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Your Interview Toolkit
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PRESENTATION
• Interviews are beginning. Here is a plan to provide a
winning strategy to your upcoming interview that will result
in your goal. A new job. Remember you are your own
brand. Present yourself as a winner.
• Wear your best outfit. Be impressive not impressed.
• You can’t over dress. Employers will be flattered & smart
employers still value the importance of being earnest.
• Avoid wearing too much make-up or cologne/perfume.
COME PREPARED
• Take copies of your resume & know what is
on it
• Have copies of awards and notable
accomplishments
• Certificates, references should also be in
hand
• The best way to showcase all of your work
and accomplishments is through a
professional portfolio
DO YOUR RESEARCH
• Google them: Study the company & their website. Get a copy of their last annual report. What is their
mission statement, who is their competition? Understand forward looking statements.
• Rehearse for: “What do you know about us?” and “Why do you want to work here?”
• Get closer. Ask who will be interviewing you. Google them. Learn names, roles and areas of interest or
expertise. Find out where they went to school and where they volunteer.
• Get inside. Find someone who has worked in or with the company and grill them.
As a professional salesperson, you would work diligently on your pre-call planning & be able to identify useful
connections that you can trigger throughout the conversation.
The same applies for interviews:
“KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON”
• While waiting for your interview clear your mind, try and relax
and get comfortable. Breathe in through the nose & out the
mouth. You can’t panic when breathing deeply- fact!
• Remind yourself that you have been invited to this interview.
You are already succeeding.
• Be confident and enjoy the unique experience.
• Remember, your past experiences have led you to this point
and you have earned it. Visualize what the successful
conversation will look like.
Nerves are a challenge. Unfortunately, they show and don’t look good. You will think more clearly
and build rapport far more effectively when calm.
BODY LANGUAGE
• Shake hands well. An overly-aggressive handshake can be as off-putting as a limp one.
• Make eye contact. People hear us better when we hold their gaze.
• Sit still, without movement or fidgeting, with his hands away from his face. Watch your favorite news anchor
they have this down pat.
• Avoid “closing” yourself off by clutching a briefcase in your lap.
• Room positioning: if possible don’t sit directly opposite but at 90 degrees.
75% of communication is non – verbal. However, non-verbal cues are picked up unconsciously
and speak louder than words.
ASK QUESTIONS AND ACTIVELY LISTEN
• Build a relationship. Ask about their rise to success. How they attained their position. Where they started out.
People love to tell about their success story and it builds a relationship that helps you understand them.
• Develop a sense of familiarity by finding areas of commonality. If you spot a connection, be sure to build on it.
Through rapport building, interviewers will trust you, overlook weaknesses and accept you as a likeable
person.
• Understand the psychological profile of the interviewer: Is the interviewer an extrovert or introvert, a analytical
or creative thinker. Contextualize answers and questions to appeal to your listener. Appeal to the interviewer’s
unspoken needs & concerns. Use their answers to frame your ongoing conversation. You’ll connect with the
interviewer instantly if you sell yourself based on his or her motivations.
“What do you consider an ideal candidate?” Be prepared to compare yourself to this.
Often candidates prepare answers but forget to prepare questions. Asking key questions—and
listen carefully—this lets you direct the conversation into the areas where you excel. It also has a
powerful effect in building trust—showing empathy allows the interviewer to express what’s in their
mind. This generates a “feel good factor” that they will remember positively.
READY FOR QUESTIONS
• Listen carefully and breathe. Don’t rush to answer. Reflection is a key core
competency
• Ask yourself, “Is he really interested in what I did in college, or does he
want to know what I learned from the experience?” All work experience is
relevant.
• Use key messages and sound-bites to sell. An effective headline
communicates the benefits of the product in a succinct, meaningful,
memorable way: “I’ve designed logos for three Fortune 500 companies.” To
come up with your sound bites, ask yourself, “What were my greatest
achievements at my most recent job?” You are your brand. Highlight
episodes that support your brand and your unique proposition.
• Use examples and tell a story. People can relate better in this way. Your
resume and education got you here: your anecdotes about your
achievements will get you the job
A high impact salesperson never wastes an opening by answering “Yes” or “No”. Nor would they
recite a rambling narrative of their entire life. “Tell us a little about yourself?” is an opportunity to use
relevant anecdotes that align with the company’s mission to offer information they haven’t already
seen in your resume.
