SAGE ADVICE FOR RESUMES, INTERVIEWING, AND MORE!
- By bruce w clagg
Interviewing? SELL THE FIT!
Congratulations! Your new resume and cover letter (email) landed you an interview! Now what?
Of course, research the company, mission statement, financials (if publicly held), background of the executive team, Search the company name for recent articles, etc. Get your “uniform of the day” in order, hair trimmed…oh, you know the routine. If it’s a third-party recruiter you will not know the company name, so be on your toes and your questions will change accordingly.
With whom are you interviewing? If it’s with a recruiter, or someone in Human Resources they interview differently than the hiring decision-maker (DM). Ah, the interview IS with the DM, or should we call it what it really is: an interrogation, just like all before it going back to the very first hire.
Let me suggest that rather than believing that you need to sell yourself, which very few people enjoy, or have a level of comfort, try SELLING THE FIT! The “fit” to what? The fit to the issues, challenges, problems that will face the successful candidate as soon as they sit in that chair. NO ONE ELSE WILL DO THAT… NO ONE!
So many of my coaching clients have written that (and I’m paraphrasing) they gained The Offer because of the questions they asked. It created a dialog and eliminated the interrogation which neither side of the table really enjoys. How? Well, who controls the interview? The interviewer, right? 99% of the time, that is true. The truth is that the person asking the questions “controls” the interview for that moment in time. Typically the interviewer has pages of questions and the candidate typically has none. Ergo, it feels like an interrogation.
1. (Interviewer) TMAY (Tell Me About Yourself). It’s an ice-breaker question, but most candidates recite some version of what is already on their resume (sometimes with personal information) and the resume has been skimmed and read before you take an hour, or so of a DM’s time. I will later provide you with a truthful reply of 7-20 words that is full of W.I.I.F.M. (What’s In It For Me) so the interviewer will be shocked at the sharpness and brevity and be very pleased. Other questions could be first, but be ready for TMAY.
2. (Candidate) May I ask you a question? (That’s fair and DMs LOVE being asked sharp business questions!) What do you believe are the major issues and challenges that will face your successful candidate on Day One? By the way, may I take some notes?
3. (Interviewer) They thought about these issues and challenges and they apparently exist or they would eliminate the position and save a fortune, but the DM hasn’t given those issues a single thought since completing the HR Personnel Requisition. Here comes, typically, two to four of them. Listen carefully and take great notes.
4. (Candidate) May I propose some solutions? SELL THE FIT TO THE ISSUE! Start with the first issue since it is probably the most critical. This is where you can tap into identical, or similar situations, what actions you took, and what the results were. Then, confirm. Mr./Ms. Doe, does that sound like a possible solution to that issue? If not, they’ll say why and then you respond, but when they say “yes,” pause (to allow them to ask a question) and then provide the next “fit” until you have covered each and confirmed. It will go back and forth. Remember, the questions WILL differ depending upon the job title and department of the interviewer, but for our purposes, you are now with the DM.
5. Can you tell be about the team(s) that I would supervise and the business needs for this position?
6. How would you describe your management style?
7. What are the future growth plans for the company and what role will this position play?
8. If I am selected, how will my performance be evaluated; how often?
9. At this point, what do you believe my strengths are for this position? (The DM will now either sell your talents and experience to him/herself, or if not, then at least you know that it’s probably time to consider other companies.)
10. What other information, or answers can I provide that would make it easier for you to hire me?
11. What is our next step; how and when should I follow-up?
You have helped create a dialog which has MUCH more value to both parties; is much more enjoyable for both parties; created quantifiable separation between you and those competitors that may look better in print. The interview was more compact, fact-filled, and the interviewer AND the candidate gained W.I.I.F.M. instead of departing and not really knowing where you stand and when and how you follow-up and will they even respond to your follow-up methods.
Obviously, there are some minor goodies that make this even easier, but I promised to layout a different, more productive way to interview. Now, you’re the judge. It has worked very well for hundreds of my coaching clients and many of their comments are sprinkled throughout this company website. Good luck out there!
Hello! I'm Bruce Clagg,
Advanced Career Solutions
Advanced Career Solutions (ACS) is a professional resume writing services firm also providing unique, job interview training, LinkedIn Profile rebuilding, career counseling & coaching from the ONLY multi-certified professional* in Pennsylvania.
- Bruce Clagg, Rapid Employment & Career Management Coach
*The four Certifications are noted within.