Honing your approach and thinking like a consultant may just be the most powerful way to prepare for interviewing for your next career move.
What you’re really doing is helping them, the company, solve their “missing person” issue.
First of all, you aren’t really going to an interview to sell yourself or to get something from the person or people you’re speaking with. Go into the job interview to help the interviewer; you’re consulting with them about their problem and sharing relatable experiences, showing them what you bring to the table so they can make a good hiring decision.
Again, the biggest component is attitude and mindset. The attitude of being there to help is kind of irresistible. If this is where you’re coming from you will have a winning aura and a 100 percent chance of succeeding even if they pick someone else.
When you talk about yourself, try to keep the same other-centered approach. A past employer was facing XYZ challenge and I did ABC, which took them to a 123 better position. This type of answer is also called the STaR method (Situation-Tactic-positive Result), and is the basic format for most situation based interview questions (Tell me about a time…).
Asking the right questions
As part of your preparation, you want to come with questions prepared by having thoroughly researched the company, and in the first interview in particular the questions should be all about them:
• What are you dealing with?
• What needs to happen in order to effectively deal with that?
• What qualities in a candidate would be most helpful in getting you where you want to go?
Essentially what you’re asking while interviewing is, “What do you really need?” Ask this as early in the interview as you can gracefully do it. That way you have the rest of the interview to speak to what they really care about.
Here’s a clarifying question: “So right now, your department is facing (this challenge), and if the new team member works out perfectly, they will help get the company to (this positive) situation. So you need someone who has (these defined) qualities.”
Try to make another one of your objectives delivering value that they can use, even if it’s small.
Be prepared for interviewing by having done your research on the company, and bringing thoughtful questions that are about them and what they need. Then when you share about yourself, share examples that speak to what they really care about. Don’t be there to sell something, be there to help. Keep your attention there and you’ll have great energy, build better rapport, and feel more confident and comfortable during the interview.
Joel Peterson is the Founder of BrainCloud Recruiting, a pioneer in Talent Acquisition as a Service since 2015. The firm specializes in high-caliber talent and highly personalized service for rapidly scaling tech startups. They saved one client more than $2 million in agency fees and have already helped their two longest standing startup clients top $1 billion valuations. To learn more, visit BrainCloud Recruiting.
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