BE THE SOLUTION
• Meet their needs. Any great salesman will tell you that the most persuasive pitch is the one that speaks
directly to the personal needs of the buyer. The product that meets their needs first wins.
• Read between the lines. “Position requires collaboration on all levels of staff and management,” means that
“strong interpersonal” and “communication” skills will be needed. Make a list of “key requirements” and match
them.
• Present yourself as an employer benefit. Any answer you give must convey how hiring you will give concrete
benefits to the employer. If you increased productivity by 20%, say that experience will help this company
attain its productivity goals.
As a salesperson, what can you offer (product/service), to the customer (employer)? What do you
have that will fill their needs (job requirements)? What is unique or of added value that sets you
apart? What is the interviewer’s most significant short term problem or challenge?
CLASS
• You can’t be too polite
• Pay particular attention to the interviewer’s name.
• Thank them for the question: acknowledge, “that’s an
excellent question”. If in doubt, ask them to clarify.
Process checking is an important element of sales
process
• Thank them and shake hands before you leave. Thank
the interviewer for his/her time. Comment on “it’s been
a pleasure meeting you” and indicate your interest in
the job.
• Send a follow-up thank you email. This demonstrates
good business etiquette.
The best salespeople are expert communicators.
CLOSE
• Ensure the interviewer understands your job ready. You have
the right skills the employer needs at the right time
• You are focused on supporting the growth & prosperity of the
organization
• Your education and experience have provided you with
resiliency. You can over come obstacles and can do so
independently
• Communication and team work are essentials to success in the
new economy. Mention this in your summary. This will make
the difference between you and the next best candidate
• Finally, ask if there is anything the interviewer needs to know
or is concerned about regarding you as the winning candidate.
Make sure you address this objection and manage it. Don’t
leave any concerns unmanaged.
• Leave confidant. “I’ll look forward to hearing from you.”
Applying sales process to the interview gives you a huge advantage. The process works for Forbes
500 companies and it will work for you! Great salespeople are great closers. So make sure you
close the sale

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Interview toolkit for 2015

  • 2. Brought to you by 1 0 0 Po r ts mou th Ave n u e | Kin g s to n , O N | R o o m 111 8 0 Stla w r e n c e c o lle g e .ca /ca ree rse rvic e s c a r e e r se rvic e s@sl.o n .ca | 6 1 3- 5 4 4 - 5 4 00 e xt.1 8 4 4
  • 3. PRESENTATION • Interviews are beginning. Here is a plan to provide a winning strategy to your upcoming interview that will result in your goal. A new job. Remember you are your own brand. Present yourself as a winner. • Wear your best outfit. Be impressive not impressed. • You can’t over dress. Employers will be flattered & smart employers still value the importance of being earnest. • Avoid wearing too much make-up or cologne/perfume.
  • 4. COME PREPARED • Take copies of your resume & know what is on it • Have copies of awards and notable accomplishments • Certificates, references should also be in hand • The best way to showcase all of your work and accomplishments is through a professional portfolio
  • 5. DO YOUR RESEARCH • Google them: Study the company & their website. Get a copy of their last annual report. What is their mission statement, who is their competition? Understand forward looking statements. • Rehearse for: “What do you know about us?” and “Why do you want to work here?” • Get closer. Ask who will be interviewing you. Google them. Learn names, roles and areas of interest or expertise. Find out where they went to school and where they volunteer. • Get inside. Find someone who has worked in or with the company and grill them. As a professional salesperson, you would work diligently on your pre-call planning & be able to identify useful connections that you can trigger throughout the conversation. The same applies for interviews:
  • 6. “KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON” • While waiting for your interview clear your mind, try and relax and get comfortable. Breathe in through the nose & out the mouth. You can’t panic when breathing deeply- fact! • Remind yourself that you have been invited to this interview. You are already succeeding. • Be confident and enjoy the unique experience. • Remember, your past experiences have led you to this point and you have earned it. Visualize what the successful conversation will look like. Nerves are a challenge. Unfortunately, they show and don’t look good. You will think more clearly and build rapport far more effectively when calm.
