The 3 ‘E’s: 3 very simple ways to get an offer from an interview.
Interviews! Love them or hate them, they are the final hurdle to overcome in your quest for a new, exciting position. It is worth noting you have already ‘made the cut’ and are one of a few names on the shortlist. Well done!
There are many in-depth articles online about clever questions and answers, what to wear and even step-by-step instructions on shaking hands correctly. Whilst in some cases helpful, they can be complicated and often lose sight of the main objectives of attending an interview – proving you can do the job and building a relationship.
To achieve these objectives and be the only name on the list, follow these 3 very simple and powerful pieces of advice.
It is very difficult to get an idea of a candidate’s personality from a CV. Clearly, if you have been invited to an interview, you can be sure your skills and experience match up to at least some of the role requirements. Equally important to many employers is that you are the right person for the company. Nobody wants to hire a drain with no enthusiasm for what they do.
My number one piece of interview advice is to show genuine enthusiasm and interest for the company, the role, the industry and anything else relevant to the role. The best ways to do this are to smile as much as possible, sit up in your seat, speak positively and ask open questions about the interviewer, the role and the company. Nothing pleases interviewers (or people in general for that matter) more than talking all about themselves or their company. It will also demonstrate you will be a positive influence in the office and asking questions shows you are keen to learn. These attributes are key boxes to tick in any company.
Let’s say you are a sales manager who is attending interviews. You are asked questions about your selling skills. It is very easy to say how excellent your selling skills are, how you were promoted quicker than anyone else and that you are top of the company league table. This is all great, but to make it more convincing, a better way to answer competency-based questions is by using examples. Do this using the formula below:
Situation – ‘When I was working at … I was required to sell a number of …’
Action – ‘I was personally responsible for a team of 5, who I trained to highlight the benefits of the product and who to target.’
Result – ‘The results of my actions were achieving 120% of my target, giving me a promotion quicker than my colleagues and putting me top of the company league table.’
Following this formula – Situation, Action, Result, whether you are a sales manager, engineer, office administrator or anything else will give you much more credibility than simply stating you can do the job. It also makes you stand out. When looking back on potential candidates during the decision making process, interviewers will often look for memorable information to decide who to employ. Your specific story about your high performance is much more interesting than anyone who doesn’t follow this advice.
It’s always a good idea to anticipate competency-based questions before the interview and prepare your examples accordingly.
3. Expression of Interest
A deciding factor amongst many employers about who they will eventually employ is who seems more interested in the position. What better way than to tell them directly? Don’t leave it to chance. If you are impressed with what the company can offer you, say at the end of the meeting:
“Thank you so much for your time today and I would like to say I am very interested in the position”.
Follow these three very easy pieces of advice: Enthusiasm, Examples and an Expression of Interest to immediately improve your performance and start turning those meetings into offers.