Interview Tips: 3 Strikes and You’re In
By Frances Cole Jones
Recently, I was speaking with a mastermind behind hiring for a nation-wide sales force, and found what he said so interesting that I wanted to pass it along to you:
1. He told me that he makes it a practice not to call candidates back until they have left him at least 3 messages. His thinking? If you can’t take silence/rejection in the pre-interview process, how are you going to be able to take it in a sales situation? Should you leave him 3 messages, however, you are guaranteed an interview — no matter what’s on your resume.
Now I’m guessing some of you are thinking, “But what if I’m not in sales? Should I really keep calling?” Well, yes, if you truly want the job (although you might want to mix it up with some emails and snail mail.) Throughout, however, tone is critical: you need to sound easygoing, flexible, accessible. You don’t want to make people feel they are in trouble for not calling you back, or sound as if their call is the only thing between you and a quick step off a high cliff.
2. Halfway through the interview he makes a point of saying, “I just don’t think you’re the right fit for us” — regardless of the candidate’s experience. Again, he’s found this is an easy way to discover how committed the interviewee is to being part of the firm. He says it’s amazing how many people actually say, “I didn’t think so either, but I just thought I’d come in …”
Now, I have to say I loved this — I talk a lot about prepping for softball queries (“Tell me about yourself?” etc.) but haven’t spoken much about handling a hardball like this one. How would I have you tackle it? First, make sure you don’t look down, lean back … reveal your discomfort through your body in any way. Smile. Inhale. Speak on an exhalation. Say, “I understand how you may think that, given my lack of experience with X/my checkered past/how long I’ve been freelancing, but I think you’ve underestimated how committed I am to working for your firm. If I may, I’ll take you through my thinking one more time.”
Will this be easy? Probably not. If you’ve prepped for it, however, you might be pleasantly surprised to discover you’ve hit a home run.
Frances Cole Jones is the President of Cole Media Management and author of “How to Wow: Proven Strategies for Selling Your (Brilliant) Self in any Situation” and “The Wow Factor: The 33 Things You Must (and Must Not) Do to Guarantee Your Edge in Today’s Business World”.
Attention Job Seekers: Frances has also created an app for the iPhone and iPad called “Interview Wow”. She is always happy to answer questions, and can be reached at www.francescolejones.com.
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