TIPS FOR JOB APPLICANTS
Being good at what you do but not so hot at selling yourself isn’t an unusual problem. It is,however, something you can address.
Think about how you are feeling just before an interview starts. You’re worrying about whatyou’ll be asked, but do you have any idea what hiring managers are thinking?
They are usually hoping to find someone who can do the job and get along well with theteam. “Please let me find someone like that and get back to my work,” they plead internally.You want to convince them that you’re the solution to their hiring problem.Always go to an interview with the single intent of getting a job offer.All too often, a candidate will waste an interview by going in with the wrong goal: askingquestions to help decide if this is the right job, the right company, right work environment,etc. These are all considerations, but they are irrelevant until there’s an offer on the table.
When you look at all the professional skills needed to survive and succeed over a longcareer, the ability to turn interviews into job offers is probably the area where you are theweakest—and you’re not alone.To improve this critical skill, you need to approach job interviews with the right attitude.Treat every interview as an opportunity to build this most crucial survival skill.
We all get hired for our ability to identify, anticipate, prevent and solve the problems thatarise within our area of responsibility. Problems reduce profits. Cut right to the heart of anyjob, and you’ll see that you are hired to be a problem-solver.
The candidate who is best able to show how he or she can solve problems for theemployer is the one who is likely to get the job offer. How do you do this? Look at the jobdescription and consider every responsibility of that job in terms of the problems it presentsand how you would identify, anticipate, prevent and solve those problems. This accuratelyisolates the areas of concern that the hiring manager will ask you about during theinterview.
Hiring decisions are based on how you answer questions and on the questions you ask.This is because the questions you ask show your grasp of the job and of the ways it—andthe person in it—can help the company. When you ask perceptive questions that go to thevery heart of the job, you demonstrate a degree of understanding most other candidateswill never approach.
Position yourself as someone who “gets” the importance of the job and as someone whorecognizes and can handle the problems that it serves up every day, and you’ll become thecandidate every manager wants to hire.