The Interview, the Sale, and the Glass House

Imagine you’ve been invited to the final round of interviews for your dream job at your dream company. They tell you there are two other finalists, whom you actually know. What are you going to prepare? What questions are you going to ask? Why are you the ideal candidate for the role? It’s your time to shine.

*Queue “Eye of the Tiger”*

There are several things to consider when preparing for an interview. So often we think of all the ways to amaze the interviewer or panel, blow away the competition, and sail off into the sunset holding hands with your new employer. Unfortunately, we often forget what NOT to do. Chewing gum, wearing bright colored suits, using profanity, and forgetting your resume are obvious no-no’s (I could not possibly create a full list of all of the ridiculous no-no’s, because the post would never actually end), but there is one no-no that trumps them all.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, talk negatively about other candidates! When explaining why you are the ideal candidate for their company, do not explain why others are not. Take your skillsets, your experiences, your background, and showcase and relate them to the company to bring a positive aura around you and the room. As soon as companies hear you bring negativity to the room (even if it is about others), you quickly lose credibility, and it shows a sense of panic and insecurity. A simple as “While others may do X, this is how my Y will bring you value.” goes worlds further than “They are unable to do X, Y, and Z, therefore you should pick me.”

If you are indeed the best fit, you should be able to stand on your own two feet and win the job solely on the value you bring to their organization. If you are unable to, then you must begin to realize that you may not be the best fit …my sincere apologies.

The act of interviewing begs us to think about the art of selling. When interviewing, you sell yourself- you are the product. The art of selling, therefore, should be about the product and not its competition. You should be constantly selling yourself, your goals, your company, your differentiated product, your strategy, and your value.

Is your goal to win, or is your goal to prove why others should not? Are you going to be that person? Are you going to be that company?

I hope not. Actually, maybe I hope you are… 🙂

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5 thoughts on “The Interview, the Sale, and the Glass House

  1. I really appreciate this post because I work in the recruitment industry. I can’t tell you how many people do this kind of stuff. The suits I’ve seen… the things I’ve heard… “Ya know, I really want this job, ya know? It’s just really good for me, ya know?” I think something else that goes along with what you said is to avoid talking poorly about your previous jobs/bosses. A lot of times, people get so nervous that they begin to spill beans that should otherwise be kept in the jar.

    • Glad you enjoyed it! Ah those filler words…What is your company seeing in the job market/interview world? Has the art of interviewing been mastered, or is there still much to learn?

  2. What? You mean Ron Burgundy style blue suit isn’t suitable for interviews?

    I would add that b*tching about your old job is a noooo-nooo, but critiquing what it was missing in a way that frames what you want out of the new job is good.

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