Looking for A Job? 5 Things To Say To Interviewers

You’ve made it past the resume screen.  Now it’s time for the interview.

Throw your nervousness away before you go into the room and enjoy the interview.

It’s a chance for you to learn more about the employer and a chance for them to know more about you.

Remember, the interviewer  wants to do one of two things:

1. Have a reason to reject you.

2. Have a reason to accept you.

Here are 5 things to say to  the interviewer to insure that you are in the second group.

1.  Talk about How You can Add Value.  Know about the organization, and what they need.

Go beyond what is on the company’s website.  Find  out  some of the challenges facing the organization from friends who work there. Learn more by checking the business press and news on Google and Yahoo.

Talk about what you can do.  When I interviewed for a job with a consulting firm, I talked about how I could generate business in the public sector.

2.  Let the interviewer know you are a mood maker.  If you’re funny, engaging, smiley, a joy to be around, get that across to the interviewer.  Many offices are plagued by people who–I’ll be kind and say:  ‘you’d rather not have lunch with” You know the type.

Communicate that you’re the kind of person who is funny, engaging, positive and good with people.  You may not want to say this as much as you want to show it. One of my former students is applying for a very desirable job that is no doubt being sought by thousands. He’s a smiley, friendly guy.  He’s got to get that across.

Here’s another way to do it:  Be friendly with the receptionist and the other candidates in the waiting room.

3.  Let The Interviewer Know You Like To Learn and You’re A Fast Learner.

Think about the interview from the perspective of the interviewer.  The interviewer is thinking how he or she can sell you to other people on the team.  He or she wonders how long it will take you to get up to speed.  Let them know what you’ve taught yourself,  how long it took for you to learn it, and how you enjoyed it.

Perhaps you have taught yourself a programming language or learned how to swim as an adult.  A good friend, recently retired as the CEO of a bank,  made a pledge to learn something new every day.  He gives specific examples of what he has learned when he meets with  prospective consulting clients.

4.  Let The Interviewer Know You Are Curious

In every interview there is that moment when the interviewer turns to you asks  if you have any questions.

Always have questions.

Tough questions are better than easy ones.  Don’t put the interviewer on the spot, but ask questions that make
the interviewer think.  [No questions about salary-yet.]  Here are some questions I like:

1.  What are you  looking  [personal qualifications, contribution, background] for in the candidate for this position?  [ One of my former students just successfully completed job hunting in Japan.  In a very tough environment, he got multiple offers, and this is one of the questions he asked. When they answered, he told them how he fit what they needed.]

2.  What do the most successful people who hold this position do? Another way to phrase it is, “what makes someone good at this job?”

Find out the profile of people who do this job well. Do they build a team if it’s a leadership position? Do they do cold-calling if it’s a sales position?

5.  Tell The Interviewer You’re Interested.

No one wants to offer you a job and then be rejected.  [ It’s like being stood up for a date.  Ok, maybe not that bad]  If you want the job, let the interviewer know you’re interested.  But no begging.  This is not the time to say,  “I really need this job.”

Good Luck.  Luck helps.  You want to stand out from the other candidates. These are some things you can say that will help you do just that.


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