Your job interview is a sales pitch – with you as the product. Candidates who conduct their job search as a sales campaign consistently win over other contenders who fail to take this approach.
Prepare In Advance
Every great sales pitch starts with advance preparation. This includes client research – in this case, researching your potential employer – and product analysis (again, that’s you!) Your goal is to tell a compelling story as you illustrate your unique value to your interviewers.
- Research the company. Find out company size, products or services, major competitors, headquarters and branches, and any recent news items. If you have connections to any current or former employees, these can be invaluable sources as well.
- Be ready to communicate your accomplishments. Review your past career history for specific examples of how you have successfully solved problems, managed crises, saved money or created revenue. Use numbers, percentages and dollar amounts.
- Bring your personal branding toolkit. This may include your resume, cover letter, business cards, reference dossier and portfolio of work. Each document should include your email and website addresses and LinkedIn profile. Branding yourself shows you know how to promote your most valuable assets. It also demonstrates your organizational abilities and that you have thought about how your qualities align with the job.
Find the Hot Buttons
An interviewer’s hot buttons are the unspoken concerns they have about their ideal candidate/job match. It’s your job to pinpoint and address them. Start by asking the right questions:
- “What do you see as the greatest challenge for this position?”
- “What qualities do you feel are most important in this role?”
Listen carefully to the responses. Use this information to frame your answers to ensuing questions. You will connect much faster once you sell yourself based on your interviewers’ motivators.
- Present your skills, goals and qualities in a way that leaves interviewers feeling like you’re the best and only candidate for the job. Use specific workplace experiences, projects and success stories to support your case. Provide real information such as sales figures, client testimonials, performance evaluations and project milestones. Include a list of technical strengths relevant to the position.
- Discuss your management and leadership experiences. Even if you are not applying for a management position, companies need strong leaders at every level. You will stand out if you convince interviewers of your natural ability to lead. Talk about a team you’ve headed or projects you’ve supervised and describe your leadership style.
Close in on the Next Step
When closing a sale, there are typically several steps before the ultimate purchase. The interview process, likewise, is a series of closes, culminating in a job offer.
- Understand what is necessary to keep the hiring process moving forward. Your cover letter must entice the reader to review your resume. Your resume must motivate the hiring manager to call you for an interview. Your first interview must prompt a second one. In your second interview, you should ask to speak to a decision maker. And then, it’s time to ask for an offer. Some of these steps are bold, but you will find yourself invited back and feel much more in control of the process.
Your career partners at the Select Group, Inc., will take the time to get to know you personally and understand your professional goals and aspirations. We’ll help you strategize your job search, ace your interviews and position yourself as the leading contender for your next opportunity. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more about our available job opportunities.