Interview Questions

In a previous post, I highlighted an article in Forbes Magazine discussing the concept of the three questions a company must answer when evaluating a job candidate and a recent blog post in the Harvard Business Review puts a spin on Question #2 (Do you want the job?).  In the posting, it challenges interviewers to be able to answer the question, “If offered the job, would the candidate say yes?”  The concept the HBR blogger exerts is that top talent is the ultimate customer, not the employer.

I agree that top talent will always have options and offers to decide from.  I see this every day – recently a senior turned down a Goldman Sachs Investment Banking offer and a Bain Consulting interview for a McKinsey Consulting opportunity.  This student is a top talent and he had options to choose from.  However, be honest with ourselves, most of us are not the “top talent” the HBR blogger is referencing (sorry to deflate your ego).

So where does this leave us?  As an interviewee, one still needs to ensure that Question #2 gets answered (Do you want the job?).  As Anthony Tjan wrote in his blog, most employers exit the interview not knowing if the candidate wants the opportunity.  Thus, the responsibility falls onto your shoulders as the candidate to communicate your interest in the position to the employer.  How is this done?

Energy: Employers want to see energy, enthusiasm, and excitement from an interviewee.  One does not need to drink five Red Bulls to achieve this, rather, eye contact, smiles, good body posture can communicate a level of energy to the interviewer.  Eye contact and body posture communicate that you are serious about the conversation. Smiling injects a bounce or inflection in the tone of your voice.  People want to be around others who are genuinely excited about opportunity; show energy to communicate you want the job.

Research: When you remember your partner’s favorite restaurant, dish, music, movie, or other tidbit of information and act upon this information (ex: make a reservation at the favorite restaurant for an anniversary, buy tickets to a favorite band’s concert as a present), you make the other person feel special.  By knowing information about the company, what is trending in the industry, speaking to those who are in/have done the role for which you are interviewing communicates your interest in the position.

Closing: The end of the interview is the final impression you will make on the decision maker – why not leave on a high note?

Mr. Smith, thank you for your time this afternoon.  I want this opportunity and after speaking with the team and seeing the operation for myself, it has only reinforced my commitment to be successful in this role for the organization.  

Go after the opportunity by communicating your desire for the role.  Leave no doubt as to Question #2 – Do You Want the Job?

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About Kevin Monahan

I have 10+ years experience in coaching clients in their career management and career change efforts. Personal career consulting services combined with employer outreach to help find opportunities for both constituents.
This entry was posted in Career Management, Communications, Interview and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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