Understanding the interview process

The interview process is a process within a process; that of the larger recruitment process undertaken by your potential employer. They have a specific aim; to identify and hire the candidate most suitable to perform the role and add the most value to the company.

By the time you are sitting face to face with your interviewer they have taken the following actions;

Identified a vacancy within the organisation.

Identified the attributes that will be required of the person who will fulfil that role.

Engaged a method of attracting applicants for the position.

Screened those applicants down to a shortlist for interview. You too have a specific aim; to achieve interview success by making sure you are that candidate who gets the offer.

So how do you do this?

Your aim is to address the core questions of the interview. Lets consider how this works:

It goes without saying you have a solid interview preparation behind you. I often compare the interview process to giving a sales presentation to a customer. You have a limited amount of time to establish credibility, present your proposition, while overcoming objections, and then seal the deal. Lets look at each stage of the process, and what you need to do:

The Opening

So, you’re in. Well, the fact you have been invited to interview definitely qualifies this as a “warm lead” to use the sales speak. This means that they would not be seeing you unless they believed you could do the job. They are interested. Somewhere along the way you’re competition are probably going to rule themselves out.

The interview opening is the time from when you arrive at the building, until you are into the interview long enough to develop positive first impression and build a good rapport with the interviewer(s). Have you ever met someone and “just knew” they were a good guy within a few moments? What matters here are the messages you send out, and I don’t just mean with your tongue. The halo effect means the interview opening will have a disproportionate impact on the outcome of the interview. Make sure it’s a positive one. This is all about the way you dress, your handshake, your confidence, and the way you present yourself.

The presentation/questions/objection handling

This is what most people consider the interview to be. Sitting down answering questions. Unfortunately for them they don’t realise that without a good opening their chances of interview success are massively reduced regardless of what is said from here on in.

In this part of the process, the interviewer takes the lead through posing questions. They are looking to find out if you have what it takes to do the job, (and to establish a pecking order of you and your competitors (this is more to do with personality and the way you open and close)….and to measure you against the specification for the role and your competitors for the position. Your aim here is to show you have the skills and experience necessary.

Like any salesman you can only be effective if you listen to your customer. You must have a clear understanding of what they are looking for. in order to give an effective interview answer you need to have done your background research, and understand how interview questions work, so you know what they really want from you.

Closing the interview

In sales closing means; ”to conclude negotiations about: to close a deal to everyone's satisfaction." Dictionary.com

In the interview that means your aim is to leave the interviewer feeling positive about you, knowing you have everything they are looking for.

• Use the star technique when answering questions

• Take the opportunity to ask the right questions yourself

• Tell them you are interested in the role after what you’ve heard (works both ways - offers to those who will accept them

• Thank them for the opportunity

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