How to Wow Hiring Managers
For the past 12 years I’ve been leading a job networking ministry and holding job interview workshops to thousands of job seekers. During this time, I’ve realized that individuals who presented themselves as the most prepared, most passionate and qualified candidate often got the job at the end of the interview.
Important Interview Preparation Tactics to Stand Apart
A few years ago I needed to hire a sales support person. I narrowed it down to two talented individuals – now I just needed to conduct a third and final interview. To help make the decision easier for me, I asked them to bring whatever they wanted to demonstrate that they could do the job.
My first interview was with Carol. She came in with a portfolio of projects that she had created from her previous company. Her work was very good and it appeared that she could do the job.
Then my second interview with Tim broke the mold – he did something totally different … so different that it landed him the job. He showed up at his interview with a folder full of paper, opened the folder and asked permission to show us something that he had put together. Curious, I said, “sure.”
Tim put in writing what he said he could do for us if we hired him. He even demonstrated for us how he put his conclusions together. After he was through he asked us if we had any questions. I remember being blown away by his preparation, passion and talent. He, of course, landed the job.
Do you know the difference between Carol’s and Tim’s presentations? Carol focused on her past performance. Her presentation probably wouldn’t change if she had an interview with another company right after ours. It was all about her not us.
Tim took a chance. His interview was custom-made just for us. He created something that aligned with what we were looking for – he was able to wow us. Tim demonstrated that he was ready and able to do the job.
Evaluating Your Interview Performance
What about you? Do you talk about your past performance during job interviews? If you do, you’re forcing the hiring manager to guess if your previous success translates well for their work – which increases their risk in making a decision and lowers your chances.
Instead, make it easier for the hiring manager to choose you. Find a way to demonstrate or put in writing what exactly you can do for them, i.e. – how you will add value to their organization. Most job seekers fail to take this take this important and vital initiative, thus hiring managers will continue to conduct interviews until they find a candidate that really impresses them.