So you have been looking for a new gig for a while and finally you find one that is worth checking out. You get on LinkedIn and see if you know anyone in your network working there now or even in the past. You find out the company is indeed a place you could see yourself in the future and continue to take the next steps. You ask your colleague to make an introduction for you with the hiring manager and you also apply online through the company website.
All of this assumes of course you actually HAVE a LinkedIn profile which you have been building as well as the fact you are utilizing the relationships you have been cultivating. If however, for some reason you have not then please let me know and I would be more than happy to assist you.
Well your colleague makes the introduction for you through LinkedIn and your previous experiences coupled with your complete LinkedIn profile land you a telephone interview with the hiring manager. It’s only 30-45 minutes, but you are certain you will wow her and she will want you to come in and meet the rest of the team right away. As with most telephone interviews, this is just to screen you to see if you would be a fit with the team, your skills on your resume all match up and what type of personality you have. This is often done by an internal recruiter, HR, or someone else, but since you showed the gumption to seek out the hiring manager she decides to perform the phone screen herself.
Right away you know you are moving on to the next stage in the process. You did your research and aside from the colleague making the initial introduction, you tell the manager about the multiple similarities the two of you share which you found out by following her on Twitter. You tell her how your background is a perfect match for what they are looking for and how you would be able to come in right away and make a difference and how much value you bring and this and that and everything else. And on and on and on.
While all of this is ok in moderation, that is the magic word at this stage of the game. MODERATION. You may be very well suited to have an immediate impact. But how do you know exactly what this organization is looking for or even this particular group? More than likely you know what they do and what they are looking for by the job description, but all too often even the hiring manager doesn’t TRULY know what is needed so chances are slim you have any clue at all!
Again, I am not against selling yourself to some degree, but just make sure you don’t over do it. In fact, I encourage you to sell yourself! Interviewing is about you selling yourself and your skills while the company sells themselves and the opportunity. In theory. And while many have the misconception that a great salesperson is someone that talks a lot, that couldn’t be further from the truth. They DO talk a lot, but if they are doing it properly, they are asking questions or if they are answering questions, they are keeping it brief. When you are talking the entire interview of course you think it went well. As humans we love nothing more than to hear our own name and our own voice. So if YOU are doing all of the talking you think everything is going well and you are a shoe in for the job. Again, this is wrong.
Almost 100% of the time when someone calls me after their interview and tells me they aced it and they are certain it will go to the next level or they will get the job I know I need to find someone else to fill the position. There are times where that isn’t the case, but it’s rare. Confidence is great and all, but you spent the whole time talking and didn’t give the manager the chance to get to really know you and build rapport. In sales (and interviews) building trust and rapport is so important that you can toss everything else out the window if you don’t have it. That is why I say it’s great in moderation, but just make sure you are having a conversation, not a monologue. Ask how she progressed to the current position. What drew her to the company when she first started? Something! When you actually converse it allows you to uncover some of the needs possibly not mentioned on the job description which will allow you to speak of your unique attributes and how they relate to the position.
One of the main, if not THE main reason for speaking too much is being excited and/or nervous. Trust me, I am quite guilty of this. This is why the importance of practice interviews is a constant subject when performing searches on interview preparation. By knowing what you are going to say, you are able to listen more and when the time is right sell your skills which will in turn enhance your chances to beat out the competition.
So next time you finish up an interview, look back and ask yourself if you did all of the talking. If your answer is “yes,” it may not be the best idea to start writing your two weeks notice. If the answer is “no,” it’s still not the best idea to start writing your two weeks notice, but the odds will be stacked higher in your favor and you may be that much closer to your next great opportunity!
What do you think? Have you been in this situation before or know someone who has? Please leave me some comments below!