Does Your Interview “Style” FIT You??

Often you can build in credibility by talking about yourself as others see you, in the third person.  “My customers have always valued my responsive problem-solving nature.  Why, just last week….”  -or- “I have been consistently reviewed for my …”


Thursday, September 24th… Closing The Deal I: Interview Strategies, including Money$peak and PRE-Offer negotiation


I WOULD ALWAYS ENCOURAGE YOU TO REMEMBER THREE PRACTICAL GUIDELINES, RATHER THAN ATTEMPTING TO MEMORIZE GLIB, WELL-CRAFTED ANSWERS TO CHALLENGING INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: 

FIRST… ANSWER THE QUESTION!  The implication, here, is that you have listened to and understand the question.  Clarify if necessary, but never repeatedly!

SECOND… LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO INTEGRATE YOUR STRENGTHS. When on an issue of FIT, confirming a strength with a behavioral example is always welcomed.  When the issue reveals a weakness…. answer the question and stop talking.

THIRD… AT LEAST ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF A QUESTION BEFORE BLOCKING THE SUBJECT, TURNING THE TABLES, OR ANSWERING IN ANY MANIPULATIVE MANNER.  This strategy allows you to respond to “illegal, unethical” questions and also money talk.


“If you practice the way you play, there shouldn’t be any difference. That’s why I practiced so hard. I wanted to be prepared for the game.”

Michael Jordan (1963- )
American basketball player & business person
regarded by many as the greatest basketball player who ever played the game


If you are finding that you need to develop a more persuasive interviewing presence… It will be helpful to develop some effective strategies to bring focus to the session–a focus on how your strengths FIT the job’s expectations.  Never allow an interview to be an interrogation of YOU…

  1. USE A STRONG OPENING… Clearly state your desire to work with the interviewing company.  Back up your desire with solid research on why you are a good fit for their needs.  “I’m talking to you to determine where my skills in can best be applied to make a solid contribution here.  Seems you are looking for a person who…”
  2. ALWAYS INCORPORATE YOUR KEY STRENGTHS… Like your resume and other written collaterals, your supportive telephone and interviewing style should reflect a compelling message, based on your strengths that meet an organization’s needs. If you have researched and networked your way toward a particular opportunity, you should be able to “echo” your abilities relative to their needs. For example, in tabular form…

    This opportunity calls for…

    And I offer…

    Communication Skills

    8 years of demonstrated effectiveness in sales presentations to decision makers. Customers often mention the persuasiveness of both my verbal and written skills.

    Strong Computer/ Software Background

    Proficiency in MS Office applications, including the ability to create and develop complementary power point and web page presentations.

    Proven Account Development Success

    Recent track record of three straight years of leading our Regional Sales Team in revenue growth while establishing a new territory. Identified, secured and have developed several Fortune 200 customers.

  3. TAKE DUE CREDIT WITHOUT OVERUSING THE WORD “I”… Focus in on meeting needs or requirements. Specifically, minimize the use of the “I word” in beginning your sentences. Third-party statements can create credibility: “My customers have always said that…” -or- “My supervisors have always been kind in complimenting my …. “
  4. STRATEGIZE AROUND THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES PRESENTED BY THE INDUSTRY AND THE SPECIFIC OPPORTUNITY… Adopt a positive, future oriented perspective.  Optimism secures cooperation and advice easier than negativity.  Develop a solid value proposition. Make it clear that your focus on this Company and its industry is because you enjoy the work.              
  5. USE YOUR WRITTEN COLLATERALS TO COMPLEMENT AND SUPPLEMENT YOUR STORY…  Your written collaterals were designed around compelling examples of your strengths—little mini-stories to prove your worth from actual experience and results.  Pull from the same examples to gain repetition and behavioral evidence of your strengths = REMEMBERED!
  6. BE SPECIFIC AND CLEAR in positioning your candidacy/value proposition to meet an employer’s needs. Don’t try to be everything to everybody with vague, winding sentences and paragraphs.
  7. FOCUS ON YOUR FUNCTIONAL STRENGTHS, NOT SPECIFIC TITLES…  Be prepared to research and mirror your strengths to specific openings, always echoing the FIT between your strengths and their needs. Make each receiver feel as if they are getting your personal approach to them.
  8. PRACTICE POLITENESS, making mutual respect for their time and attention a valued commodity. Proper protocol, here, can pave the way for high quality relationship building.
  9. CLOSE WITH A CALL FOR SPECIFIC ACTION AND YOUR CONTROL OF THE FOLLOW-UP… What IS the next step? Or attempt “closing” on an offer.
  10. EMBRACE CHANGE, NEVER COMING ACROSS AS DESPERATE… ENOUGH SAID!
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