Take a step back from the job seeker perspective and take a look at the hiring manager”s perspective. The hiring manager is hiring because he has a problem. He either is in need of additional help or he is not satisfied with an employee and he wants to replace that employee. The hiring manager has a problem, you may not know exactly what the problem is but he is looking for a solution to his problem so he is hiring.

The challenge for the interviewee is to be the solution. The hiring manager is going to hire the person that fits his needs and is a solution to his problem. It is all up to you to be the solution, no one is going to make you the solution, you have to be the solution. You cannot simply rely on your skills to sell you as a solution. You have to do more than that, sell yourself as that solution. Tell the person doing the interview that you had 95% efficiency at your last job and that you showed up every day. Describe your previous jobs and how you made a difference to that company.

It is easy when you get a job to feel relaxed and not work as hard. NO that is wrong, in this competitive job market the employees that only do the bare minimum get replaced or laid off. Go the extra mile when you are working and tell the hiring manager how you went the extra mile at your last job. Tell the interviewer that you did the job in three hours instead of the four hours expected. Tell him or her about how you finished your work early and cleaned you machine, helped a struggling employee, or take on new projects. By going the extra mile you are becoming a solution to the problem.

Another radical way to prove that you are a solution to your problem is to offer to work for free for a certain time period. Prove to them that you are the solution and that you are the employee that they need. Simply making the offer may impress the hiring manager so much that they are willing to offer you the job right away. As a footnote it is important to be prepared to go through with any offer that you make. Another important foot note is that it is important to sell yourself as the solution but do not sell yourself as the the solution to a problem that you cannot fix.

If you have any questions then please comment on this blog and I will answer it promptly.

Views: 57

Comment by Jerry Albright on May 13, 2009 at 8:48am
Sorry but I won't be advising anyone to "offer to work for free" during an interview. You may or may not know that 99.9999999% of all "job openings" in this country most certainly fall under Federal and State Minimum Wage regulations.

Some of the other suggestions 'may' be helpful if indeed you ARE a top producer. If you can demonstrate you are 95% efficient then by all means you should. Not quite sure how you would give evidence to that but hey - give it a shot!

But suggesting free work? It would (in my opinion) show a lack of understanding of how business really works. Top people do not work for free and should not be encouraged to suggest it.

Comment by Rob D on May 14, 2009 at 4:47pm
Ok, I see your points. I don't think that I fully explained myself on the "working for free” concept. It is a very extreme concept that should only be used as a last resort. You are right, I probably would not offer to work for free during the first interview but if I really wanted the job and the job was something that I believed in then I might consider the idea.

I got this concept from a friend who used this and gained a full time position. My friend was laid off from the auto industry. His brother recently was in an accident that left him crippled so my friend wanted to work in the Medical field so he could help people. He found a small manufacturing company that made prosthesis and set his heart on working there. He found out that the company was not in position to hire any more people so my friend called the owner up and said he would work for free for two weeks. At the end of the two weeks if the owner could not find a place for him then he would walk away. My friend worked and because he believed in it so much the owner offered him a job after the first week. He is now on the management team and loving work. My friend did not get his start sweeping floors either. He made a lateral career move from the auto industry.

Will this work for everyone, no it is not a perfect solution. I never intended to insinuate that it was. This worked because he had the desire to do anything to work for this company. If you view a job as just a job and nothing more then a paycheck working for free would never work but if a job is something more to you then this may work if you are willing to give it a try. I simply wanted to share a story of a friend who had a radical idea to get a job that worked. If you are not comfortable doing this then don’t. Ignore this idea.

As for my other suggestions I was not intending to provide a script. You may not be a star sales person or the employee of the month but it is still important to sell yourself in the interview. You could simply say : “Hello, my name is Jon Smith and I am a dependable candidate that will bring value to your company.” I was trying to make a point that you should take your best quality and try and sell that to your potential employer.

I am just trying to offer my perspective on a different way to approach the job hunt. Different things work for different people. I appreciate comments like this. I think it gives me a chance to better explain myself and my ideas. If anyone has anymore comments, questions, or suggestions please make them.


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