I’ve been noticing a trend with many of my clients with whom I help to improve their interviewing skills; they think the interview is about themselves! They believe that they are doing all the talking and answering all the questions so why wouldn’t the interview be about themselves? My response to each person has remained consistent, “You must learn to flatter the interviewer.” At the end of the day, people will hire people that they like and trust. Here are some tricks to do just that.
Learn To Flatter The Interviewer
- Be A Solution To Their Problem: Here is the whole point to interviewing; the interviewer has a problem and they want to see if you can be a solution to that problem. I believe this is something we can all agree on. With that being said, you are probably going in to interviews thinking, “I’m going to show them that I am the best solution around!” Unfortunately, while that is right first step in thinking, you will fail in every step after that. The problem you will face is that you do not know their exact problem. You have an idea based off of the job description, but that’s it. The secret is to ask. Instead of waiting until the end of the interview to ask a question, ask in the beginning. Ask the interviewer, “What specific problems are you facing today in your job and/or department?” When you ask a question like this, you are hearing directly from the source about what their problems are. Now, you can gear your answers specifically towards what their problems are and sound like an all-star.
- Change The Way You Ask Your Questions: If I had to guess, you are asking questions such as, “What is the culture like?” and “What are three traits that you are looking for in the successful person?” A lot of coaches would argue those are great questions to ask and that you should ask them in every interview. However, to some degree, they are wrong. Remember, the key to interviewing is to flatter the interviewer. We can ask the same questions, but twist them a bit to learn the same thing while flattering the interviewing. For example, “What are a few things that you enjoy about the culture here at _____?” and “What are three traits that got you promoted here at _____?”
Now, lets think about those new questions. Not only are you still gaining the same exact answer from the previous questions mentioned, but you are also flattering the interviewer. You are giving them the opportunity to talk about themselves and you are asking them their own opinion. This is an easy distinguishing factor for you against the other candidates.
- Do Your Research: This one can be a bit more difficult, but not impossible. Do your research and find commonalities between you and the interviewer. Sometimes you may not find commonalities until you are in the actual interview which will take a bit of off-the-cuff improvisation. However, with some basic Google searching and LinkedIn reviewing, you can find plenty of information to relate too. This goes back to my first point that people hire people that they like and trust. This is an easy way to build a basic rapport with the interviewer. Again, the point is the flatter the interviewer and talk about things they want to talk about.