Jacksonville Advantage: Handbook for Small Business Volume 6, Issue 9 : Page 26

INDUSTRY INSIDER ADVANTAGE MARKETING Interviewing – Critical Communication Skills for Salespeople and Job Seekers With your research in hand, it is time to prepare for your interview. MARK VICKERS After 20 years in corporate IT, Mark followed his passion for supporting professionals as a Certified Professional Coach and a Certified World Class Speaking Coach. What can you do for them? During the interview it is important to figure out the best way to show that you have something they need. Most people are more concerned with their own needs than those of others. The salesperson is concerned with getting the order, and the job seeker in getting the job. While this is important that you are taken care of, making the person and company you are talking to your primary concern will generate the results you desire. The best way to position yourself is to use your research to ask powerful and appropriate questions. For example, you could ask any of the following: • What do you feel is the biggest challenge the company (or department) is facing? • What is the number one goal of your team? • If you could achieve one improvement next month what would it be? Through these questions, you will get the interviewer talking more about the company and requirements, providing you an opportunity to give responses indicating how you can help with the situation facing the company. Make sure to keep answers short, and to the point. You are planting seeds that lead them to wanting you on their staff. Plant many seeds along the way, while keeping them talking, and your chances for success will increase. W hether you are in a one-on-one sales discussion or interviewing for a new job, your success will heavily depend on your communication skills during the interviewing process. In a very short period of time you will be required to: • Build rapport • Gather information • Share information • Close the deal It is a standard sales call repeated thousands of times a day. It’s also the framework for a standard job interview; the only difference is instead of selling a product or service you are selling yourself. To make the most of your ”interview” with a hiring manager or purchaser, here is a series of steps that will help you communicate in the most effective manner. Research While it shouldn’t need to be said, learn as much about the company as possible. Your intent in researching the company is not to regurgitate everything they already know, or to prove you are willing to research, but rather to prepare great questions. The person on the other side of the desk will know you did your research through the questions you ask. As you conduct your research, look for: • Company history • Products and services • Recent news and announcements • Testimonials 26 ADVANTAGEBIZMAG.COM | Volume 6, Issue 9 Be knowledgeable but teachable. Through your questions and comments, you will have opportu-nities to share your knowledge that is relatable to their business (remember, don’t waste time sharing extraneous detail that they don’t care about). When given an opportunity to talk about how you have handled similar situations in the past, look for opportunities to demon-strate a willingness to learn and be flexible.

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