Interview Improvement | Selection Resources | Iowa

Interview Tips

Most companies hiring processes go something like this: they are trying to fill a poorly defined job using imperfect screening methods, and hope to find a perfect candidate.

Applicants need to understand that most recruiters use a transactional process to fill positions, using traditional job descriptions, listing skills, academics, and required experience to screen and select candidates. A savvy candidate can stand out and gain an advantage by using solution selling. The following are some ideas on how to become the top candidate for the job.

1)   Ask these types of solution selling questions early in the interview: 

  • Why is the job open?
  • What are some of the big challenges the person hired will need to address? 
  • What are some problems that need fixing?How does the job fit with the company strategy?
  • What’s the most important thing the person hired needs to do in the first 3-6 months to be considered successful?

Note: Another technique as a lead in to ask these questions -  "As well as answering your questions, I'd like to understand how my experience and skillset can bring value to this role, would you mind if I ask some questions upfront which will help me assess this?"

2)   Once you understand the 2-3 big things the person needs to accomplish, you then need to position yourself as the solution. The idea behind this is that there are many qualified people who can successfully do this work, but get excluded because they don’t perfectly fit the traditional skills and experience type of job description. To overcome this you’ll need to give examples of your accomplishments that most directly relate to the position.

3)   As you describe your accomplishments use the following two-minute SAFW format – Say A Few Words:

  • S: make an opening Statement
  • A: Amplify the statement
  • F: provide a Few examples and details as specific proof
  • W: conclude with a Wrap-up sentence.ASK FOR THE JOB!
  • As part of your answer, don’t talk for less than one minute or more than three. If it’s too short no one will believe you, and if you’re too long, you’ll be considered insensitive and boring.

4)  You need to prepare your answers ahead of time. The best way to do this is to prepare an SAFW response for everyone of your strengths. The examples are the most important part of this. Make sure you have a lots of different examples you can choose from that best fit the company’s needs, and practice, practice, practice giving the two-minute SAFW response. 

Solution selling might help you get the job you deserve. If you ask questions diplomatically, you will be labeled as a person with good interpersonal skills. Best of all: if you’ve been accomplished, and show energy and motivation to work hard, you will become a serious contender for the position. They might even redefine the job a bit to better fit your capabilities. Collectively, this is an excellent strategy on how to present yourself in a job interview. Remember to ASK FOR THE JOB! Good luck! 

About Us

Selection Resources is a leading provider of employee selection tools and expertise that helps our clients connect employment decisions to business results. Our advanced assessment testing, background checking and applicant management software help drive a company's financial performance by streamlining hiring processes, improving employee selection and reducing employee turnover. Selection Resources has been part of the Hamilton Group since 1999, and we serve hundreds of clients nationwide from small entrepreneurial organizations to multi-location fortune 500 businesses.

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