90% of hires are based solely upon the interview according to a Harvard Business Review study. In fact, 63% of hiring decisions are made within the first 4.3 minutes of an interview (courtesy SHRM). So, the interview is probably the most important part of the hiring process. And that’s why you need to spend time with your personal recruiter to better understand whom you are interviewing with and the issues that you will be talking about during the interview.
You always need to “take temperatures” because people have minds and they’re changing them constantly. You need to listen to what they don’t say. Being prepared for an interview is vital. The following preparation is very unique and effective in conducting a positive interview.
Things To Remember:
• People have to buy you before they buy from you.
• People hire and accept emotionally first and justify logically later.
• People are most sold by your conviction rather than by your persuasion.
• Know your technology, products, business and skills, but think PEOPLE.
• The decision to hire is made in the first 5 to 10 minutes of the interview, with the remaining time spent justifying that decision.
Practice the anticipated questions that may be asked and your answers to those questions. Be sure to practice out loud to yourself before the interview. Have specific questions for the hiring authority, based on the job description provided to you by your recruiter. Questions must be written out before the interview, while avoiding the topic of compensation and benefits for the first interview.
• What are the duties and responsibilities of the position I’m applying for? (This is an excellent icebreaker question for the hiring authority and a great start to a successful interview.)
• What is my number one priority that has to be done before I leave each day? Why?
• What are the production or sales goals? What obstacles would prevent me from reaching my goals?
• What are the short and long term goals set for the person in this position?
• Salary – this is a trap question. If the question is brought up a very good response is “I would like as much as the position will pay” OR “I am currently making $_____. Although I would like an increase, I don’t know enough about the opportunity to answer that fairly.” Be very careful that you don’t short yourself, or over-price yourself. Be sure to keep in mind your base salary, bonus program, stock options, gain sharing programs, performance bonuses, benefits, etc.
Summarize what you’ve done that ties in with the new position and ask, “Do I have the qualifications you’re looking for?” then remain silent for an answer. If the hiring authority says, “I’m looking at other people,” you say, “How do my qualifications match the people you’re considering?” Your #1 priority is to receive an offer, if this is a position that you desire, your #2 priority is to know the next step.
Another possible scenario:
Ask for the job! “I would very much like to have the job and I am confident I can do it well. Is there anything about my background that would preclude you from hiring me?” Overcome any perceived objections, and if there are none, then: “I’m prepared to accept an offer, if you are in a position to extend one.”
There could be any number of scenarios at this point of the interview. Remember that if you are interviewing for a sales position, the employer looks at how you interview as a good indication of how you would be selling for him, should he hire you. If you don’t ask for the job, he will think that as a sales person you don’t ask for the order.
Regardless of how the interview ends – ALWAYS SEND A FOLLOW-UP LETTER