Over the years, as a Recruiter, I’ve conducted more interviews than I can count. With just a few exceptions, they all have followed the same pattern: we talk about their work history, we talk about the skills they have, and then I ask them a few technical questions to make sure they are going to be able to meet the minimum requirements of the job. It’s pretty standard stuff. If I’ve done my job right, I pass on three to five equally good candidates who should be able to do the job well.
But there were a a few candidates who I’ve interviewed that really stood out to me and got me excited. It wasn’t because of their experience or skills. It was something else that they talked about. After they were interviewed by the hiring manager, he or she was was as excited as I was about the candidate. These folks were almost always the people who were offered the job.
If you want to hear those wonderful words, “You’re hired!” you need to set yourself apart from everyone else. Chances are, at some point in the hiring process, you will be up against other equally qualified candidates. Your skill set and work history will no longer be enough. You’ll need to do something else to convince the employer that they should pick you instead of the others.
Today, you’re going to read the secret to acing your next interview. Almost universally, you’ll go straight to the top of the list for any job opening if you follow this advice. Are you interested? Keep reading then.
Convince Them You Will Add to Their Situation
If managers hate to hear anything, they hate to hear the words, “It’s not in my job description,” the most. It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard to them. It’s rare for someone to outright say this, but the attitude is still conveyed through body language, team members grumbling amongst themselves, or assigned tasks just taking way longer than they should. Unfortunately, managers have to deal with this all the time. It’s frustrating.
If you were to say something about how you don’t have this attitude about your work, it’s a breath of fresh air. Here are a few ways to say this:
“My philosophy is that I’m going to help out in any way that I can, even if it’s not my job.”
“I won’t be stuck in my little box. If I see a problem, even if it isn’t what I’m paid to do, I’ll still try to fix it or find a way to help fix it.”
“My job isn’t limited to the hours or the task.”
“I want to make your job easier, so if you need something done, I’ll be the first to volunteer.”
Tell Them You Won’t be Their Problem, You’ll be Their Solution
For managers, all they hear about during the day are problems. It’s either a problem with an employee, a customer, a process, or a system. One of my bosses once said to me, “Brian, I have so many problems, that even my problems have problems.” Don’t get me wrong, managers want to know if there are any problems, but they also want to learn about possible solutions to those problems. They are humans just like you. They don’t know everything and won’t have a solution to every problem they encounter.
If you want to stand out against your competition in the interview and against the hiring manager’s own employees, let your interviewer know that you don’t just find problems, you find solutions. Here are some ways to get this point across during an interview:
“When I start working here, I’m going to spend some time trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I’ll be honest with you about both. But I’ll also come with a few suggestions on how to make things better.”
“I want to work here to give you what you need, not to cause you problems.”
“I will work with anyone and everyone to make things better.”
“I want to go home at night feeling like I did something useful and that you and my co-workers will be glad I showed up that day.”
If You Lack Any Experience or Skill, Talk About Learning
Sometimes you might go in to an interview in third place behind two other candidates with more experience or skills. But you can use this to your advantage, if you play your hand right, and end up winning. The key is to (a) talk about how quickly you learn and (b) you are not coming into the job with any baggage. In other words, they can quickly train you to be the person they need you to be. You won’t be their ill-fitting hand-me-downs from someone else.
Here are a few good ways to phrase this idea:
“In every job I’ve ever had, I’ve always demonstrated how quickly I can learn new things.”
“I’m sure you’ll interview a few candidates with more experience in this type of work. But what you’ll get from me is an open mind that’s ready to learn from you. I won’t be bringing in any bad habits.”
Tie It All Together
Now that you have an idea of the points you want to convey in your interview. You’ll need to put it together in a way that sounds like you and that doesn’t sound like you aren’t just blowing a lot of smoke. The person who comes into an interview and starts off with a short speech like this as their introduction and backs up their assertions throughout the rest of the discussion, will be the person hired.
So don’t let your interview be as boring as everyone else’s. Don’t just rattle off all the skills you have that you’ve also written down in your resume. Be different and set yourself apart. This will give you a fighting chance at getting an offer.
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We will guide you on what job or career best suits you and then help you market yourself through your resume, your networking strategies, your interview skills, and your negotiation to ensure that you are doing something you love and are maximizing your earning potential. Throughout, we will be there to keep you motivated and determined.
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