Recently I had a conversation with a job seeker which I have had similarly with many others in the past. The conversation begins with a recap of what actions they have taken in their job search and what thei r expectations are for working together. I often here something like, “I can handle the job search – I just need a resume to get me in the door, and I know I can talk my way into the job – I can talk my way into anything”. Have you ever said or heard or said this before?
As articulate and compelling as You might think your communication skills are, if you have nothing to say that interests the interviewer, you will not gain a job offer.
The key is to know what to say in the interview and once again, it comes down to knowing who you are interviewing with. For every interview or influential contact you schedule a meeting with, you should spend several hours researching and educating yourself on the company in question. Areas to become familiar with include the industry, current needs or issues of the company, biggest competition, new projects underway, future plans and problems the company is currently facing. Think ahead of 3 – 5 ways you can use your skills, expertise, contacts, or experience to help in achieve current corporate goals or resolve existing problems.
Coming to the meeting prepared will allow you to fully engage in the conversation, where you can communicate your expertise and the value that you will bring to the company. Otherwise your conversation ends up sounding like a “me, me, me” story instead of a “here is how can I help you” conversation.
To be memorable you must have something worth saying and fitting for the position. If you go in blind with no preparation or understanding of what they are looking for you are selling you skills and yourself short. You might have exactly what they need but it is up to you to let them see how well suited you are for their job, their company and solving their problems.