Welcome to this week's Ask Coach Kim's Blog! – If you're new here, my blog topics are centered around career advice to help job seekers. With 27 years experience as a Career Coach and Resume Writer, this advice will help you or someone you know be successful through career transition. If you're on Twitter, please Retweet. If you're on Facebook, please Share with your friends or with everyone. If you're on LinkedIn, please send to your Contacts. LinkedIn was originally created for job seekers going through career transition. Topics in my blogs include resume writing, interviewing, social networking, volunteering, public speaking, salary negotiating and managing change. Last week, we discussed Job Interview Success! The 7 Critical Rules to Remember. These rules give you a framework to help you successfully answer any question the interviewer asks you.
Today's blog focuses on a strategy that positions you as the ideal candidate for the job by writing a proposal to close the deal. How? By preparing for the interview and asking the interviewer the right questions. Sounds too simple, doesn't it? It is. The answers you receive will give you the information you need to turn the employer needs into a proposal. A proposal of how you can make a positive difference based on the interview. Sound like a strategic plan for you? Read on …
When the interviewer asks you "Do you have any questions for me?" Answer "Yes, I have three or yes, I have four." Let the interviewer know how many questions you have so they give you the time you need to ask your questions. After you ask each question, it is important to take notes. Write the key words to the answers the interviewer gives you, in their language. Below are the strategic questions to ask.
Here's an example of my experience with a client closing the deal with his proposal.
Jim was interviewing for the position of District Manager of three States. He contributes his proposal to landing a higher paying position, Customer Relationship Manager of Key Accounts, Western States, US. Jim received a call directly after he sent his proposal to the hiring manager. He said, "As soon as I emailed the proposal with my thank you letter, I got a phone call from the hiring manager telling me he wanted to hire me for another position he thought would be a "better fit." He thought of me for this new position while he read my proposal."Questions to Ask the Interviewer
- What would you like the ideal candidate to accomplish in the next 60, 90 and 180 days?
- What are the biggest issues you're facing today?
- How have your business goals changed over the past two years and what are you expecting in the next one or two years?
- What's the timeframe for the next steps in the hiring process?
What would you like the ideal candidate to accomplish in the next 60, 90 and 180 days? In my experience, the interviewer may give you an answer for each timeframe. In many cases, questions #2 and #3 above will be answered with question #1. There is no need to repeat the question if it's already been answered, however remember to take good notes for your proposal to answer them each individually of how you can make a difference. Do not give too much detail of how you accomplished this, however, do give the results of your accomplishments. You want the hiring manager to need YOU to do the job. Not take what you wrote and run with it. I've seen this happen if you give too much information.
What are the biggest issues you're facing today? Remember, if the employer already answered this question with your question #1, take notes here, but, there is no need to ask this one. If they did not give you this information from your first question, do ask this question and take notes for your proposal. They will be impressed you are asking this question. It's been my personal experience that this one question can raise issues they hadn't thought about when they created the position you're interviewing for and could change the job description. This is another story for another time.
How have your business goals changed over the past two years and what are you expecting in the next one or two years? As in the previous question, if the employer already answered this question with your question #1, take notes here, but, there is no need to ask this one. If they did not give you this information from your first question, do ask this question and take notes for your proposal. Similarly, I found the answer to this question to be quite interesting in some interviews. Listen well, and remember your purpose for asking these questions. To write a proposal of how you can make a positive difference and land the job.
What's the timeframe for the next steps in the hiring process? Always ask this question. You want to know the timeframe for your next steps before you leave the interview. Why? So you'll know when to follow up. Collect a business card from each interviewer so you'll have the information needed to follow up with their correct name, title, direct phone number and email address.
I recommend sending your proposal as part of your thank you letter or send it with your thank you letter as long as your thank you letter remains one page or less. To format your proposal, create two columns. One column will be titled Company Requirements. These are the answers the interviewer provided for the questions you asked in the interview. The second column will be titled Your Qualifications. In this section you'll write how you can make a positive difference based on the interview.
I hope this week's blog has been helpful to you. For a refresher of previous interviewing blogs, I recommend reviewing the blog titled "Interviewing Tip #1" and Dressing for Success for the Job Interview.
Do you need immediate help with job interviewing, social networking or salary negotiating? Or, maybe you're thinking about hiring a professional resume writer to help you write your resume. I can help. To email me a comment, ask a question or schedule a free initial phone consultation, please give me a call or contact me at www.JustResumesUSA.com.