Having overcome that fear of the interview, are you ready for “blitzing” successful interviews? You know, confidently winning them over?
You know by now that the biggest factor is preparation, right? So what does that look like?
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What Are They Looking For?
Ask any business executive or owner about their key challenges and most responses will include “finding and keeping good people“. I am assuming from a “technical competence” and attitude perspective that you are “a good people”, and really want to contribute, right? So how best do we match up and marry these two?
Most people feel they have to subject themselves to the interviewers, so they can satisfy themselves you are the right candidate. But what about your interests? Like I wrote in Are You Selling or Do They Buy? my preferred emphasis for my clients is all about you finding out their needs or issues and matching your skills and expertise to fulfilling those needs. So now it becomes a factor of who is doing most of the talking and who the listening. Would you agree that this isn’t how most people go into an interview?
Homework Helps You Blitzing Successful Interviews
I recommend your homework (and then the interview) should get you clarity on three key headings:
a) What is the key problem they are trying to solve, that they need to interview you for? Ie what do they need to fix, contract, improve or expand?
b) Who are the relevant stakeholders?
c) How will they know when and how their expectations are satisfied or exceeded?
Once you have the background and context from the answers to these questions, it is much easier for you to convince them how your key skills or strengths can solve those problems for them, confidently, quickly and completely.
Attitude and Sensitivity
My blogs Attitude Determines Altitude and Chutzpah address that beautiful Aussie term “ticker” which is what anyone with a problem is looking for in a candidate. Are you the person that will make their problem go away?
Remember your sensitivity here when broaching the questions a, b & c above, in case the interviewer(s) don’t know the answer. Nobody likes to be “shown up”, OK?
How Soft Skills Help Blitzing Successful Interviews
We need to use as many “keys on the piano” as we can in leveraging our “soft skills” by :
- Asking the right questions
- Listening with all our senses (what’s being said, what’s not being said and above all how its being said)
- Clarifying and understanding what they’re looking for
- So we can fire a rifle shot of our relevant skills or strengths or experience straight into their need, rather than “blunder-bussing” our talking (dare I say rambling?), hoping one or more of the pellets will “hit home”.
Please also appreciate the decreased risk of rambling, when we are confidently prepared.
Now you can match your strengths specifically to what they need.
Controlling And Influencing The Conversation
Remember that the person asking the questions controls the conversation. This is just as relevant in your successful interviews. They usually need to feel they are in control, so let them ask as many questions as they think they need to, but be sure you are comfortable with your understanding of the relevant contexts. And don’t worry about using time to think about and prepare your answer.
Include stories in your answers, or relating from relevant experience or anecdotes by sharing that in the form of a story. Using Metaphors will help here. My clients also learn to weave appropriate dimensions into your answers (budgets, project sizes, revenue or profit improvements, cost impacts etc).
Don’t allow them all the control. Ensure you have adequate time for your questions. Diplomacy, tact and enthusiasm is greatly supported through friendly, non-threatening behaviour that is nonetheless assertive to help “winning them over”.
Remember also in your Small-talk on your way to the interview room from Reception to ask obvious questions that will assure you get “3 yesses”. This already helps put the other person into a more positive frame of mind.
None of this is rocket science, is it? However, this is all about your confident mindset. Which comes with good preparation. That way we eliminate most of the doubts that can trip us up.
My clients experiences confirm how working with a coach has aided this preparation, up to and including role-plays and “road testing” approaches, strategies, angles and possible “gotcha’s”.
Blitzing successful interviews can be learned and very well prepared. Question is whether you are willing to invest in that degree of preparation that most don’t? But please remember that knowing is not enough. To Know And Not To Do Is Not to Know.