Closing The Deal: Determining ‘Next Steps’

Your Career CompassA productive mindset, during any career transition, is your ability to relate your well positioned “story” to others, answer questions effectively, conduct productive negotiations, and, in general, fine tune your personal marketing (NOT sales) skills.


Tomorrow’s Session…Thursday, November 29th… Closing The Deal II: Interview Tactics, including POST-Offer negotiation.


So what are those basic tactics that will allow you to effectively “close the deal?”

  1. Practice your two minute drill every chance you get…. it’s the fundamental building material of your communication strategy–your verbal collaterals!
  2. Practice your exit and qualification statements… most all potential employers and networking contacts will want to know your current situation and why you are available.
  3. Practice answering both common and tough questions… including pre-offer negotiation tactics.

The most asked question during career transition is, “Tell me about yourself.”  Appropriate use of your two-minute drill and related verbal strategies, your “verbal collaterals,” is a key ingredient to personal salesmanship…

  • A verbal resume… A tightly focused, upbeat telling of “your story” told in a high impact two minute format.  With practice, can be easily personalized to your listener.
  • An “elevator pitch”…  A succinct summary of your qualifications for a specifically positioned function or opportunity.  With practice, can become quite spontaneous.
  • Brag bytes…  Wordcraft various collections of words, phrases and sentences to capture memorable moments or accomplishments–the best you have to offer.  “…saved 80% cost-per-hire…”  Used in MSWord Auto Text Format can be quite efficient when building high impact correspondence as well.
  • Personal Portfolio…  Your collection of certificates, examples of work, reference letters, etc that can bring life and interest (not to mention PROOF) to your story.

Think of an interview as the natural extension, the successful result of your effective networking.  Many networking conversations actually become screening interviews, where influential contacts are assessing your qualifications, skill sets and experience relative to an opportunity at hand.

“Perfect practice” of the basics builds the confidence necessary to perform well in formal job interviews. Let’s break down the basics into four areas…

  1. pre-contact preparation/ research,
  2. greeting and rapport,
  3. questions/answers, and …
  4. meeting closure.

All four stages are equally important and deserve your consideration and preparation.

Know the needs of the company

Once your basic research is complete, you must next identify how your abilities, experience and expertise can meet the needs of the interviewer, the company and the job.  This point cannot be over-emphasized.  It is the company’s needs that you must fill, not your own.  Surprisingly, however, by meeting the company’s needs, your needs also will be met.

Your VALUE PROPOSITION

Prepare for your interviews (and networking meetings) by fully understanding the value you bring to a potential employer and hiring company.    Incorporate portions of this information into your interview responses, or use some of the material in your interview closing remarks.  Tell them why you are good at what you do!

The Interviewee’s Nine-Box Matrix of Interview Process… 

Confirm FIT

YOU

JOB FIT
ASK

 

 

 

 

     
ANSWER

 

 

 

 

     
MONEY

 

 

 

 

     
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Thoughts on Behavior-based Interviews

Compass-seaLLike falling in love, interviews can be like a next step on the career path of the rest of your working days.  However, interviews can also be mind-numbing disasters that cast you into the depths of self- doubt and depression.   In EVERY interview, you can plan, prepare, and practice your way to a more confident, high performing YOU that can persevere and succeed through this critical stage of a job search.  Even rejection can be turned in to a positive outcome.

sq-knot2

For some time now, ‘behavioral interviewing’ has been a strong trend in the recruitment process.  Being aware of this as a recruitment strategy, planning to take advantage of it, will help you to avoid an otherwise nerve wrecking experience.  In fact, acing that particular sort of interview could be the stepping stone to the career path of your dreams.

Interview Preparation:

Do your background research on industry, company, interviewer(s), and, importantly, the value proposition you offer in the role, the opportunity at hand.

  1. Understand the requirements of the position and how they create expectations of you. Get the Company jo description in advance and understand it! 
  2. Know who will be conducting the interview… use LinkedIn to be aware of their background.
  3. Utilize target organization networking to gain insight into the organization’s needs.
  4. Prepare 2 – 3 points in advance that clearly communicates why you are an excellent fit for the position—and don’t overlook company (department level) cultural issues.

Behavioral Interview Questions: What are they?

They are common questions based on the premise that past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior. They can

·         Provide proof of your potential demonstrated through description of past situations

·         Instead of being situational e.g. “If you are faced with a difficult customer issue, what will you do?” a behavioral question is more like, “Give an example of a situation here you were faced with a challenging customer issue… and what did you do?”

