06 Mar 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 what you’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 the team. “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: asking questions 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 long career, the ability to turn interviews into job offers is probably the area where you are the weakest—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 that arise within our area of responsibility. Problems reduce profits. Cut right to the heart of any job, 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 the employer is the one who is likely to get the job offer. How do you do this? Look at the job description and consider every responsibility of that job in terms of the problems it presents and how you would identify, anticipate, prevent and solve those problems. This accurately isolates the areas of concern that the hiring manager will ask you about during the interview.
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—and the person in it—can help the company. When you ask perceptive questions that go to the very heart of the job, you demonstrate a degree of understanding most other candidates will never approach.
Position yourself as someone who “gets” the importance of the job and as someone who recognizes and can handle the problems that it serves up every day, and you’ll become the candidate every manager wants to hire.