Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter explains how to answer that one question that is on every employer’s mind when they interview.
Today, I want to talk with you about how to answer the single most important question that employers try to find out from you. Do you know what that question is?
Can you do the job? Can you do the job they need to have filled? Most of you have no idea what the job is when you apply for it.
You may have seen an ad. You may have seen some place or you may have been told something about the job… But you really just don't know. If you posted your resume on a job board all you're going to do is talk about yourself, but the most important thing that you can do is contextualize what you've done and how it relates to what they need.
How do you do that? How do you find out what they really need to have done? It's really simple. Let's say, you get a call out of the blue.
Ring ring. Ring ring.
"Hi I am Nancy Recruiter from ABCDEF Corporation (by the way, if there is a firm out there by that name, my use of that name is purely fictitious). Is this Jeff Altman?"
"I saw you resume the job board want to have a chance to speak with you about a position. Is this a good time to talk?"
"Sure, Nancy, I'll be happy to speak with you. Nancy, before we get started, maybe I can just ask you , could you give me an idea of the position you have in mind for me and what I might be able to do to help you?"
Noticed, what I'm trying to do is find out about the job before I start answering questions.
The next alternative... You are in the physical job interview. An in person interview. Maybe you've seen an ad and you are now at the interview and you are now escorted to sit down with Nancy Recruiter. As soon as the 2 of you lower your butts into the seat, I would like to start speaking and say, "Thank you so much for making time to meet with me today. I recall the position I saw advertised but I want to get your take on the role. Could you tell me about the job as you see the what I can do to help you?"
Again, a simple way to find out about the job at the beginning of the interview where you can use that information to help sell your credentials. Obviously, if you are introduced by recruiter… "Hi! I spoke with Jeff Altman about the job and he gave me a brief description. I want to get your take on the role. You tell me about the job as you see and what I can do to help?"
Again, always try to find out about the job before you start answering questions.
It certainly possible that that they might say, "We'll get to that later on. I want to ask a few questions of you." What you've done is learn something about them right then and there. They like to do things close to the vest, they don't like to be particularly transparent. They would rather play gotcha.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio” and “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” both available through iTunes and Stitcher.
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