Monday, May 17, 2010

Spice Up Your Interview Without Being Pushy

Spice up the answers you give to interview questions. Always answer a question directly, and then feel free to enhance your answer with a relevant alternative. Example:

    Company:

    "Can you do a 30 minute phone interview on Tuesday afternoon sometime after 1 p.m.?"

    Job Seeker:

    Good Answer: "Yes. 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. work. Go ahead and book it. Alternatively, I can meet you in person if you'd like. I live 4 blocks from your office."

    Not-So-Good Answer: "That doesn't really work for me. I'm not good at phone interviews. Let's do an in person interview instead."


It really helps to be proactive in your interview. How will a company know you're an excited bundle of relevant awesomeness if you they haven't given you the right opportunity to strut your stuff? Simple, you ask them if it's appropriate to demonstrate your mojo. Here's some possible examples of getting an interview to ask the right questions...

    You're interviewing for a dog walking job:

      You: Thanks for talking with me today. Before we go, I'm curious what do you feel makes a really good dog walker?

      Interviewer: Personally I love people who volunteer time at animal shelters.

      You: Me, too. I spend 20 hours/month at the Humane Society.

      Interviewer: You're hired. Can you start Monday?


    You're trying to stand out:

      You: By the way, I found out before the call that my former boss knows your boss. Mind if I have my former boss contact yours to put in a good word?

      Interviewer: Sure! I like people who go for it.


    You're on a phone interview for a sales position:

      You: Is there anything you'd like to know about me that would close this deal today and get me hired today?

      Interviewer: No, we're still interviewing.

      You: OK, thanks. Still, is there something you'd like to see or hear that you haven't? This opportunity really interests me.

      Interviewer: I like the fact that your proactive and trying to get me to "buy". I'll tell you what, why don't you come down to our office on Tuesday of next week and we'll interview you in person. Wear a suit.

It's possible to be too proactive. When you volunteer information about yourself that hasn't been asked for, you're diluting your value proposition. If you're a REALLY good graphic artist applying for a non-artist job, ask the interviewer directly if skill as a graphic artist would be a plus. If yes, share away. In no, don't randomly talk about your passion for art and a 37 links to samples of your work.

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