Think of the job interview as an “audition” for the job, demonstrating how well you communicate and the kind of co-worker or subordinate you would be. It is also your chance to make your resume or profile “come alive,” exceed their expectations, and close the sale for a job offer.
Long-time, expert job search coach Don Goodman shares 3 excellent techniques, based on smart selling, for making your best impression in your next job interview.
3 Must-Do Job Interview Techniques
By Don Goodman
Congratulations, you got an interview. Now all you have to do is distinguish yourself from the 8-15 other people who did too.
Here are 3 must-do interview techniques that make you stand out from your competition.
1. Build Rapport.
People hire people they like so your goal is to transition the interview into more of a conversation.
The two best ways to do this are to adjust your intonation and then to add questions after you have responded.
Did you know that the words you use contribute less than 10% to the overall effectiveness of your communications? Your intonation and body language are most important. So try to change your intonation to that you would use if you were having a casual lunch with a buddy.
For example, when asked “Tell me about your role at Merck?” here are two ways to respond:
A. At Merck I was an executive assistant supporting the VP of Sales and I managed his schedule, travel, and presentations.
B. That was a very challenging job! I was the only person providing support for a VP of Sales with 40 reps working for him, and every day I was challenged to meet tight deadlines, schedule last minute travel, and develop very compelling presentations. At least twice a week, someone would say “I don’t know how you do it!”
Which response do you think will get them listening?
The first answer is bland. The second tells a story and makes it interesting and even a conversation starter.
The second thing you need to do is ask questions after your response. So after giving the above response you can ask “How many people would I be supporting in this position?”
2. Find the Pain
The most important question to ask in an interview is
“What is the biggest challenge someone will face in this job in the first 6 months?”
This is a sales technique used to uncover their pain and allows you to hone in on the experience you have that will eliminate this issue.
For example, if they say that the biggest challenge is to rebuild customer confidence, then you can focus on how you’ve done that before.
“You know I faced that exact situation at Wells Fargo, so I made a point to personally visit each customer just to hear their frustration and needs. Of course I made sure I provided timely follow-up and meaningful responses after that meeting. The result was that I retained 98% of the customers and even increased sales at 10 of them to record levels.”
Again note the conversational, story-telling style.
3. Uncover Objections.
If you are in sales, this is a must, but everyone should do this as an interviewing technique.
“If you had to choose your finalists for this position today, would I be included?”
“Based on our conversation today, do you believe I can excel in this position or do you have areas of concern?”
Tough questions to ask, but hearing their responses allows you to respond and overcome any objections they might have. If you do not do this, and they do have objections, then you will be one of those who gets the rejection letter.
Follow these techniques, and your interview success rate will go up dramatically.
© Copyright, 2013, Don Goodman. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
More About Acing Job Interviews
How to Ace Your Job Interview (by Don Goodman)
Resume Black Holes: Applicant Tracking Systems (by Don Goodman)
About Don Goodman
Don Goodman, a professional resume writer and President of About Jobs (GotTheJob.com), a resume writing and job search assistance company, is the Information Technology (IT) Job Search Expert for Job-Hunt.org. Find more of Don’s articles (which usually have applicability and insight beyond only IT job search) in Job-Hunt’s IT Job Search column.
A graduate of the Wharton School of Business and Stanford University’s Executive Program, you can read Don’s blog at www.GotTheJob.com/blog/ call him at 800-909-0109 or e-mail him at dgoodman [at] GotTheJob.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @JobExpert.