·         This type of question is open ended and allows the interviewer to probe and zero in on specific behaviors and skills to find out more about the candidate

 Interviewers use behavioral interview questions to assess leadership, problem-solving, analytical thinking, time management, communication and interpersonal skills.

Candidates need to prepare examples and stories that demonstrate the themes mentioned above. In addition, as a candidate, you should prepare examples and stories for additional key competencies that are outlined on the job description.

Practice, practice, practice! (Where have you heard THIS before?)

Your self-confidence in your presentation, and belief that you’re the best candidate for the role, is paramount. It’s important to practice responses out loud. Practice with your accountability partner. Practice with family. Practice with friends, fellow job-seekers and an experienced, skilled and knowledgeable Career Services Professional.

Practice so you’ll have a flow and can articulate your examples clearly and concisely. The flip side is, of course, don’t memorize examples verbatim…  as you might sound too rehearsed an unnatural. 

Be YOURSELF.

Learning To Fish vs. Buying a Six Pack of Haddock

A productive mindset, during any career transition, is your ability to relate your well positioned “story” to others, answer questions effectively, conduct productive negotiations, and, in general, fine tune your personal salesmanship skills.  So what are those basic tactics that will allow you to effectively “close the deal?”

  1. Practice your two minute drill every chance you get…. it’s the fundamental building material of your communication strategy–your verbal collaterals!
  2. Practice your exit and qualification statements… most all potential employers and networking contacts will want to know your current situation and why you are available.
  3. Practice answering both common and tough questions… utilize the three basic guidelines–including pre-offer negotiation tactics.
  4. Have Questions to Ask that provide info on offer criteria

Next Session:  Thursday, July 13th… Closing The Deal II: Interview TACTICS including POST-Offer negotiation.


Pilot OnboardThe most asked question during career transition is, “Tell me about yourself.”  Appropriate use of your two-minute drill and related verbal strategies, your “verbal collateral materials,” is a key ingredient to personal salesmanship…

  • A verbal resume… A tightly focused, upbeat telling of “your story” told in a high impact two minute format.  With practice, can be easily personalized to your listener.
  • An “elevator pitch”…  A succinct summary of your qualifications for a specifically positioned function or opportunity.  With practice, can become quite spontaneous.
  • Brag bytes…  Wordcraft various collections of words, phrases and sentences to capture memorable moments or accomplishments–the best you have to offer.  “…saved 80% cost-per-hire…”  Used in MSWord Auto Text Format can be quite efficient when building high impact correspondence as well.
  • Personal Portfolio…  Your collection of certificates, examples of work, reference letters, etc that can bring life and interest (not to mention PROOF) to your story.

“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

Interested, Qualified and Available…

At the end of the day both third-party and Corporate recruiters deliver Interested, Qualified and Available candidates to the desktop of hiring managers. They source a set of candidates, qualify them, get their interest, present and hopefully close.

An individual should suspect the Company of compiling a pool of talent when they receive a position of interest by email–especially unsolicited.  If you choose to submit, you will typically be directed to a series of questions about the position. These are answered by the candidate and immediately scored by the software managing the talent pool. You might be amazed by the swiftness of the next step.

The candidates immediately receive a response telling them they are qualified or not for the position while simultaneously those who are Interested, Qualified and Available are sent to the desktop of the recruiter and hiring authority for the next step in the process.

We all must be challenged to understand and embrace new technology that can make us more productive and effective to the organizations we serve.  What we have, here, is the failure to merge two ineffective processes in to one very mutually advantageous one: Shared productivity in the world of recruitment.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Your IntervIEwing Preference

Your Career CompassDoes it matter whether you are Introverted or Extraverted when it comes to participating in a job interview?   You can bet it does, because, based on your personality’s preference, you will have different challenges during your job search and transition. Introverts and Extraverts have different strengths and blind spots, and, therefore, may find different tips helpful for performing at their best.


Much of THIS WEEK’s Session, Thursday, April 13th,  will be facilitated by Brian Allen of Whittier Creek Consulting, our ‘resident MBTI Guru.’


Pilot OnboardAs part of our exploration of interviewing tactics, Brian will help you identify your natural preference for Extraversion or Introversion, then explore how to overcome some of the most common interviewing challenges faced by both types. You just might discover the key to solving one of your most frustrating interview roadblocks.

