Before the interview,
ask this one question
to get all the answers
By: Katreena Hayes-Wood
Interviews at best can be nerve-wracking, but in today’s stressful, often painfully sluggish job market, interviews can take on the feel of all-out desperation. However, there is one tip, that you always have at your disposal, which can work wonders to ease, your interviewing anxiety and help you gain the answers to 90% of all those tough interviewing questions.
That tip, my favorite actually, that I site several times in my new book, Help! I Need A Job, is the Three Minute - Three Question rule. It’s basic, easy to use and requires no learning curve…just nerve.
During the first three minutes of your interview, before the questions begin, ask your interviewer this question: “What are the three most important qualities that you are looking for in the candidate you want to hire”?
It’s important to immediately follow your questions with an explanation. Continue, by adding, “The reason that I am asking you is so that when I answer my questions I can use the experience in my background to address what’s most important to you as it relates to this position.”
The reason it is so important to follow up with the above statement is to let the interviewer know that you are not playing a game. If you ask the question without the follow up comment, the interview will feel like you’re playing a game.
Let me use an example to illustrate how the Three Minute-Three Question rule might work. Let’s say you’ve just asked the question, “What are the three most important qualities that you are looking for in the candidate you want to hire”? The interviewer gives you this response:
1. Creativity 2. Good Sales Skills 3. Honesty
What you have above are the answers for all of the questions that follow. For example, let’s say that you are interviewing for a sales position and the interviewer asks you the following question: “Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty on the job.” Your answer might go something like this:
“As an outside sales person, I was required to bring in new business each month. One month I had been working on a particular client worth about $1 Million per year in potential business for my company. I absolutely could not get in to see the decision maker so I came up with a creative idea that I hoped would get their attention. I filled a cup, with our company logo on it, full with brown colored M&Ms® topped with a single red M&Ms® and a note attached that read, “Please give us a try we really do stand out in the crowd with the best temps in the business and the best service.” By the time, I had returned to the office the potential client called and had asked if I could come by the next day at ten o’clock. I got the contract and they became one of my best clients.”
What this example shows are two things from the skills list above, first, your sales skills and second, your creativity. Exactly what the employer is looking for in the person he wants to hire.
So, the next time you’re at an interview, stop and remember to ask the Three Minute-Three Question rule. I can promise you, you won’t be sorry you did.
The Southwest Valley Express Network of the
American Business Women’s Association.
To learn more about the American Business Women’s Association you may visit their website at: www.ABWA.org
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