Make it about them. Be legitimately interested and curious about the company’s goals, problems, and needs. Many people go into interviews and immediately try to uncover the “What’s In It For Me?” or WIFM questions as we like to call them. They talk about themselves, even when they are not asked to do so, and all of their questions are about the value to the employee. More commonly, people focus on themselves because they think that this is their shot to “sell” the traits they believe are most attractive.
Good salespeople tend to go into a prospective account and first uncover the goals, problems, needs, and situations, such as the SPIN Selling model by Neil Rackman. Take this approach. If TESA Talent was allowed to offer you one, only one piece of advice, this is it.
Early in the interview process, concern yourself with the employer, the person you are talking to, and what concerns them.
All managers want someone to solve their problems. The best hiring managers look for the best “person,” not the best resume. The late Yogi Berra said, “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical”. Well, interviewing is 90% of who you are and your emotional intelligence; the other half is the resume. I know. The math never adds up for some reason.
- At the first meeting, you almost need to bring yourself to a place in your mind where you pretend you are a consultant sent to uncover and solve their problems and guide them toward their goals, but you have to do a needs assessment first.
- Their questions should be about you. Your questions should be about them. Anything they want to know about you, they will ask. You focus on them. Dare I say….. “care” about their goals.
- Diagnose before you prescribe, fully understand their goal problems and needs
- Explain your motivation in a thoughtful manner. Many people answer this question with fluff as if they think the manager doesn’t care. If you are going to say something cliche like “growth”, be prepared to expand on what that means to you.
- They want some that is leaping toward a better career, not someone just running from their last employer. When in doubt, talk about why XYZ company might be a growth opportunity.
- If you want the meeting to fail on the spot, please complain about your employer (please don’t!!)
You want the employer to come from that meeting and say, “Wow, that person is not only talented but can really help us and would fit into this group.”
By asking goal-oriented questions, you also will be able to obtain valuable information as to what is most important to them. This allows you to sell back why you are a good fit. Too often, candidates simply focus on what they believe to be their greatest assets as opposed to selling what they want to buy. And yes, all of your questions, including the WIFM ones, are important, but not until they love you.
See our blog: 1st Interview Etiquette