INTERVIEWS are a curious way to find a job. It’s kind of like going on a date: Everyone is on their best behavior and move through a prearranged script. How can you separate yourself from all others and become the candidate of choice?
There are basically three interviews: The telephone interview. The in-depth interview. Lastly the finalist candidate’s interview. Within each interview there are 3 segments:
To start off they’ll say, “Let me tell you a little bit about the company”. Then the interviewer will get to the heart of what they really want by saying, “Let me ask you questions about your background and experiences as it relates to the open job”. This is where you should anticipate the questions that will be asked, and be prepared for the best answers possible.
Lastly, the interviewer will casually ask, “What questions do you have for me?” This is where your Show-Stopper questions move you up as a finalist candidate. So, what are the Show-Stopper questions? There are basically three questions you must ask:
- What are the performance expectations for the new hire within the first 6 to 12 months?
- What are the key issues that need to be resolved within the first few months?
- How does a team member best contribute to department and organizational goals?
The answers you receive from the Show-Stopper questions will provide you with critical information, while positioning you as a problem-solver wanting to achieve results.
You’ll now know exactly what the hiring manager is looking for in a candidate and be able to define how your experiences parallel the expectations of the position. With your questions you’ll be seen as a results-oriented team player, looking to achieve the objectives of the hiring manager. With the answers from the hiring manager, you’ll have more information than any other candidate and can provide examples of how you achieved similar results in prior jobs.
Since you now know the key issues and performance expectations of the open job, two factors are key to your success: Develop an interactive relationship with the hiring manager and answer the question in the mind of the hiring manager, “What can this candidate contribute to my organization that will add value to my results?” Your task is to answer those questions without being asked.
The Show-Stopper questions are the key for you to unlock the issues and expectations of the open position. When the hiring manager sees you as a problem-solver to the issues that need to be solved, you become a finalist candidate. Now it’s just a question of “closing the deal”.
One additional Show-Stopper question is effective at the very beginning of the interviews. Ask, “What was it about my resume that piqued your interest?”. When answered you’ll know why your being interviewed and what’s the key concern of the hiring manager.
Take control of your own destiny. Be a candidate rather than an applicant.
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