Are you ready for a cattle call?

Cattle calls are auditions in which a large number of actors or performers try out for a role.

Think of any interview you have also as a cattle call.  Can you imagine an actor that knows that they are heading for possibly the role of their life and not being prepared?  In other words they are not going to wing it.

By winging it I mean going to an interview or audition and improvising with little or no preparation.

The Big Dream: A Job

There are so many people in search for a job or career and they are all dreaming of having the warmth of a job.  Being in the cocoon of the employed is a dream for so many today.

But when the opportunity arises so many will just wing it.  Read over the job description, glance at the resume and figure that is it.

That is so far from the preparation needed to become a part of the work community.

To break this process down let’s take a look what you should do to prepare.


  • Public or private ownership. If the company is publicly traded listen to their last earning call.  Go to their website and click on investor relations.  You should also print a copy of their annual report.  This will give you a treasure trove of information.
  • What was the revenue for the past few years?  Is it trending upwards or downward?
  • How many employees in the company?
  • Where are the locations throughout not only the US but globally?
  • Check out company news section on their website.
  • Where do they stand within their industry?  Check out  This site will give you industry information and a list of their competitors and industry outlook
  • Check out the company website, facebook page, twitter feed and their LinkedIn page.  They all will help you shape an image of the company.  This is called their brand.

The actual interview

Knowing what job interview questions to expect is a critical part of your interview preparation. You might encounter different types of interviews during your job search, but chances are the questions you’re asked during the interview process will be fairly predictable.

  • Create a list of possible interview questions
  • Create beyond each question an answer to that question
  • Create a list of questions that you will ask.  Target 3-4 substantial questions.  These questions can be based on your research of the company.  They can also be based on the role that you are interview. 
  • Never ask a question that you could have found the answer during research.
  • Google “Job Interview Questions” and you will find numerous sites which give you not only the list of questions that you may be asked but questions that you may ask?
  • Have someone ask you questions from the list.  In other words have a mock interview session. 

After the Interview

  • Thank you letter/email must be sent promptly. This note should be viewed as an influencer letter.  Not only thank you but this is the value that I would bring to this role.
  • Format.  While it is perfectly OK to send a thank you via email, a handwritten personal note makes a much more lasting impact.  You should take good notes during the interview or debrief immediately afterwards to get a sense of each person that you met.  This will allow you to personalize each note.  The important components include: a basic thank you; 2-3 sentences that relate back to your specific conversation; 1-2 sentences about how your skills match what’s needed; and finally, an optimistic close.
  • Quick Tip. A technique that I have always used was to bring the note/stamped envelope with me.  When I leave, I stop somewhere, write the note and mail it that same day.  This makes a powerful statement and trust me you will be remembered.

The competition today is fierce; you can’t take it by chance any longer.  You must prepare, prepare and prepare some more.  The days of winging it is over and probably will never return.  So therefore, be ready to compete at the highest level.

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