So you’re heading into your interview with your head held high, sporting your business professional attire, and holding freshly printed resumes in hand. Now what? How. Can. You. Seal. The. Deal.
Often times we get caught up in the interview semantics and forget what is written on our own resume (likely in your hands) - a full set of skills bulleted out! Remember that an interview is just a different version of a sales cycle, something you already know well and (hopefully) already love to do.
Let me give you a brief glance of what I’d do to lock down that job offer: qualify, sell, and close.
Qualify: Determine if there is a mutual fit.
You know what’s listed on the job description as qualifications and responsibilities, but how do you know what characteristics make a candidate actually stand out? Listen to your interviewer! Try to pick out certain pain points or specific key words mentioned in his or her background or the company overview. Ask questions. What type of sales representatives are you currently managing? How do you measure and define their success? What type of metrics do you use to measure your reps’ success? These are the types of questions that will help you define their scorecard. Once you figure what the hiring manager wants in a hire, you will have created your own cheat sheet for the interview. You can now tailor your background (in a honest way) and highlight the experiences that will best qualify you for the position.
Sell: Make them want you!
Don’t be your own worst enemy; bring your brag bag and bring it proudly! Take what you’ve accomplished and use it to your advantage. I’m not saying to take the cheat sheet and makeup a bunch of lies about your past. I’m saying to hone in on your experiences that align with what the interviewer needs and wants. Be thoughtful in your responses. It is okay to take time when answering, and it is more than okay to be brief (especially in sales!). While your objective is to ultimately close, don’t show up and throw up. Let your resume be the source of truth, and use your interview as the opportunity to back it up.
Close: Get the job offer.
The grand finale -- time to sum it all up. At the conclusion of an interview, many people let the interviewer take over and dictate potential next steps. Mistake! This is your chance to ask for feedback. Do you have any hesitations with my background? Can I clarify any experience? We’re quick to kick ourselves for walking away from an interview without all the facts, yet we’re too afraid to ask! If you’re loving what you have heard and want to win the job, ask about next steps. Learn as much as you can from the interviewer and share how excited you are to move forward. Finish the discussion with how you’d bring value to their team. Do this, and you’ll be able to confidently leave the process knowing you gave it your all. Seal. That. Deal.