How To Get A Job Offer… The Questions & Comments YOU Make During Your Interview to Set Yourself Aside from the Competition!
Let’s look at the interview process from a thousand feet in the air.
The employers – and therefore the interviewers – you will encounter during the interviewing process have other candidates to consider other than you.
Notwithstanding your background and qualifications – what can you do to stand out – make a great impression – have each of your interviewers exclaim “he/she is the hire”! Let’s assume that most of your competition is also “qualified” and can walk and chew gum at the same time. Your objective is to stand out from the pack! How to do it?
One way is to make comments/observations and ask questions that set you aside from other interviewees! To achieve this, your questions and comments need to be astute and reflect that you aren’t just looking for a job but rather the RIGHT job (there is a difference!). They need to reflect that you are articulate in presenting your thoughts and credentials. Finally they need to reflect that you understand the specific issues/challenges in the industries/job classifications where you are interviewing and that you have some thoughts regarding those issues.
Another of your objectives with regard to these questions is to also learn as much as you can about the organization and the job. You don’t want to unknowingly jump into a pit of problems!
Here are some questions and comments that will set you aside from your competition:
1. What do you see to be the biggest strategic challenges facing (the department,, division or organization where you are seeking a job offer). What do you see to be the role of the person you will hire to help address them? Hmmm…what particular skill set would be helpful to do that successfully?
2. Virtually every organization in the U.S. is grappling about how to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka “Obamacare. It would be to your advantage to understand the overall provisions of the ACA and how they might apply to the organizations you are interviewing with. If you are interviewing for a job in HR or Accounting you will be dealing with the ACA for sure and you should know and understand the basic current information about it. Stay away from the politics regarding the ACA… but do ask the question: How is XYZ approaching the Affordable Care Act…or is it still too soon to have plan in place?
3. I’ve been reading about some of the issues facing your industry. It appears that your organization is ahead of the “power curve” on addressing (whatever it is). Would you agree? Of course you have in fact identified some issues and are prepared to discuss them if asked!
Now – recognize several things:
a. The interviewer may not be up-to-speed on the matters you raise; their job is to screen against a set of criteria. Therefore they may not be able to respond. Be careful you don’t talk down to them… quit this approach if that is the case. Do recognize, however, that you probably have impressed them with your questions.
b. Don’t come across as a know-it-all… make your questions conversational.
4. Do you see any disconnects in my background?; anything that seems to not be what you might be looking for?
5. How would you describe the culture here – the “personality” of the organization? Formal or informal? How would you describe it?
6. Why do you like working here?
7. What are the career path opportunities for whomever you hire for this job?
8. What single piece of advice would you give a new person starting here at XYZ in this job?
Remember – your objective is to stand out from the competition by asking questions and having a dialogue that is more in-depth and that will impress your interviewer with your sophisticated approach to your job search! And after a day of many interviews…. you want your interviewer to remember you above all others! Good Luck!!
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