Most job interviews follow a fairly predictable pattern.
They start with an open ended question like “Tell me about yourself and what you’ve been doing professional,” that is designed for you to give an interviewer an outline of your experience, it proceeds to an inquisition to determine if you have adequate experience to do the job, and concludes with, “Do you have any questions for us,” where you ask them to tell you about the job.
If you don’t know my philosophy from “The Single Best Question You Should Ask on Any Interview,” I want you to find out about the job first before they even ask you to tell them about your experience so that you can find out the current thinking about the job and target your answers to what they care about in your experience.
But this leaves a hole for you when they get to the part where they ask you about questions you have. I offer up many possible questions in, “No B.S. Questions You Should Ask on Any Interview,” but have a new one that I will be adding to that report in its next edition that I want to give to my readers.
So when you are asked about questions you have the first one I want you to ask is this:
(First name of the interviewer), we’ve been speaking about my background for a while now. Is there anything that you have heard that give you reluctance to recommend me for the role that I might be able to address now?”
Asking this question or one like it that you language so that it is comfortable for you will give you a chance to satisfy the interviewer in case they missed something in your background that you can speak to. It also never allows you to walk out of an interview with a false impression of what the interviewer thinks about you and your experience
From there, ask how you stack up with the other people who they have interviewed. Again, this helps you by giving you the opportunity to speak to elements of your experience that have been left uncovered in the interview that will help you present a better case to the potential employer.
Sometimes, people are stunned by the objections they hear and do not do a thorough job of refuting the negatives they hear. Use your thank you letter to speak to the elements of your experience that need to be highlighted.
You see, most thank you letters are innocuous they say something like:
“Thank you for taking the time to meet with me on January 12th and discussing the opportunity the xxx position with you.
“I believe that my experience with A, as well as my 4 years of experience with B will serve me well in delivering this project for you.
“I look forward to hearing from you about the next steps in the process.
Now, instead of using this innocuous note, modify the second paragraph so it reads:
“When we met, we briefly discussed my qualifications vis a vis those with whom I am competing for this role.
“What I have not discussed until now is my three years of experience with such and such firm where I did exactly that– and then you discuss exactly what you did that relates to the concern voiced to you, the objection raised to your candidacy or the perceived superiority of your competitor.
Send this “thank you sales letter” via email as soon as possible in order to influence the employer’s thinking before they become so hardened to your candidacy that the note becomes purposeless.
© 2010, 2011, 201 All rights reserved Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter