you wait for the interviews to happen, you will not get the job.
That is spot on. Happens in small companies as well like ours.

RM
+1. I’ve never worked at a place where, at a senior enough level, “openings” weren’t already all but filled.
Thanks for the insights. These comments increase my confidence in my situation. I work very closely with all of the individuals in this department and have strong relationships across the board. When I was having a conversation with the department head he informed me that there would be an opening on his team soon and to let him know if I'd be interested (which I did). He proceeded to send me the job description about a week prior to position being posted. He then notified me the day the position was posted (posted internally only). I am now scheduled for an interview.

Hopefully I'm not reading the situation incorrectly. This is a position I really want so I am still going into this with the mentality that I need to close the deal during the interview.
msk
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Re: Megacorp Interview Advice

Post by msk »

The "interview" may be a legal requirement but be assured that the higher the position, the fewer the candidates. By the time you get to director level there are usually no alternative candidates. That's why it can get rather bizarre and the company goes onto an outside hire. The saying that everyone gets promoted to his level of incompetence is, unfortunately, very true. Do not stress about the interview. Sounds like you already have the position.
killjoy2012
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Re: Megacorp Interview Advice

Post by killjoy2012 »

Agree with everyone else. At the Director level, odds are high that the only candidates being seriously considered are the ones the VP/hiring manager already know well and are being asked to apply for the role, vs. the opposite which is more common at the lower roles. And yes, often times, those interviews are a formality and more about team fit than anything.

Only other note would be make sure you have the correct mindset related to the functional difference of Director vs. Sr. Mgr for that company, etc.
Bacchus01
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Re: Megacorp Interview Advice

Post by Bacchus01 »

killjoy2012 wrote: Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:57 am Agree with everyone else. At the Director level, odds are high that the only candidates being seriously considered are the ones the VP/hiring manager already know well and are being asked to apply for the role, vs. the opposite which is more common at the lower roles. And yes, often times, those interviews are a formality and more about team fit than anything.

Only other note would be make sure you have the correct mindset related to the functional difference of Director vs. Sr. Mgr for that company, etc.
Unless it’s financial services where Director actually means manager everywhere else.
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