“I have an interview next week!” my client said. “It’s on Zoom. How do I make the most of it??” So, here’s what I said.
Well, first, what I didn’t tell him – I should have – was this: be neat, be organised, have your tech act together – test it, be sure it’s working – be well groomed, don’t have an skew or ugly picture on the wall behind you, sit up straight, position your camera so that you’re in the upper centre of the picture, look at the camera when you’re speaking (not at yourself), have your docs ready on your clean and clear desktop.
Now, the client is in sales. And the position he’s applying for is in a totally new industry in which he has interest only, not experience.
So, first I told him this (some of it you may find useful in principle):
1) Spend the next week getting to know the company products and the company itself.
What are the products? Who uses them? Why do they like them? What problems have they had, what complaints (Google it)? What are the competitor products? What are the goals and values of the company?
Speak to company clients (seriously – you’re doing some ‘market research’, just be straight: you’re prepping for an interview): How would they rate the company service? When last did they get a visit from the sales rep? What problems do they foresee with the products in the future? What could be improved?
2) Then, I told him this: formulate a 3-month business plan.
What’s the goal of the job? What are the key things that need to be done to achieve it? What obstacles are there? How would you deal with them? What would your goal be for month 1, month 2?
In the interview itself, just at the point where the small talk and ice-breakers are tailing off, you want to ask: “right, so within the first 3 months, what do you want to see from the person you hire?” If they manage to get a question like “tell me about yourself?” in, answer it with some filler in 30 seconds, and then ask the above question.
If they “um” and “err”, tell them straight: “I’ve done some research. And I’ve formulated a 3 month business plan. Can I present it to you, real quick? Present it. And end off by saying, “those are my ideas… no doubt you have your expectations and ways of doing things… but I thought I’d just demonstrate to you that I like to get stuck in and make things happen.” And then if you have real spirit, ask this: “okay, what else do I need to do to get an offer from you? what else would you like to know?”
How this fits with the D [IS] R U2 PT principles:
This approach fits with the “D” of my D [IS] R U2 PT job search principles. “D” stands for DISRUPT – yes, differentiate yourself, do what no-one else will do, shake up the traditional approach. Don’t be like a typical job hunter: a deer staring into the headlights, frozen, sitting silent, waiting for the tough, awkward questions, never really coming out and saying: “hire me, here’s why”.
But of course, no one approach works all the time. So, why not just go for broke?
Hopefully this helps you get better results – ie more job interviews, more job offers, more often.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK:
You know Steve Martin as an actor. But he has another side. Check it out here: