Answering interview questions in a way that impresses the interviewer is akin to making a sale. In an interview situation you are ‘selling’ yourself; your skills, knowledge and experience to the interviewer in the same way as a sales executive sells a product or a service to a buyer.
Think about the best sales person you know, they don’t come across as sales people do they? They take the time to first find out what is important to you. They possess impeccable listening skills and only when they completely understand what your needs are, will they attempt to talk to you about their product or service.
They are also very good at building trust and rapport and because they have done their research, they have a really good grasp of your issues and concerns and appear to have a lot in common with you.
The sales process is very similar to ‘selling’ yourself in an interview. Therefore how well you score when answering interview questions, is to a large degree dependent upon how well you identify and address the needs of the interviewer.
It’s a simple fact: The candidate that demonstrates they are the closest match to the needs of the interviewer over and above the other candidates is always the one who gets hired! Knowing how to sell your talent is a skill which involves preparation and practice.
Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail
First: Identify the Pain –
The position is vacant for a reason, find out why. What current challenges are they facing? What happened to the previous employee?
Now make a list of the skills, previous experience and knowledge you possess that can help them solve their problems.
Study the job advertisement and job description in detail, what is it telling you about what is important about the job?
Take note of the critical areas of the job description in particular. For example, ‘building relationships’ may be of critical importance in a business development or sales role.
Now, match your skills and experience to the critical areas of the post, make a list of the skills and strengths that you have to offer that are a strong match to their needs. Make sure you can back this up with examples of past successes which can be repeated in their organisation! See answers to interview questions, for further guidance on how to do this.
In advance of the interview talk to the people that are recruiting for the job, then ask the following questions:
– What is the most important part of this job?
– What am I going to expected to deliver in the first six months of the job?
During the interview mention that you are keen to get busy doing these tasks and give them a vision of the types of things you are planning to do for them. Show them that you have put some thought into figuring out what is going to help them achieve their short and long term goals.
Find out about the person who is interviewing you. If your potential immediate supervisor is going to be interviewing you, then find out what is important to them, i.e. What are their current challenges?
If you can help them solve their problems do you think that you might have a better chance of acing the interview? You bet!
Address areas of concerns. Like any good sales person, you need to be able to handle objections quickly and effectively. Be prepared for any questions on areas of weakness you might have, you will want to have a counter answer ready for any objective they might have for not hiring you!
Finally, to seal the deal, you not only want to demonstrate why you are a match to the job, you will want to show why you are the best match to the job! So, make sure you think about what qualities you have that stand above the competition. Perhaps you are very passionate about your work or you have honed a specialist skill. During the interview, get excited about you – talk up these qualities and prove to them that you are a valuable asset.
The key to answering interview questions well is the ability to sell your talent. Having taken the time to do through research, during the interview you will be able to provide persuasive answers to any question posed.
By the time the interview is over the interviewer should have a strong understanding of the value you have to offer and why YOU are the best fit for their needs!
Originally posted 2016-09-06 17:56:52.