If you’re not the solution to a hiring manager’s needs, then someone else is. You must show that you’re the answer to the requirements of the open position. This should be documented on your resume, the screening interview and in discussions with the hiring manager. If you’re not the solution the organization is looking for, then you’ll always come in second-best.
So, how do you become the candidate of choice as the “solution” candidate? Here are some thoughts for your consideration:
- First, you need to understand what the issues are, and the expectations of the organization. This can be achieved initially, three ways:
- Scrutinize the position description and learn the key words to describe the requirements. Also the experiences necessary to be the solution candidate.
- Ask the question, “Just out of curiosity, what was it about my resume that piqued your interest?”. The answer will give you a critical insight into the issues the organization is trying to solve. Also show the specific experiences you’ve had that they believe may be the answer.
- You will usually be asked, “What questions do you have of us?”. Answer with the question, “What are the expectations for results within the first 12 months?” That should reveal a great deal about not only their issues, but the opportunities to contribute to their results.
- Second, you need to present potential answers to their issues. Your prior experiences must be applied to their specific concerns. Provide them with a similar comparative situation, identify impediments that you overcame, alternatives you considered, and the solution you implemented. Your past experiences must come as close as possible to the hiring manager’s issues. They can then see a direct link between what you’ve done, to what they need.
- Third, factually describe the before-and-after example of what you did, how you did it, and the outcome of the situation. Tell your story using measurable data and evidence of what you did in the past. Show how you can do it again in the open position.
- Fourth, expand your answers within the interview. Focus on those attributes that most organizations are looking for in a candidate. Emphasize that you engage and involve team members. You can be both a leader or an active participant within a group. You are flexible and adaptive. You are collegial not competitive. And your goal-oriented toward what’s in the best interests of the business.
when all is said and done, the hiring manager is not primarily interested in you as a personality. Their primary interest is whether you can do the job that needs to be done. Can you achieve the objectives they have identified? Are you the solution to their issues? Do you fit their organization as a contributor and not a disruptor.
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