Most candidates adopt an attitude before interviewing that in some cases sounds fatalistic. For example, “I’ll just answer their questions to the best of my ability and let the chips fall where they may…” As a result, most of them get the old phrase “We’ll get back to you when we are finished interviewing others,” in response.
Many times candidates don’t have a clue as to why they did not do well in the interview despite their own confidence that the interview was successful.
Here are some basic points on being prepared:
- Turn the interview into a conversation.
A conversation, simply at a higher level. Example: “Ms. Smith, are you willing to travel?” Response: “Yes, I am. Can you give me an idea of the extent and kind of travel involved in MY position”? The ‘MY’ forces the interviewer to visualize her on the job by using assumptive interviewing techniques which work. Bingo!
- How do I handle the salary question?
This is not as tough as you think.
Example: “What salary are you expecting?” Response: “Mr./Ms. Employer, like everyone, no matter how much I earn, there never seems to be enough. However, salary is not my primary goal. I’m more interested in the people I will be working with and the kind of long term opportunities here at <company name>. But since you mentioned it, what kind of salary RANGE did you have in mind?”
If the employer names a salary range, then respond like this: “When you decide I’m the person for you, I am sure we can make it a ‘win-win’ for both of us.”
- HR questions: How do handle them.
Often I hear these questions as “blue sky” questions, like “What are your long-term goals?” Most candidates answer in the subject of JOB TITLE (i.e., Director, Marketing).
A better answer discusses future job CONTENT such as, “I would like to have the responsibility for people reporting to me, helping them realize their potential, strengthening weaknesses, motivation, etc. Is this type of opportunity available to me here at <company name>?” See the difference? You have now responded “out-of-the-box” and HR has to be impressed. You passed in flying colors!
- Ask for the job.
Most interviewers close by saying, “…we have covered a lot of ground today, do you have any further questions at this time?”
Response: “I am sure that I’ll think of questions after I leave, however, based on our conversation, I want you to know that I am very interested in this position. I’m confident I more than meet the expectations of the position.
How do you see me fitting into your team?”
Remember, preparation WILL make a difference in the interview. Over the years we have seen remarkable results based on the above principles.