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How to Sell Yourself on Interviews, Part One

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The interview process begins with your mindset. You must believe you can succeed in order to succeed. In my experience, it isn't necessarily the best and the brightest who are chosen for employment but, rather, the "best fit" for the organization.

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How to Sell Yourself on Interviews, Part One

  1. 1. RESUME MAVEN www.lawcrossing.com 1. 800.973.1177SPONSORED BY ATTORNEY RESUMEHow to Sell Yourself on Interviews, Part One[By Elinor Stutz]Your resume was posted among thousands of competing resumes, and to your surprise, you were chosen for an in-person interview. Congratulations! Butwait...what are those voices in your head saying? Are you really going to be able to compete against the top candidates?The interview process begins with your Statistics show that people buy based 7% thinking about what you may bring tomindset. You must believe you can succeed upon what you say, 35% upon how you say it, the table, what you have in common, andin order to succeed. In my experience, it isn’t and 58% upon how you look. Understand that how you may offer improvement to thenecessarily the best and the brightest who you are selling yourself when you interview; company’s services; also, note messagingare chosen for employment but, rather, the undoubtedly, the same statistics apply when that specifically catches your attention.“best fit” for the organization. The questions it comes to getting hired. These topics will be your talking pointsbecome “How can I appear credible in during the interview.portraying I am the best fit?” and “How can I You must concentrate on buildingwork on believing I will get the job?” relationships with the people who interview While still reading the website, also note if you. Here are three tips for doing just that: there is a company mission statement, theThe first step is to review your past officers and where they went to school, ifaccomplishments. What made you different . Throw the script away. Be prepared the company is publicly traded, and, if thefrom your counterparts? Which unique to listen, ask questions, clarify, and company is publicly traded, where its stockskills do you possess that will allow answer coherently. is trading. You may have the same almayou to succeed in your work? Once you mater as the CEO—let it be known. Everyonerealize how you are different, be able to . Begin every communication shares the dream of one day getting rich. Soput the message into one or two succinct (voice, voice mail, email, mail, whether the stock is up or down, it is alsosentences. Run your message by your appointments) from the other a very good talking point toward the end offriends, family, or associates and ask them person’s point of view. the conversation.how it sounds. When your message is in itsfinal form and you have practiced saying it 3. Follow up. 95% of people fall down Webpages are built upon keywords, andwith conviction, you will begin believing in on the follow-up. these relay what is of most importance toyour stated strengths. the company. So if you detect a repetitive Referrals are the best method for vocabulary, you will know this is the subjectIn addition to developing a short message securing interviews and, ultimately, jobs. matter on which you should focus. Forplaying up your strengths, in case you are Prescreening has already taken place by example, years ago, I represented a Fortuneasked, you will want to create a short (two- word of the referring party. When you are the 100 company and was calling on a creditminute) explanation in story form of how beneficiary of a referral, ask the referring union. Every page of its website spoke ofyou use(d) your strengths to accomplish party to share as much as possible about the “financial soundness.” I asked my contactsolutions for your manager, client, etc. recommended person who is to interview if my Fortune 100 company held enoughLearn to become a friendly storyteller when you. Find out as much as you can about financial soundness to warrant doingdescribing your accomplishments. the person behind the title as well as the business. My contact laughed and said, “Of corporate person and the company. course.” She then added, “I have no ideaPeople buy from people they like. The how you know that is of great importancestorytelling will make you far more likeable Next, you will need to research the company to us.” The detective work pursued upfrontas long as it is appropriate and concise. website thoroughly. Read the pages while furthered the process.PAGE continued on back
  2. 2. RESUME MAVEN www.lawcrossing.com 1. 800.973.1177SPONSORED BY ATTORNEY RESUMEThe next step is to read who the company’s hard to get your point across, engage in Remember, once you set foot on a company’sclients are, what they say about the one-upmanship, or listen to understand premises, there are no totem poles forcompany, and how their problems were others’ points of view. On interviews, it is decision making. By treating everyonesolved. Perform an Internet search on the mandatory to listen more than you speak and equally, you will be putting your best footcompany’s competitors and on the industry. to ask enough questions—both open-ended forward in every instance.In general, consider what all of these and specific—to determine if, in fact, you willcompanies have in common in terms of their enjoy working at the company. Medium- to large-sized companies willmission statements, clients, services, and display their awards, laudatory letters fromchallenges. Newcomers to sales or in new “Dress for success” has been a long-time clients, and their financial information. Bycompanies will use this vertical marketing motto. The rule of thumb is to dress a quickly reviewing these materials, you willstrategy to quickly become experts in one notch or two above the company policy. So get a sense of the company and have moreindustry in order to jumpstart their sales if employees are known to wear jeans, the talking points for your interview.activity. Then they expand to other