Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Guest Post - Turn Your Interview Into an Offer

Do you believe the offer goes to the most qualified candidate? Probably not.  The offer DOES go to the most  prepared   candidate.  So, how do you get over the stress of giving “wrong” answers and become comfortable with the interviewing process?  Preparation and practice will give you the confidence to present your accomplishments effectively, increase your comfort with “difficult” questions and prepare you for interview success.
  Make a Connection – Clearly define your “why buy” by thinking like an employer.  You are being hired to solve
  problems.  These three ideas can supercharge your interview preparation:
1.     Research the employer – trends, culture, mission and vision – how does this information connect to your values, interests, skills and personality.  Can you answer why you would say yes to an offer?
2.     Complete a position analysis – understand the deliverables vs. your skills and contributions.  Will you be productive and engaged to give superior work if hired?  Explain how your skills will immediately contribute to the employer’s bottom-line.
3.     Understand the “hot buttons” – discuss how you will solve everyday problems in the role, big headaches that might come up; importantly be prepared to discuss how you can spot problems that are yet to happen—AND won’t happen because you would have already addressed these!
Create Visual Alignment – your answers MUST be relevant, remarkable and resonate with the employer.  The best way to do this to share success stories as they relate to deliverables on the job.  Use these ideas to prepare and practice compelling answers.
1.     Prepare your stories – use the challenge-action-result (CAR) process to clearly describe the challenge faced, then add what you did to respond to this challenge and end with a strong result which clearly showcases how you will address the problem in the role being discussed.  People remember stories –use these to engage and invite curiosity.  Quantify, where possible—how much, by when, how many. 
2.     Present your best, authentic self – be positive, upbeat and aware of non-verbal communication.  Practice in front of a mirror or with a coach to become comfortable.  Image matters, so dress professionally.
3.     Show interest and engagement – ask inquiry questions about workplace culture, expectations, management styles and ongoing training.  Connect this information to how you will add value with your skills.
Display Accountability – ask for the job; be bold and ask if anything gives the employer cause for concern so that you can address the issue immediately for them. 
1.     Establish a time-line for decision making – your goal is to help the employer make the right fit decision, so ask what else you could do to take this discussion to the next step and by when.
2.     Write your thank you letter – make this letter “more than” just a thank you.  Create an addendum, if appropriate and send in with your thank you note.  Examples of addendums could be a contributions document, a 30-60-90 day plan or expanding on ideas discussed in the interview.
3.     Give them a reason to pursue you – use behaviors consistently so that the interviewers see you as likeable, talented and approachable.  Leave them with a memorable and concise unique selling proposition.
Research, preparation and practice will get you the offer you want and richly deserve.  What are you waiting for? Go with confidence to your interview and engage, inspire and persuade people to celebrate your talents.  Tell them what they will be missing if your talent is missing from their organization! 
Sunitha Narayanan is a certified career coach with a passion for connecting people and their talents to life and work opportunities. She is a co-active coach, empowering her clients to believe in their dreams, set actionable goals and actively create joy in their work lives. She is with OI Partners Promark Company, a firm that offers executive coaching, leadership development and outplacement services. Follow Sunitha on Twitter @sunithanarayana.  She can be reached at snarayanan@oipartners.net

For additional assistance interviewing, be sure to check out the Career Services workshop:
Nail the Interview with Effective Interviewing Techniques
Date: Tuesday, April 17th
Time: 2:30-4:00 pm
Location: SU 113 

Also read their Sample Questions & Tips page.

You might also enjoy Career Tips: Keep Your Head Out of the Sand.

No comments: