Interview Strategies: There Are Two Primary Outcomes To Every Interview

Interview Strategies: There Are Two Primary Outcomes To Every Interview

Russ Mountain, CPC

  1. Depending on where you are in the process, the primary outcome is to either get a firm commitment to the next step, or to get an offer. Do not leave the interview without having this commitment and knowing the how, when, where, and with whom. This is always a one chance closing situation. You can’t go back and do it again if you don’t get it done in the interview. You do this by:Making sure the employer is very clear about everything you have to offer and how it relates to their immediate and long-term needs. This is your responsibility, not the employer’s responsibility. Therefore, you should have a call plan, just as you would for a sales call, that enables you to accomplish your outcome. You do this by developing a call/interview plan, preparing for it, and effectively executing it.

    There are two things that you are responsible for selling. First and foremost, you must sell what you have to offer the employer relative to its needs. Secondly, you must sell how the opportunity and the organization fit your career aspirations.

  2. The second priority is for you to get the necessary information you need to make an informed decision as to whether or not you want the job. You have plenty of time to get this information, so your most important outcome is get the offer first. Then it becomes your decision, and you can ask anything you want before accepting it.

RULE NUMBER 1. IT IS NOT ALWAYS THE MOST QUALIFIED PERSON FOR THE JOB THAT GETS THE JOB: Regardless of experience, it’s always the one who plays the game the best. A great resource for learning how the game is played is a book entitled Knock’em Dead, by Martin Yate. Buy the latest edition at any major bookstore, and read the interview section at minimum.

Almost 90% of the actual hiring decision is based on the interview process, not your background or resume.  70% of how well you do in the process depends on how prepared you are. Championships are won on the practice field of preparation. If you try to wing it, 90% of the time you will get beat by a person who is more prepared. You must know as much as possible about the company, division and job that your are interviewing for. You should also know what the critical needs are before going in so that you can have an effective strategy for your sales process in the interview. If you don’t know a lot of details about the job itself, then you must be prepared to ask a lot of good questions to get the information you need. Interviewing for a sales job is a sales call. You are the product and the employer is the buyer. Therefore, following an effective sales process is exactly how you need to approach the interview. You should be prepared with highly effective, open-ended questions that draw out every critical need the employer has so that you can link them to what you’ve done successfully in the past.

RULE NUMBER 2. THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS: In a highly competitive interview process, details are critical. Proper interview attire and professional presence are paramount. From personal grooming to well-organized materials supporting evidence of your accomplishments, everything speaks to who you are.

RULE NUMBER 3. INTERVIEWING IS PSYCHOLOGICAL: Attitude, energy, and passion are contagious. Be energetic and bring your “A” game.

RULE NUMBER 4. A. B. C. ALWAYS BE CLOSING: It’s amazing how many accomplished sales professionals fail to close for the job in an interview. They wouldn’t think about leaving a customer’s office on a sales call without knowing exactly how the customer feels about their product or service, i.e. when they will buy, and actually asking for the order. Yet they will leave an interview without knowing whether or not they will be moving forward in the hiring process. Don’t leave the interview without knowing how the employer feels about you, discussing all concerns, and having a firm commitment to the next step.