The interview is a sales process, thus it makes great sense to use sales techniques and sales processes to interview effectively. Using a sales approach provides a terrific structure for preparing for the interview, presenting in the interview, and following through the interview.
A good sales process includes:
Understand the problem
What is the problem the new hire is being brought on board to solve? Specifically identify and address the problem from the hiring managers point of view. Even if it seems like the position is a “line job” with specific duties the job is in place to solve a problem. What is it?
Understand the benefits of addressing the problem
What is the benefit to the company of solving the problem. Focus on the benefit not just the act of solving the problem. For example, the company is hiring a staff accountant. The problem is that there is accounting work that needs to be done and the work is not getting done. The benefit to the company is that the company’s financial information is current and they are in compliance with accounting requirements. Talk about the benefits of hiring you not just being able to do the job.
Explain how it works
Explain just how you will solve the problem and provide benefit to the company. Often the best way to do this is to give examples from other jobs or school experience where you provided similar benefits. Be specific about what you did, how you did it, and the benefits you provided.
Most probably you will not be a perfect match with the job for which you are interviewing. With some preparation, you will know where your weaknesses are. Proactively address your obvious weaknesses. “Even though I don’t have experience with ………. I can I can make up for that by……
In an interview closing strong does not mean asking for the job (you will typically not get a straight answer anyway). It means expressing strong interest in the job and establishing the next step. The next step is typically when and how you should contact the hiring manager to follow up. Basically, you are asking for another meeting to continue the sales process.
We are all use to buying things and we relate to the sales process, thus selling your services to a prospective employer in an interview is an excellent approach to landing the job. And as with all selling, the more confidant you are in your product and your sales skills the better the sales call.