  • 7. BODY LANGUAGE • Shake hands well. An overly-aggressive handshake can be as off-putting as a limp one. • Make eye contact. People hear us better when we hold their gaze. • Sit still, without movement or fidgeting, with his hands away from his face. Watch your favorite news anchor they have this down pat. • Avoid “closing” yourself off by clutching a briefcase in your lap. • Room positioning: if possible don’t sit directly opposite but at 90 degrees. 75% of communication is non – verbal. However, non-verbal cues are picked up unconsciously and speak louder than words.
  • 8. ASK QUESTIONS AND ACTIVELY LISTEN • Build a relationship. Ask about their rise to success. How they attained their position. Where they started out. People love to tell about their success story and it builds a relationship that helps you understand them. • Develop a sense of familiarity by finding areas of commonality. If you spot a connection, be sure to build on it. Through rapport building, interviewers will trust you, overlook weaknesses and accept you as a likeable person. • Understand the psychological profile of the interviewer: Is the interviewer an extrovert or introvert, a analytical or creative thinker. Contextualize answers and questions to appeal to your listener. Appeal to the interviewer’s unspoken needs & concerns. Use their answers to frame your ongoing conversation. You’ll connect with the interviewer instantly if you sell yourself based on his or her motivations. “What do you consider an ideal candidate?” Be prepared to compare yourself to this. Often candidates prepare answers but forget to prepare questions. Asking key questions—and listen carefully—this lets you direct the conversation into the areas where you excel. It also has a powerful effect in building trust—showing empathy allows the interviewer to express what’s in their mind. This generates a “feel good factor” that they will remember positively.
  • 9. READY FOR QUESTIONS • Listen carefully and breathe. Don’t rush to answer. Reflection is a key core competency • Ask yourself, “Is he really interested in what I did in college, or does he want to know what I learned from the experience?” All work experience is relevant. • Use key messages and sound-bites to sell. An effective headline communicates the benefits of the product in a succinct, meaningful, memorable way: “I’ve designed logos for three Fortune 500 companies.” To come up with your sound bites, ask yourself, “What were my greatest achievements at my most recent job?” You are your brand. Highlight episodes that support your brand and your unique proposition. • Use examples and tell a story. People can relate better in this way. Your resume and education got you here: your anecdotes about your achievements will get you the job A high impact salesperson never wastes an opening by answering “Yes” or “No”. Nor would they recite a rambling narrative of their entire life. “Tell us a little about yourself?” is an opportunity to use relevant anecdotes that align with the company’s mission to offer information they haven’t already seen in your resume.
  • 10. BE THE SOLUTION • Meet their needs. Any great salesman will tell you that the most persuasive pitch is the one that speaks directly to the personal needs of the buyer. The product that meets their needs first wins. • Read between the lines. “Position requires collaboration on all levels of staff and management,” means that “strong interpersonal” and “communication” skills will be needed. Make a list of “key requirements” and match them. • Present yourself as an employer benefit. Any answer you give must convey how hiring you will give concrete benefits to the employer. If you increased productivity by 20%, say that experience will help this company attain its productivity goals. As a salesperson, what can you offer (product/service), to the customer (employer)? What do you have that will fill their needs (job requirements)? What is unique or of added value that sets you apart? What is the interviewer’s most significant short term problem or challenge?
  • 11. CLASS • You can’t be too polite • Pay particular attention to the interviewer’s name. • Thank them for the question: acknowledge, “that’s an excellent question”. If in doubt, ask them to clarify. Process checking is an important element of sales process • Thank them and shake hands before you leave. Thank the interviewer for his/her time. Comment on “it’s been a pleasure meeting you” and indicate your interest in the job. • Send a follow-up thank you email. This demonstrates good business etiquette. The best salespeople are expert communicators.
  • 12. CLOSE • Ensure the interviewer understands your job ready. You have the right skills the employer needs at the right time • You are focused on supporting the growth & prosperity of the organization • Your education and experience have provided you with resiliency. You can over come obstacles and can do so independently • Communication and team work are essentials to success in the new economy. Mention this in your summary. This will make the difference between you and the next best candidate • Finally, ask if there is anything the interviewer needs to know or is concerned about regarding you as the winning candidate. Make sure you address this objection and manage it. Don’t leave any concerns unmanaged. • Leave confidant. “I’ll look forward to hearing from you.” Applying sales process to the interview gives you a huge advantage. The process works for Forbes 500 companies and it will work for you! Great salespeople are great closers. So make sure you close the sale