Got an interview? Take a different approach!

We have been using a different approach to prepare our candidates for interviews. We’ve developed an on-line tool that has the candidate generating a solutions based presentation on why they are a good fit for the role. The candidates’ walk into the interview (typically the second interview or first in person) with a printed and bound presentation (call them discussion points) and when the questions start … the candidate says, I’ve put together a brief summary of why I am excited about this opportunity and why I believe I’m a good fit. Would you mind if I review it with you? 95% of the time the hiring manager says yes, unless it is a highly structured interview. The candidate must know to be flexible and watch body language of the interviewer. Bottom line is this approach has worked great for us as recruiters and to help prepare our candidates. We’ve had a wide variety of individuals use it. We do recruiting in technology and health care.

Going through the process is where the real value is because the candidates must think through the key qualifiers and be able to come up with a few key points / accomplishments relative to the requirement. As a result, they are much more confident, on point and differentiate themselves among the competition.

We used a powerpoint platform previously and then decided to develop the process on the web. It’s called WintheView - winning the interview. It’s like a turbo tax for recruiting … a step by step wizard that makes it very easy for job seekers to create a presentation to powerfully communicate their fit for the role.

Candidates can develop as many presentations, follow up letters and accomplishment stories as they wish and can come back to them anytime in the future. It has custom industry templates for the cover page and many pull down libraries of information to help build the presentation. Hiring managers respond well to this approach and appreciate the level of preparation demonstrated by the candidate.

It’s nice for recruiters as candidates can work on it independently and then collaborate with them to make sure they are on track. One placement pays for hundreds of presentations. The cost is $59.95 for 3 months.
We are just now starting to market this tool so it is still very much a differentiator for recruiting firms and candidates. Any suggestions for getting the word out would be much appreciated. We have over 200 success stories and many placements directly due to WintheView

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Comment by Mitch Byers on July 29, 2008 at 10:40pm
Ken, I like your concept. As you know, getting the candidate to share RELEVANT information during the interview is a challenge. Often, the candidate that shares the most relevant and the most engaging stories gets the offer. Your strategy cuts to the chase and gets both parties focused on the business at hand. Just curious how you do your matching between the candidate and the job description.

I occasionally coach folks in job transition and use a job competency schema to assist in framing their job search. They first go through a brief 10 minute exercise to determine their personal competency model. The exercise helps them get their mind around the importance of knowing their strengths. From there, I show them how to determine which competencies are the most critical for the position, based on a step-by-step deconstruction of the job description. Ideally, there is a strong match between the two.

I was just wondering if your system was competency-based or some version thereof. Thanks.

Mitch Byers, author of InterviewRX and SalaryNegotiationsRX
Comment by Ken Diamond on July 30, 2008 at 9:28am
Hi Mitch, thanks for your comments. I see our interview tool appropriate for different target markets. With regard to your question, as recruiters, it is our job to uncover the key requirements of the career opportunity and qualify the candidate. Once we feel they are a good fit, we offer this tool as a value add and most people use it and comment on how the process makes them think through their "relevant" points to make during the interview. Putting their qualifications and supporting content to a paper presentation, more or less forces them to think through what they will say during the interview.

Another obvious market for is the outplacement and career coaching crowd. These people are being coached to land a job sooner, so to the extent the career coach or consultant helps the individual with the presentation approach, the candidate should be able to assemble a strong presentation.

When the job seeker visits our site by referral or another means, we have developed a series of pull down libraries that help the individual build the presentation. We still have a ways to go in terms of making the site intuitive, but it works today and we have many success stories.

I would be happy to discuss further and welcome your comments.
Thanks, Ken Diamond 610-941-0700


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