In many ways, a job interview is akin to a salesperson presenting to a buyer. First, if you were in sales you would spent some time researching your potential client. Next, you would analyze their needs a sales person and were about to sell a product to a customer you would do some homework or research
These steps would help you convince potential clients that your product was the best choice to so that you could convince your customers that you had the best product to fill their needs.
This same process can be a powerful tool in your interview toolbox because you should sell yourself like a product.
- What do you have to offer (as a product) to the customer (the employer)?
- What do you have that will fill their needs (the requirements of the job)?
- What can you bring that is unique or added value to the position/company? (that sets you apart from the pack)?
Let’s begin with what you offer. Find opportunities to present key qualities throughout the interview. For example, when interviewing for a position that requires “strong organizational skills” you’ll need stories that demonstrate these abilities.
Preferably, descriptions that show how your abilities have positively impacted your team, department, or employer. Anyone can say that they have “strong organizational skills,” but not everyone can give specific examples of a time when they had a success using those skills.
Don’t tell them – sell them – with examples of your success.
Before you go to a job interview, evaluate the employer’s needs and how you (as the product) can fill those needs. Study the job description for the “must haves” and the “nice to haves.” Make sure you have stories to back up your claims for the skills and experience that are that the employer considers essential.
Read the job description between the lines. What would it take to do this job? If for instance, there is a statement such as, “Position will require frequent collaboration and interaction on all levels of staff and management,” you can gather that “strong interpersonal” and “communication” skills will be needed to do this job. Make sure you can provide examples of those abilities as well.
Finally, to complete the sale you’ll need to let the employer know that you can “fit in” and be a “team player.” Being able to do the job is only part of the equation. Employers want to know that you will be a good addition to the team.
Don’t dismiss your personal traits in your sales “pitch” preparation. Follow companies on social media to get a feel for their culture. Ask questions of anyone with inside information. Identify traits that align with the company culture.
If the company is laid back and you love working under pressure, this may not be the place for you.
Make sure to show your willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Be excited and enthusiastic. Go in with a good attitude. These things may be the difference between you and an equally qualified candidate getting the job offer.
Take time to prepare for your job interview. Focus on the idea of selling YOU to the employer. By the time, you leave the interview the employer should have a strong sense of what you offer and why they need to hire you. They will be sold on why you are the best person to fill their needs.
P.S. Be sure you don’t make these interview mistakes.