Interviewing is like a first date: Your all dressed up, nervous, on your best behavior, and act kind of stiff until you become more comfortable with the other person. Then you move into the question and answer stage, looking for common ground. How do you impress your potential boss so you’re invited back and become the candidate of choice? Learn to differentiate yourself in a meaningful way from all others, through “Showstopper” questions or answer.
KEY POINT: Something in your resume triggered the hiring manager’s interest in you. What was it? You need to find out, as it’s the key to the success of your candidacy. Here’s how:
INITIAL SHOWSTOPPER QUESTION: The most effective way to position your candidacy, as your sitting down before the interview, ask the unassuming question, “Just out of curiosity, what was it about my resume that peaked your interest in me?” It’s a casual question that makes the difference between getting the job or not. Why? Because:
- It gives you insightful information that few other candidates will have
- It gets the interviewer talking about what the key issue is, before you even start
- It provides you with a direction of how to tilt your answers, making sure to cover the key issue
The majority of interviewers will answer your question, which sets you up with critical knowledge.
SHOWSTOPPER ANSWERS to the hiring managers questions: An interviewer basically wants to know what you did, how did you did it, and what were the results? Fundamentally these three questions provide the core answers they need from you. The resume will give them most all of the other information. Since you now know the three basic questions, you can preplan your answers in a concise but powerful way by stating the issue you were addressing in each job, the actions you took and the outcome you achieved, within 20 to 30 seconds. This method eliminates the fumbling around for an answer as you’re already prepared for the answer. By responding to the questions in this manner, you are demonstrating that you are a problem-solver and can be a contributor to solutions since you have the prior insight into what the issues are.
A SHOWSTOPPER CLOSER: Usually, toward the end of the interview you will be asked, “Do you have any questions of me?” This is your chance to shine as a businessperson that will set you apart from other candidates. The Showstopper questions:
- “What’s the key issue of this position that needs a solution in the short-term?”
- “What are the performance expectations for the new hire during the first year?”
Your objective during this discussion is to engage the hiring manager around actual issues, alternative solutions and impediments that might hinder results.
When the hiring manager sees you as a problem-solver to the issues that need resolution, you become a primary candidate rather than an also ran.
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