The most asked question during career transition is, “Tell me about yourself.”  Your appropriate use of a two-minute drill and related verbal strategies, your “verbal collaterals,” is a key ingredient to personal salesmanship…

  • A verbal resume… A tightly focused, upbeat telling of “your story” told in a high impact two minute format.  With practice, can be easily personalized to your listener.
  • An “elevator pitch”…  A succinct summary of your qualifications for a specifically positioned function or opportunity.  With practice, can become quite spontaneous.
  • Brag bytes…  Wordcraft various collections of words, phrases and sentences to capture memorable moments or accomplishments–the best you have to offer.  “…saved 80% cost-per-hire…”  Used in MSWord Auto Text Format can be quite efficient when building high impact correspondence as well.
  • Personal Portfolio…  Your collection of certificates, examples of work, reference letters, etc that can bring life and interest (not to mention PROOF) to your story.

sq-knot2

“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
sq-knot2

A productive networking call sometimes can result in a screening interview, so BE PREPARED.  Most interviews follow a predictable format, with steps that both the interviewer and applicant follow to decide if both will benefit from working together.  The best interviews are ones in which both participants are equal and have a mutually beneficial, interactive conversation regarding the opportunity at hand.

Think of an interview as the natural extension, the successful result of your effective networking.  Many networking conversations actually become screening interviews, where influential contacts are assessing your qualifications, skill sets and experience relative to an opportunity at hand.  “Perfect practice” of the basics builds the confidence necessary to perform well in formal job interviews.

Let’s break down the basics into four areas

  1. pre-contact preparation/ research,
  2. greeting and rapport,
  3. questions/answers, and …
  4. meeting closure.

All four stages are equally important and deserve your consideration and preparation.

 

Interviewing TACTICS: The Art of Closing the Deal

Compass-seaLA productive mindset, during any career transition, is your ability to relate your well positioned “story” to others, answer questions effectively, conduct productive negotiations, and, in general, fine tune your personal salesmanship skills.  So what are those basic tactics that will allow you to effectively “close the deal?”


NEXT WEEK’s Session:  Closing The Deal II, Interviewing Tactics, including POST-Offer Negotiation


  1. Practice your two minute drill every chance you get…. it’s the fundamental building material of your communication strategy–your verbal collaterals!
  2. Practice your exit and qualification statements… most all potential employers and networking contacts will want to know your current situation and why you are available.
  3. Practice answering both common and tough questions… including pre-offer negotiation tactics.

The most asked question during career transition is, “Tell me about yourself.”  Appropriate use of your two-minute drill and related verbal strategies, your “verbal collaterals,” is a key ingredient to personal salesmanship…

Interested, Qualified and Available…

At the end of the day both third-party and Corporate recruiters deliver Interested, Qualified and Available candidates to the desktop of hiring managers. They source a set of candidates, qualify them, get their interest, present and hopefully close.

An individual should suspect the Company of compiling a pool of talent when they receive a position of interest by email–especially unsolicited.  If you choose to submit, you will typically be directed to a series of questions about the position. These are answered by the candidate and immediately scored by the software managing the talent pool. You might be amazed by the swiftness of the next step.

The candidates immediately receive a response telling them they are qualified or not for the position while simultaneously those who are Interested, Qualified and Available are sent to the desktop of the recruiter and hiring authority for the next step in the process.

We all must be challenged to understand and embrace new technology that can make us more productive and effective to the organizations we serve.  What we have, here, is the failure to merge two ineffective processes in to one very mutually advantageous one: Shared productivity in the world of recruitment…The OTHER Job Market!

MoneySpeak

Regardless of offer acceptability or detail, try never to accept on-the-spot. Rather, choose to get back to them with your acceptance in a reasonable time period.  You never want to imply that you are getting back with them to negotiate.

This separate transaction will help you feel prepared and confident, and help to mitigate the emotion of the moment.  Even the most passive communicator should focus on one item within the offer as a target for upgrading. When in the conversation of accepting the position, express interest and motivation regarding the opportunity… pause… then “I must ask, though… Is there anything we can do about ____ ?” An inquiry about an item often leads to getting it!

You could be a bit more assertive in your acceptance by asking for a few minutes to go over the entire offer, to make sure you understand it… pause… then, go through each of the seven items included in a position’s worth (above), inquiring about each item.

Only the more aggressive communicators should attempt a more aggressive approach where you ask to go through the entire offer, making a specific request to upgrade each item as you discuss it.

In fact, when you know you have a position of negotiating strength (other offers, new business or new contacts to bring, or a unique operational strength to bring, like a personal patent or a design resolution) you might even consider a counter-offer.

