Interviewing well is such an important skill. You could have a great resume but if you can’t close the deal in the interview, your resume really doesn’t matter. So I wanted to take a moment to share some insights with you.
Generally, there are two types of interview questions: Traditional and Behavioral.
Traditional = What is your 5 year plan? What are your weaknesses? Why should we hire an external candidate like you, rather than promoting from within?
Behavioral = Tell me about a time that you failed while on the job. Tell me an unpopular management decision you made and how your team handled it. Tell me about a time that you had to manage conflict between two or more colleagues.
Job seekers have a much better chance of selling their skills and talents to an employer when behavioral questions are asked. Behavioral questions enable the candidate to bring the interviewer (figuratively) into the candidate’s previous work experience to show how they handled a specific workplace event. Traditional questions prompt canned, outdated and predictable answers. This isn’t the right way for an employer to find their next superstar! My advice to employers is ask behavioral-based questions in their interviews. My advice for job seekers is when an employer asks a traditional-based question, answer in a behavioral-based manner.
Q: “Why should we hire you, an external candidate, rather than promoting from within?”
A: “Well, I think a lot of candidates at this point may say that an outside person will bring a fresh perspective. I don’t agree with that; your employees don’t exist in a vacuum or a protective bubble. So while I don’t know the internal candidates who might be campaigning for a promotion, I can tell you that I have learned everything I can about your company and that I have a strategic plan that can get this department’s sales team to break the $1MM threshold. I’ve done it before for companies who don’t have as strong as an infrastructure as you do. Here’s my plan…”
What you’re doing is bending the conversation to your advantage, without sounding condescending to the interviewer. Afterwards, the interviewer will probably pat him or herself on the back for conducting such a great interview! But you and I will know the credit really goes to you…and the job offer probably will, too.
If you’re a job seeker and you want to improve your interview techniques, give us a call and we’ll set up an interview skills session. We even offer a FREE interview skills assessment!
If you’re an employer, reach out to us to learn more about behavioral interviews and how this technique will vastly improve your hiring results.