Think of your job interview as a sales call, said recruiter Ted Chaloner, president of Chaloner Associates, a Boston-based executive search firm specializing in communications, in his March 11 presentation to Boston’s Marketing Professionals Network.
You should present the features and benefits of your product–yourself–and demonstrate their value to the buyer. So don’t meander in response to your interviewer’s request to “tell me about yourself.” Focus on your career as it relates to your potential employer’s needs. If you haven’t learned what the company needs, ask. For example, you can say “I’d be happy to go into detail, but first can you tell me what the three things that are most important to you?”
Don’t get rattled if your interviewer asks negative questions. Instead, acknowledge the legitimacy of the question, said Chaloner. Then give an example of how you’ve overcome the problem. In fact, interviews have moved beyond the classic “What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses” to specific examples of how you’ve demonstrated the characteristics that the employer seeks.
A job interview shouldn’t be a one-way flow of information. Ask probing closed- and open-ended questions, advised Chaloner.
For my friends in marketing or communications, here’s a link to the firm’s current searches.
You can hear Ted interviewed in “Social networking sites help job hunting.”