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Asked by Jordan on March 7, 2017

Hello, I am applying for a district manager position with a national grocery chain. Is it appropriate for me to do some sort of report and bring it with me to the interview? This is a second round group interview, and I want to do something to set myself apart, as well as prove I have done my homework. If I came with a situational analysis and my recommendations for how I would approach things, would this be seen as too much? I don't want to appear arrogant, I just really want this job and want to show them I am motivated. Given the position I am interviewing for, I am not exactly sure what this homework would be, but really want to prove to them I am the best person for the job.What are your thoughts?Thanks for your help!

Answered by Bret, Hiring Expert at Emerson, on March 8, 2017

Hello, and thank you for your question! Employers love to see enthusiastic candidates, but you are right in checking on what can be seen as ‘too much.’

You can never be too prepared for an interview. The homework you do and the time you spend analyzing the company will help you in answering any questions, going through any simulations or handling any of the assessments centers they may put you through. Just doing the work and knowing it will be helpful.

One of the errors I often see candidates make is they come in and present an idea on a problem they think the company has. Often times this can come across as presumptive and arrogant. Most homework and preparation is done with only outside knowledge so you will not have the internal insight to make judgement across the full perspective you would need.

If they haven’t asked for an analysis, they aren’t expecting it. What you can do is have it with you and have it ready if the opportunity presents itself, but do not force it if it doesn’t feel right. Sometimes our ambition gets the best of us and we are presenting solutions to problems that aren’t even part of the job you are applying for.

Ultimately, do the homework, have it ready, but only pull it out and use it if it is appropriate for the role you are looking to get.

Good luck,
Bret

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Answered by Rachael, Hiring Expert at Merck & Co., Inc., on March 16, 2017

From my perspective, this would depend on whether this was a panel interview or a project interview. I think that doing some sort of project like this could help your responses to be tight and more well-informed, but I don’t know that it would be totally necessary to “present” your report to the panel. I think it’s important to present yourself as informed and knowledgeable about the role and the background information, which could certainly come from doing some sort of project. Being prepared to answer questions about the manager(s)’ potential problems will go a long way in helping you land the job.

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Answered by Brittany, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on July 5, 2017

Excellent foresight -- I think it is a great idea to put forth the effort and bring with a sort of report/situational analysis and recommendations to have on hand in your interview. If the conversation does not come up during that round, no harm no foul. If it does come up, you are bound to impress your interviewer(s) which is always a good thing during this time.

Best of luck in your interviews!

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