Interview tips beyond the usual

  • Stephanie Clark

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The Interview as Marketing

Posted by Stephanie on November 16, 2011

Marketing and sales are an artform that is also based on science. The science comes from knowing what motivates people to act, and the art comes in how articulately and convincingly you present your case.

Every job hunter is conducting a self-marketing exercise: in selling services that the employer wants to purchase. Learning a few marketing tricks might be useful.

First of all, every marketer knows the product’s value proposition, that is, what makes that product worth purchasing, and what makes it different from other, similar products. In this case, you, the job hunter, are the product. Your value proposition is based on a)your education/credentials; b) your experience and related skills; and c)your unique features.

The second critical piece is to know the purchaser’s (employer’s) “buying motivators.” What motivates someone to pick up a lunch from a fast-food chain rather than a posh restaurant? Knowing what motivates a customer drives the marketing message. (Are you selling fast service or scrumptious goodies?)

What drives your customer, that is, what is your employer looking for? Yes, someone with a value proposition that matches the job’s “Desired Skills and Experience.” But that’s only a beginning. (Your competitors are likely to have similar value propositions.) What the employer is really looking for, what really motivates him or her to “buy” your services, is related to the bottom line.

Are you a sales agent? Exceeding sales goals, identifying a new market, increasing market share … those are related to the buying motivators.

Are you a teacher? Engaging your students to excel, maintaining discipline or control while respecting children’s self esteem, maintaining great relationships with parents, staying on top of innovations in teaching and subject matter … those are related to the buying motivators.

How about the administrative assistant? Keeping files and schedules supremely organized so that no deadline is missed, no task forgotten, keeping your boss on time and prepared for meetings, knowing your way around a growing list of software to prepare attractive reports and PowerPoints … those are related to the employer’s buying motivators.

Figure out how your job affects the company’s bottom line, articulate how you impacted – positively – the bottom line in the past, and you’ll have the recruiter’s undivided attention!


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