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Successful Job Interviews Webinar - Converting Interviews into Offers

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Successful Job Interviews WebinarAn interview is an opportunity that a job seeker can't afford to waste. Nailing an interview is as much about what you do before and after the interview as your performance within the interview itself. What do you need to do before, during and after an interview to convert an interview into a job offer? In this Successful Job Interviews webinar you'll discover best practices in interview preparation and follow-up to maximize the ROI you receive for each interview opportunity for which you have worked so hard to earn.

This video is from the Proformative webinar "Nailing an Interview: Converting Interviews into Offers" held on October 26, 2012.  The webinar features a presentation from Moshe Kravitz, Certified Five O'Clock Club Career Coach.


Successful Job Interviews Webinar


Begin our Successful Job Interviews webinar with the end in mind, and don't write a "Thank you" letter. Don't write a "Thank you" letter. The common knowledge is you go home right away and write a "Thank you" letter. Well, listen to what happened to Richard when he wrote a "Thank you" letter.

He came home elated from his interview. It was great. They loved his skills. He'll be a great fit over there. He was just waiting to get that offer, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting. He knew they have other people, other candidates, but they liked him so much. He was such a great fit. He has plans of what he's going to accomplish over there, and he's waiting and waiting.

Meanwhile, while Richard is waiting, the hiring manager is not waiting. He is interviewing candidate number two, and for sure the candidate must present with some different skill sets, some different emphases, and some different talents than the hiring manager was able to see in Richard. Candidate three and four, and the job position evolves. The manager says, "Oh, yeah. We could use this. Oh, yeah. We really should have that."

By the time they get to candidate six, the job has evolved so much, Richard is ancient history. If he's lucky he'll get a letter that's kind and says, "Richard, thank you for coming in. You have great skills. We wish you a successful career." What should you do if you don't write a "Thank you" letter? Write an influencing letter.

Ken was interviewing for a position as senior VP in marketing. He did attend this webinar, so to speak. Richard had not. He knew when he came that the end game was to try to make an influencing follow up, and he does that by paying close attention before he gets there, while he's there, to understand, "What are the real needs of this employer who I'm speaking with?"

He realized as he went away from this interview that the question in their minds was not, "Will Ken make a good VP of Marketing? Does he have the skills that we need in this position?" Which typically, an employer wants to know, first of all, "Can you cut it? Can you do what I need?" Secondly, "Will you have the enthusiasm? Will you fit in?"

Their question in this organization was much more basic. Ken was able to discern that they were struggling with how should marketing fit within this new organization. Realizing that, Ken went home and wrote a four-page proposal outlining how he would suggest marketing should fit within this new organization. He overnighted this document to the hiring manager, and then he was called back for a second interview.

He asked before leaving the first time and was told, "There are six people whom we're planning to meet. You're the first one." When he was called back he asked again, where are they up to in the interview process? How many candidates have they met? How many do they plan to meet? He was the only candidate. Obviously, they had seen in him what they needed. He outshined all the other candidates. That is how you write an influencing letter.

Now, to be offensive in your interview, you have to know what to do before this interview even begins, how to conduct yourself during the interview, and especially know what to do afterwards. There's lots to do before the interview, and let's start with some of the things that are so obvious that they should not even need to be mentioned, but sometimes you have to mention the obvious.

Present yourself looking like a professional. Take a shower. Come in fresh, a nice pressed suit. One hiring manager was looking and couldn't find the candidate. The candidate was in front of him, but unrecognizable as an insurance executive by the way he presented. Just like we mentioned last week in the webinar about resumes, trivial things shouldn't be there to cost you a great opportunity like grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. The same thing over, if your shirt is not clean, why should it cost you an opportunity, something that's easily fixed?

Next, be well rested. Do yourself a favor because it makes a big, big difference in how well you come across. The night before, you're nervous. You're busy. Schedule yourself so you have time to get a good night's sleep before they interview. Or if it's later in the day, maybe a nap in the afternoon, but come well rested. You'll smile. You'll feel relaxed. You'll feel more confident, and especially, you'll be more spontaneous. You'll think better. You'll respond better.

Do these things, dress professionally, be well rested, etc. even for a phone interview, because it makes a difference. Your attitude, your feelings come across in the goal. Your enthusiasm, if you smile it comes across. Sit in the front of your chair. It comes across. Today, when I came to work, knowing I'm giving this interview, I put on this special shirt and a tie that my wife bought me for when I speak publicly, even though nobody sees me. You feel different based on how you get dressed. Then it comes
across, even in a phone interview.

Arrive early. A few reasons for this. Number one, one time on one of these webinars, there were technical problems until the last minute. It wasn't even connected yet, and it made me very nervous. That effected the presentation. You don't want a traffic jam, even if you get there on time, to make you nervous and affect how you present by your interview, so come early.

Now, when you get there early, bring stuff to do so that you're occupied. One of the things to do is - I used to do this - back in the middle of the 20th century, when I was graduating from University recruiters would come to campus. Before I went for my interview, I'd come a few minutes early ahead of schedule, and sit down in a comfortable chair. Sit down in a very relaxed position. Breathe and relax, individually, each part of the body.

Relax your toes. Relax your feet. Relax your ankles, part by part, and especially focus on those areas of the body where you'll notice the tension seems to build up, in the shoulders, the back of the neck, and the jaws, the temples, and forehead. Focus on relaxing each part of your body. It has a tremendous impact. Again, you'll smile in a more genuine way. Your voice will be deeper and more real. You'll think better, and you come across much better. It improves the quality of your interview.

Also, while you're there early, take this opportunity to feel out the culture. Look. See what's around. Listen. See who's there. What do they look like? How do they interact with each other? How do they interact with you? Engage them.

Mention, "I'm here for an interview. I'm very excited about interviewing at this company. It's a beautiful building. How long have you been here? By the way, how long have you been working here? How do you like it?" If everybody tells you, "I've been here two months," "three months," you begin to get a certain impression. If they say, "12 years," "13 years," you get a different impression.

Editor's Note: The Proformative library of recorded webinars contains videos on many different topics, including Emerging Market Strategies Webinar, Business Analytics Webinar, Business Intelligence Webinar, Corporate Financial Reporting Webinar and Renminbi Rebalancing Webinar.

Finally, the most important thing about before the interview is be well prepared. How do you prepare? First of all, do research. You research by reading. You research by talking to people. Read what the company says about itself. Look on their website. Look on their press releases. Look especially in their 10-K.

Become familiar with the industry, the company, the challenges that they're faced with, the opportunities they may have, so you can come and ask intelligent questions about, "What have you done? What are you doing? What still could be done to address these challenges? What has worked? What has not? Why? What is the  competition doing? Why aren't you doing that?"

End partial; Successful Job Interviews webinar.


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