The next time you meet with a potential employer, open the conversation with this simple phrase:
“In preparing for this meeting I took some time to…”
Then simply highlight the two or three critical things that you did to prepare and watch what happens to the atmosphere of the call. You will blow away the last interviewee (your competition) who opened their meeting in silence, waiting to be interrogated!
The less you talk about yourself, the more you have to prepare to talk about them. And the more you talk about them, the more likely they will be interested in you. Not exactly the secret formula you were hoping for. But it is an obvious formula—so obvious that most job seekers ignore it.
Here are ten keys that you can use to create your own successful pre-interview habits:
- Learn about their business—their products/services, customers, industry trends, key initiatives, financial status, and competition… what are THEIR specific needs?
- Discover something about the person you are meeting with. Google them, talk to their colleagues, or call others in the industry who have insights. Use a targeted organization networking approach.
- Identify the benefits of your value to this potential employer. The benefits need to be clear, concise, credible and compelling! It is important to remember, they are looking for the best FIT… so should the job seeker.
- Prepare ideas that hold value for your ‘next employer.’ Your language needs to reflect a focus on solutions…meeting their needs!
- Move from ‘meeting their requirements’ to ‘meeting and exceeding their expectations… let them experience your motivation and performance potential.
- Plan questions that establish your expertise and get them to think in new ways. The more thought provoking, conversation generating your questions are, the more your prospective employers will respect and remember you!
- Communicate your “value proposition” prior to the actual interview. Ask them to review and provide you with feedback. Getting their buy-in before you walk in the door is critical, and it demonstrates your commitment to delivering value.
- Identify the resistance that you are most likely to encounter and prepare ideas, case studies, testimonials or expert opinions to help reduce their reluctance to move forward.
- Plan how you will close the interview appointment and decide what agreements you need to ask for…for example, follow-up timing.
- Remind yourself to be warm, friendly and courteous to everyone that you encounter. Your potential employer is constantly deciding how much they like you, how much they believe you, how much they trust you and how much confidence they have in you. It takes time—often a long time—to build your personal brand. And it takes only a few seconds for it to be destroyed.