In my previously discussed Pendulum Approach, the pendulum of control will only begin to move when the company starts to “Fall in love” with the candidate. They have control and you asking the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) questions will not be received very well. In the beginning, no matter how good your resume is, you still need to show your value. The questions you ask are the gateway to what is important to you. Unless you are a known commodity like Mike Trout or LeBron James, your resume alone will not get the pendulum moving a great distance. If you come off as self-centered and more concerned about your needs, most companies will not fall in love.
Falling in love is a metaphoric tag we put on the symbolic movement of the pendulum away from the company side. Once they understand and appreciate that the candidate could be an “A Player”, defined as:
- Someone in the top 20% of their field and they
- Has high emotional intelligence
- Fits into the company culture.
- Their motivation for exploring the position makes sense
How do you get them to fall in love?
- Show them you are a problem solver
- Fully understand their goal problems and needs
- Explain your motivation
The approach to take is to be a problem solver from the start. Check all your needs at the door. Imagine you are a consultant, hired to solve the hiring manager’s problems and help him/her reach the goals of their division.
What kinds of questions do you ask? Would you start by asking about benefits, salary, stock options?
Probably not. Would you attack the rumors you heard about their product not being top-notch? Maybe, but probably not the first thing you focus on.
To understand the evaluation process by hiring managers, you first need to understand the fears of the said hiring manager. They want someone that will help them and be a problem solver and make their life easier. No matter how awesome you think your resume is, or how happy you are in your job or how important you think you are, they want a team player, a giver, not a taker.
You want them to get off the phone of that first phone interview and say to themselves, “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. The attitude should be that the first round is not about you. This is very difficult for some.
Link to list of Good Questions to Ask
Also, when asked about your motivation, they want to understand why this could make sense for you. It is a valid question and crafting a thoughtful answer makes sense. Motivation is another topic that will be a whole other blog.