In 2015 it is imperative to understand that mastering the process of interviewing is the deal-maker or deal-breaker. As candidates vying for various employment opportunities, we’re all selling something: our time and our skills. Therefore, I find it highly effective to relate interviewing to sales.
If interviewing is a sales process, then there has to be a customer, and that customer is the potential employer. We all have the challenging task of convincing said customer that our time (which is our product) and our skills (which is our service) are the absolute best buying option in regards to return-on-investment. Here’s how to transform routine interviews into deal-sealing sales meetings:
Conduct “Customer Discovery”
Simply put, do your research beforehand, and take detailed notes. Know what your customer (the potential employer) needs, and understand their mindset. What problems are persisting, and how can you come in and help solve them? Develop a contact list and start initiating conversations with people currently in the organization, as well as those who were previously with the organization. ASK QUESTIONS! Find out about the workplace culture. Is it healthy, or is it toxic? Is it people first, or profit first? Is the team diversified? These are some key things you want to know before even considering making a pitch.
Rehearse Your Pitch
Practice makes improvement, and repetition builds confidence through muscle-memory. Pretend like you’re rehearsing to land a part in your favorite TV show or something, just to liven it up a bit. You want strong positive energy and an assertive presence. Having your pitch perfected enables you the chance to take control of the entire situation.
Distinguish Yourself From Your Competition
Why should you be hired over the countless other candidates? Please don’t say things like, “I’m the hardest worker you’ll ever meet”. Be more specific, with statements such as, “I saved my recent employer ‘X’ amount of dollars last year”, or “I won employee of the month 3 times because of my dedication to accomplishing the mission with a great attitude every day”.
Anticipate Objections – Prepare Responses
Expect some level of pushback, and be prepared to counteract it. Don’t let the moment escape without a valiant effort to end the customer’s search. Convince them that you are the right buy, and that there’s no need to look elsewhere. Give certainty where they have doubts, and clarity where any confusion exist.
Ask For The Business = Close The Sale
Do not walk away from the customer without asking them to close the sale. If they’re hesitant to make an on-the-spot choice, then be sure to get from them a definite time and date by which you will receive a final decision. Your time is as valuable as theirs, so there’s no need to waste any.
Go forth and conquer. Adapt and overcome. If your resume gets you in the door, but you’re still hunting for employment, then I hope this message is a timely solution. If you grasp the concepts of sales, then interviewing will truly become a breezy process for you. Interviewing = Sales, and Sales = $.
Lex R. Brown II is a freelance writer, blogger, and podcaster residing in Memphis, TN. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force and of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Follow Lex on Twitter @lexRbrown.