Your POSITION “WORTH”

While potential employers recruit within well-defined salary ranges, your position’s worth is so much more.  This total value is what you seek to improve upon, and it has several variables…

  1. Base Salary
  2. STRUCTURED BONUS… paid in a regular and frequent paycheck
  3. UNStructured Bonus… these are the elusive, discretionary money sources.
  4. Benefits
  5. Perks
  6. First year vacation
  7. Starting date, if currently employed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helping Your Interviewer To ENGAGE YOU in Productive Communication

Your Career CompassA productive mindset, during any career transition, is your ability to relate your well positioned “story” to others, answer questions effectively, conduct productive negotiations, and, in general, fine tune your personal salesmanship skills.  So what are those basic tactics that will allow you to effectively “close the deal?”


Thursday, March 10th… Closing The Deal II: Interview Tactics, including POST Offer negotiation


  1. Practice your two minute drill every chance you get…. it’s the fundamental building material of your communication strategy–your verbal collaterals!
  2. Practice your exit and qualification statements… most all potential employers and networking contacts will want to know your current situation and why you are available.
  3. Practice answering both common and tough questions… including pre-offer negotiation tactics.

Pilot OnboardThe most asked question during career transition is, “Tell me about yourself.”  Appropriate use of your two-minute drill and related verbal strategies, your “verbal collaterals,” is a key ingredient to personal salesmanship…

  • A verbal resume… A tightly focused, upbeat telling of “your story” told in a high impact two minute format.  With practice, can be easily personalized to your listener.
  • An “elevator pitch”…  A succinct summary of your qualifications for a specifically positioned function or opportunity.  With practice, can become quite spontaneous.
  • Brag bytes…  Wordcraft various collections of words, phrases and sentences to capture memorable moments or accomplishments–the best you have to offer.  “…saved 80% cost-per-hire…”  Used in MSWord Auto Text Format can be quite efficient when building high impact correspondence as well.
  • Personal Portfolio…  Your collection of certificates, examples of work, reference letters, etc that can bring life and interest (not to mention PROOF) to your story.

sq-knot2

“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

sq-knot2

Interested, Qualified and Available…

At the end of the day both third-party and Corporate recruiters deliver Interested, Qualified and Available candidates to the desktop of hiring managers. They source a set of candidates, qualify them, get their interest, present and hopefully close.

An individual should suspect the Company of compiling a pool of talent when they receive a position of interest by email–especially unsolicited.  If you choose to submit, you will typically be directed to a series of questions about the position. These are answered by the candidate and immediately scored by the software managing the talent pool. You might be amazed by the swiftness of the next step.

The candidates immediately receive a response telling them they are qualified or not for the position while simultaneously those who are Interested, Qualified and Available are sent to the desktop of the recruiter and hiring authority for the next step in the process.

We all must be challenged to understand and embrace new technology that can make us more productive and effective to the organizations we serve.  What we have, here, is the failure to merge two ineffective processes in to one very mutually advantageous one: Shared productivity in the world of recruitment.

INTERVIEW PREP

A productive networking call sometimes can result in a screening interview, so BE PREPARED.  Most interviews follow a predictable format, with steps that both the interviewer and applicant follow to decide if both will benefit from working together.  The best interviews are ones in which both participants are equal and have a mutually beneficial, interactive conversation regarding the opportunity at hand.

Think of an interview as the natural extension, the successful result of your effective networking.  Many networking conversations actually become screening interviews, where influential contacts are assessing your qualifications, skill sets and experience relative to an opportunity at hand.  “Perfect practice” of the basics builds the confidence necessary to perform well in formal job interviews.

Successful Interviewing and your next OFFER

Answering questions effectively

The key to being successful in an interview is to answer each question well, with strong content and credible delivery.  To do this, you must anticipate and practice what to say, display confidence and enthusiasm and show that you have a positive attitude.  The way you deliver your responses can be just as important as what you say.

PRE-Offer negotiation requires practice and the ensuing confidence during networking and interviewing process.  It is a good example of Guideline#3 in answering questions effectively…

At least address the issue of the question before…

  • Blocking
  • Turnaround
  • Answering in your terms
  • Confronting or changing the subject!

Thursday, July 23rd, we will be focusing on actual interview TACTICS that work well within our interview strategies learned in Closing The Deal I.  This will include a POST-Offer Negotiation Approach.


POST-Offer Negotiation

What is your position worth?

  1. Base Salary
  2. Any money structured enough to be paid in a regular/ frequent paycheck
  3. Unstructured or discretionary bonuses paid to you
  4. Benefits (budgeted as a ratio of base salary)
  5. Perks (becoming extinct, but not completely yet)
  6. First year vacation (what is your sanity worth?)
  7. Starting date (especially when employed -or- coupled with significant salary movement)

Under ‘normal circumstances’ you should have a salary increase as one of your objectives in career transition… NEVER sell yourself short!  Remember, you will be hired for your potential, not for what you’ve already accomplished.

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