Whether your selling for your career or trying to convince a friend or family member about a new restaurant or movie they should go to, you are selling! The reason I see so many people fall short in the interview is that they don’t know how to sell themselves, how to highlight their strengths and block objections.
In sales, there is a simple 3 stage life cycle: Connect, Present and Close, similarly applying for a job you follow an identical route Apply, Interview and Signing your Contract.
Thinking like a salesperson with your approach, pitch and negotiation style will offer you an enhanced set of skills in winning the deal and working for a role you want to work in. After years of me working in sales-oriented roles, the greatest lesson I learnt which allowed me to close deals time after time, was putting myself into the shoes of the buyer and really getting to know what makes them tick, what are their pain points and how is my product or service going to benefit them.
When Interviewing for a job, you are the product, the service that is going to solve their problems. So think about what it is that you are solving, how does your experience, knowledge, skills and connection going to bring value to the business? Most people are egocentric and that normal, but more often than not, I hear my clients answer questions highlighting how this role, business or product they will represent will benefit them. Instead, flip the role around and think like the interviewer, be prepared to ask questions to them too and find out exactly what they’re looking for then match that with the content of your answers.
I strongly believe in applying for the role you actually want to work in, a Gallup Poll found that 85% of people interviewed, dislike their jobs! That’s a scary number of wasted talent. Playing the numbers game and applying for 50 jobs openings at a time is a way of getting a job quickly, but be careful, are you falling into the same trap as the other 85% of the population?
Instead, I believe in focusing your sights on roles which really inspire you, jobs you would love to do and that every morning you wake up excited and eager to get to work
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Confucius
Filter your jobs down to just 5 Top Jobs and spend the time you would have spent on sending the other 45 applications to doing research and planning in detail your application and CV. Focus on getting the highest return on investment for your efforts and be in that top 15%.
Do you have an interview coming up? Here are some tips that can get you started to map out your success.
1. Be direct.
Why beat around the bush and be cryptic with your answers? Be direct and get straight to the point. Make it easier for your interviewer to fully understand your response by framing the question as an answer. Remember they will most likely be writing your answers down to discuss how you answered the interview questions with their colleagues. By giving them a clear and direct answer, you will guarantee that what you say is what they will repeat back later on.
2. Support your answer with evidence.
I can not stress, how important this is. Do not just state your answer, prove it. Demonstrate to your interviewer that you are not just telling them what you think they would like to hear, but that you actually have the relevant experience and the necessary skills to back up your statement, if you need help preparing a persuasive and compelling answer, get in touch with an interview trainer that can help you to map out your answers and provide the best evidence of your success.
3. Be organized and dress to impress.
Start planning ahead of time and pick out today what would you like to wear for the interview. Have everything ready beforehand and avoid the hassle of running around trying to iron your shirt finding the right accessories when you only have 5 minutes before leaving. Keep your cortisol levels under control.
4. Power pose.
There is plenty of scientific research that shows that power-posing has been proven to increase your confidence and decrease stress hormones. So, before heading to the interview, get up from your desk and take a moment. Stand up straight, chin up, raise your hands up above your head and take as much space as possible, celebrate your victory. When you walk in, you will have a great posture and appear more confident.
When answering any competency-based question follow the S.T.A.R model. Situation, Task, Action and Results. Paint the picture, explain the goal, then describe how you did it and what was the final outcome. Picture yourself as the hero of the story, practice storytelling.
6. Plan your answers.
Start thinking now, how you would answer the simplest as well as the more complex questions, evaluate your mental blockages, analyze critically your answers and start thinking where do you need to add more relevant information.
7. Do your research.
Check out the company’s history, understand their vision and read any recent articles, news and relevant social media updates. Demonstrate your knowledge in an answer. Also, do not worry about checking out their LinkedIn profiles before the interview, they will be checking out yours. By them seeing that you have seen theirs they will consider you as a determined individual making that extra effort.
8. Find the perfect space.
Nowadays, most interviews are being held using platforms such as Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts. Find a quiet and neutral spot in your house with as little going on behind you as possible. Position natural light in front of you and remember to tell your family or housemates to stay away and keep the noise down.
9. Get Support – Practice makes perfect.
The more you do something, the better you will become. Find ways of practising again and again and again. Pay close attention to your facial expressions and voice tone. Write down your answers and remember the key points to each answer.
If you’ve been invited to the interview you’re already 90% there!
Do not try to convince the interviewer that you’re the right person. Convince them they have made the right choice.
We are going to talk about one of the most common and dreaded question “Tell Me About Yourself” and I will give you my inside about how to answer it effectively.
This question can be tricky for most people, however this is your only opportunity to take advantage and talk about yourself in a more personal tone. The rest of the interview will focus on your skills, experience, the way you handle work-related situations etc.
So, don’t waste this chance, make an impression and talk about your background, personal interests and activities, followed by your aspirations (don’t make it all about work).
I know that most of the coaches and interview literature state that you need to keep this answer strictly professional, but I strongly believe this question gives you the perfect opportunity to create some rapport, show a little bit of your personality and interests, so from a level they can connect easier with you and determine from there if you are a good match for the company.
According to Harvard Business Review, the best way of creating that connection with your interviewer is to demonstrate that you have two personality traits: modesty and gratitude; instead of raving and self-promoting how amazing you are. Sending this positive but powerful signals can help you go ahead of the game.
Instead of saying “I’m the strongest salesperson in my team. My bosses love me, my clients say that I’m the only one that understands them and my colleagues envy me”
The modest version would be: “I have understood who our clients are and what they need, my success is based upon listening and showing them that I care. The training has been a vital part of my journey because I believe in the product or service that I offer and I can only sell a product or service that I believe can benefit our society”
You can make it more personal by saying “I love selling and visiting clients because I get to do two of the things that I love the most. “Meeting new people with amazing stories from who I can learn and also traveling and seeing amazing landscapes” or visiting new restaurants-coffee shops all over the country-city “I’m a foodie” “I’m a coffee lover”
It will show that you are positive, outgoing and mindful.
Use a storytelling technique to make yourself more confident with your pitch. Remember that practice makes perfect, rehearse your answers so many times that it will become so natural and you will feel comfortable letting the interviewer know why you are a great asset for the company. Do not memorize, put your heart and soul to this story, make it yours.
Do you have any questions? Would you like to practice with a well-seasoned interview coach?
Let’s chat, book a free 15 mins consultation call and we can take it from there.