industries suggestion is to wear nice slacks; if theyonce confidence has been built. wear high-end sportswear, then consider a One time, I discovered an intended company sporty suit. Dress includes a leather binder had won the Baldridge Award. The company’sLet’s frame this concept in terms of securing and a good-looking pen for taking notes. winning of this award was the basis of mya new job. If you have a very important opening remark upon meeting my client.interview and high income at stake, you When you have the name of the party who is It turned out to be my lucky day; she waswill do well to practice interviewing with to interview you, try conducting an Internet the one responsible for getting the entirethe company’s main competitor. Ask for search for the person’s name. You might corporation on the same page to qualify foran informational interview. Learn who the find names of associations to which the the prestigious award.competitor’s clients are, in which areas the person belongs and hobbies in which he orcompeting company excels, and what its she participates. These are icebreakers for Suppose the person with whom you are tochallenges are. Two things will happen when conversation. interview is running late. Don’t just stare intoyou do this: space. Instead, begin reading an interesting It is a very good idea to arrive at your magazine lying nearby. For instance, if you are . You may unexpectedly develop a appointment 10 minutes early to “play meeting with a CFO and there happens to be second job possibility. detective.” Do not arrive more than 10 a CFO magazine on a table near you, pick it minutes early, or people will think you have up and read it. This magazine will tell you the . You will become highly informed nothing better to do with your time. Upon challenges people in this position face on a about the industry and will give a arriving, greet the receptionist with a big daily basis. Upon my doing just this, a CFO with superior interview at the original smile. Introduce yourself and ask his or her whom I was to meet greeted me with a huge company of interest. name. Make note of his or her name on your smile. Our appointment went extremely well. notepad so that you may address that personBecoming knowledgeable about the intended correctly in the future and thank him or her If you are interviewing at a smaller company,company’s industry and having a succinct for helping you. scan the posters hanging on the wall.message as to why you are different will Many such posters have captions such ascontribute to increased confidence on your If the receptionist appears to have a few “teamwork” or “goal setting.” These captionsinterview. Practice speaking in front of a minutes, ask how s/he likes working at the are perfect starting points for small talkmirror. Observe whether you are smiling as company. Perhaps s/he can shed some light when you first greet your contact.you speak. Smiling makes you more likeable. on the process and the benefits. Most peopleWatch your body language. Do you look very do not realize that in smaller companies, When someone escorts you down the hallwaystiff and unapproachable, or do you appear the receptionist, at times, is actually the to your contact’s office, ask that person howopen and friendly? Do you use exaggerated CEO or the CEO’s spouse because the real s/he likes working at the company, what hisgestures, none at all, or gestures simply to receptionist is out ill. People routinely treat or her duties are, and if s/he can lend anyemphasize the point you are trying to make? the receptionist rudely, thus diminishing insight. Be gracious by thanking everyone their chances for success. who shares information and/or helps youThe next time you are out with friends or along the way.colleagues, determine whether you try tooPAGE continued
  3. 3. RESUME MAVEN www.lawcrossing.com 1. 800.973.1177SPONSORED BY ATTORNEY RESUMEUpon entering the contact’s office, find listen carefully, and ask for permission to Ms. Stutz has been a guest on many radiosomething nice to say. The office or cubicle take notes. You cannot sell yourself as the shows. Her book, Nice Girls, was highlightedis his or her home away from home. It is best person for the job until you know why in the November 6, 2006, TIME magazinerude to say nothing. If the cubicle is dreary, you are sitting in the chair! business supplement, and she mentorslook for pictures of family, a pet, hobbies, or entrepreneurs at The Learning Café. Fortravel—and state something nice about what To be continued... more information, call 800-704-1499 or visityou see. It puts the conversation on a friendly www.smoothsale.net. Smooth Sale deliversnote. Show proper respect for the person About the Author: original work in the forms of professionalinterviewing you by thanking him or her for sales training, licensing of programs,taking the time to meet with you when you Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale and speaking engagements, and the Smoothfirst greet each other. This will be greatly author, has transformed her highly Sale Tips e-zine. Smooth Sale also offersappreciated and will serve to put you on a successful sales career into a career the following resources: Nice Girls DO Getbetter path. training entrepreneurs, network marketers, the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets and beginning salespeople. Her company Results, published by Sourcebooks; TheOnce you are about to begin the business states, “We help you turn stormy sales Smooth Sale Toolkit; the Smooth Sellingportion of your conversation, convey that cycles into a Smooth Sale.” Community four-CD training seminar; and How toyou are aware the interviewer must have service is of great importance to Ms. Stutz. GROW Your Business: The Entrepreneur’sreceived so many resumes and that you Periodically, she counsels job seekers on Handbook—Mindset, Strategy, andare curious as to why he or she picked you how to gain employment. Several people Implementation.to interview. This is a surefire method for have written to say that her tips helpedbeginning an excellent interview. Be quiet, them to secure job offers.PAGE

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