You are competing against 12-15 other interviewees, are you different?
If you read about job interviews every day like I do you would quickly realize that most of the advice is really elementary including:
- Good handshake
- Eye contact
- Be on time
- Dress right
- Don’t chew gum
- Be ready to answer questions
All good suggestions, but way too elementary to win an interview in this competitive environment. So here are some things you can do to really improve your interviewing.
Your interview is a sales call be prepared to sell
An interview is a sales call; be a sales person. Like any good sales person, do a needs analysis (research) about the company and hiring manager, understand the value you will contribute to the company, and be assertive about selling yourself in the interview. An interview will only be a question and answer interrogation if you let it happen. Go in with the mindset of any good sales person, you have important information to communicate and you won’t leave without telling your story. There is no reason to be pushy or arrogant, but being assertive is a great quality in any employee.
Pay attention to how sales people sell things to you. What works what does not? Read information and books about selling. You don’t need to be a professional sales person, but you should develop a sales orientation to kick your interviews up a notch.
Be a Presenter
When is the last time you were in a sales situation and the sales person did not have a prepared sales presentation? Be prepared to do a brief focused presentation in your interview, even if you have not been asked to prepare a presentation for the interview. Your presentation should focus on how you meet the job requirements and why you are an excellent candidate. (Go to www.interviewbest.com for comprehensive interview presentation information). Just preparing to present will kick your interview up a notch.
Communicate your personal brand
Personal branding has become important for career management. What is your personal brand? Your brand is what people think and feel about you and it is what makes you successful on the job. Determine what it is and be sure to talk about your brand in the interview. If you have successfully communicated your brand, when you leave the interview the interviewers will have your brand words in their mind. “That guy Joe is a really analytical team leader who is persistent and customer focused. We could use a person like him.”
Prepare a Strategic Action Plan
Companies are all about performance. Tell them what you will achieve in the first 30 and 60 days to provide value to the company. A Strategic Action Plan displays knowledge about the company, the industry, the job and communicates interest and motivation. Think of it as the implementation part of your sales presentation. Don’t worry about being 100% accuarate just presenting a plan will kick your performance up a notch.
Prepare success stories
People love to hear stories. Stories capture the imagination and stir emotions. Prepare stories of when you were at your best in you career and your life. Use these stories as responses to the questions you are asked in the interview. Question “Have you ever had to work with a challenging client?” Tell a story including what was the situation, what did you have to overcome, what actions did you take and what was the outcome. Don’t take more than two minutes to tell your story.
Many people ask me, “Are many job candidates doing these things?” My answer is “absolutely not” However, the candidates that are find themselves impressing hiring managers, acing interviews, and landing jobs!