Want an “unfair” advantage in your next job interview?
Career expert Rick Nelles, of Minneapolis-based Career Directions, shares two killer interview tips this week.
“I was recruiting for a top medical supply company,” says Nelles. “One candidate stood out — Bridget. The sales manager, Steve, wanted to fly her to Chicago for two days of interviews.”
What set Bridget apart from the other candidates?
“She did two smart things in her first interview,” says Nelles. “First, she found and offered to solve a problem for her prospective employer. Second, she closed the interview like a sales call, and actually asked for the job.”
Interview Tip #1 — Find and solve a problem
Nelles says: “Halfway through the interview, Bridget looked at the sales manager and said: ‘Steve, your company has a problem in the marketplace.’ Steve was anxious for her to explain.”
“Bridget said, ‘Let me tell you how I know this. I called five of your biggest customers. They said that when you implemented your Web-based ordering system, it wasn’t user friendly. I absolutely feel that I could solve problems like this for you.” She went on to offer her solution.
“Well, Steve liked that!” says Nelles. “Bridget had diagnosed a problem, and that told him she’d really done her homework, which none of the other candidates had done.”
Interview Tip #2 — Ask for the job
“But it was what Bridget said at the end of the interview that impressed Steve the most,” says Nelles. “She said, ‘Mr. Stanasloz, I really want this job, and I want to know what I have to do to get it.'”
She was closing the interview by asking for the job. Bold? Bridget got the job. She stood out because she did two things: Yes. Effective? Keep reading!
“Steve asked her why she wanted to work for his company,” says Nelles. “Bridget replied, ‘I called five of your competitors’ salespeople near Fargo, where the job territory is. One of them said that the competition follows the sales rep from your company around, to pick up the scraps, because that’s all they can get. Now, that’s the kind of company I want to work for!”
Bridget got the job. She stood out because she did two things:
1. She identified a problem and offered a solution.
2. She made an effective close to the interview.
How much time did Bridget need to get that winning edge? About two-and-a-half hours of research. So, can you spare 150 minutes to ace your next interview? That question ought to answer itself.
by Kevin Donlin; Kevin Donlin is President of Guaranteed Resumes. He is also author of “The Instant Job Search System,” offering an “unfair advantage” over other job seekers by teaching you how to “cherry-pick” the job of your dreams in days instead of weeks.