Earlier this week, I shared my tips on how to make your interviewer a fan…It’s very important to approach an interview with the right attitude. After all, it is exactly what all of your hard work has been leading up to!
An often overlooked topic in hiring is that “fit” – a nuanced, maybe even “unfair” assessment of the interviewee is most likely the most important aspect of the hiring process. This is frustrating (for job seekers who KNOW they have the skills to do the job) and for the hiring managers (who need to somehow justify hiring one person over another because of what might be ambigous or nuanced reasons).
Nevertheless, recognizing (and maybe even embracing?) the fact that hiring (and being hired) is as much an art as it is a science and that making a real, solid connection at an interview is as important as the portfolio of skills, experiences and accomplishments you bring can be empowering.
One of my favorite authors for career and relationship building advice is Keith Ferrazzi. (Read my review of his most recent, Who’s Got Your Back – I also really enjoyed Never Eat Alone. Both are great choices to help job seekers and careerists with their networking and relationship building.) So, it is no surprise that his advice about interviewing resonates!
This is Keith’s advice on interviewing:
- Make them like you. My number one advice: Make sure that by the time you leave the room, you’ve found a way to make the person like you. That’s it: MAKE THEM LIKE YOU. Two arms, two legs and an MBA, being all fancy and important, are not going to get you there. Make that personal connection. Build instant intimacy.
- Find a reason to care about the person. Do your homework in advance, understand their passions, and draw out the stories of their life that make them human. When you connect with them, and start to like them, they’ll start to like you, and care about you.
- Show them your passion! Specifically, your passion for the job you’re interviewing for. Passion and charisma go a long way.
- Tell stories. Don’t rely on stats and figures to make your case. Tell stories of how you’ve changed lives for former bosses and companies. This is what my friend Peter Guber calls “emotional transportation” and it works. Take them on your journey! (Note from Miriam: Katharine Hansen’s book Tell Me About Yourself is a great resource to help you.)
If you have prepared for your interview, the preparation was probably more focused on YOU. What YOU should say. How to emphasize YOUR skills. Your accomplishments. This is fine – I am not going to knock going in prepared to talk about yourself. But, be sure you spend some time thinking of connecting. What research can you do to really help you “hook” the interviewer’s interest? How can you connect on an emotional level?
photo by woodythrower