The Flawless Interview
The Flawless Interview is an ebook designed to help you expertly prepare for and ace your next job interview. It coordinates much of what I have learned about conducting a successful job interview. The book provides answers to the important job interview questions you are likely to be asked and provides strategies to give you an edge over the competition. With The Flawless Interview, you will achieve a level of effectiveness, confidence and success in your next job interview in a way you never thought possible. The result? Job offers at the best possible terms.
From the Preface to The Flawless Interview
Why Do Employers Hire?
It’s a simple question. In fact, it’s so elementary that few job-seekers even think to consider it. So obvious that they think the question has nothing to do with them.
But ignoring this most fundamental question misses an enormous opportunity. What is that question? It’s simply this:
Why do companies hire?
It’s a basic question. Why do companies go through all the trouble it takes to interview and hire? Most job seekers really don’t think to ask that question. And because they don’t, they lose considerable advantage.
Do you know?
Go ahead, take a second and think about it. Why is the company going though all the headache and expense of putting ads in newspapers and job boards and then interviewing five, ten, even more people just like you? Why are busy people taking time away from developing products, serving customers, selling, and other productive tasks to talk to a bunch of people, the vast majority of whom will not be hired?
Why would they do that? Do you think they enjoy it? I can tell you that most companies consider recruiting and interviewing a royal pain and expense they’d prefer to avoid if they could.
So why do you think they do it?
When I do career workshops, here’s the first question I ask about job interviews: “Why do employers hire?”
Here are some of the answers I get.
Because I responded to the ad or posting.
They want to select the best individual.
They want to find what is out there.
Interviews tell companies if the potential employee can do the job or will fit in.
The company wants to expand.
All of these responses miss the boat.
There’s a more fundamental reason why you’re there. And until you understand what that reason is, you’re at a big disadvantage.
Why do companies interview and hire?
Because they are in pain.
Think about it. The company has important, money-making work to do and there’s no one to do it. That’s the only reason they are hiring. Because some activity that needs to happen is not happening. In other words, pain.
Companies interview and hire because they have a problem.
Critical tasks are being missed.
Important jobs are not being done.
Customers are complaining.
Prospects are being ignored.
Quality is decreasing.
Opportunities are being lost.
Money is being left on the table.
What does this insight mean to you?
Simple. If the company has a problem, then your success depends on being the best solution to their problem.
Seen from this context, now the interview and hiring process makes sense. The company is doing all the work of recruiting and interviewing not because they like the idea of recruiting and interviewing. In fact, they hate it. They are doing it because they need some skill, some talent, some expertise, or even just a warm body to solve their problem. Believe me, if they could solve their problems any other way, they would. If the work could be automated or computerized, it already has. If they could outsource, they’d have done it by now. But for various reasons, they can’t. They have to hire someone. The goal of this book is to give you the best shot at demonstrating that you are the best solution to their problem.
Your strategic goal, from beginning to end, is to be the solution to their problem. If you can do that, chances are you’ll get the job. The company will select the first candidate who is the solution to their problem. That’s the secret that spells the difference between an enthusiastic job offer and being an also-ran.
What Employers Really Look For
Is there anything as infuriating as knowing that someone got the job you wanted despite the fact that your qualifications were better than the successful candidate? We can lament that life is not fair, or that the fix was in, or that it was sexism or racism. But playing the victim will not help you get a job. Only one thing will. An extraordinary understanding of what employers really look for.
Oh, they say they want the most qualified individual.
But that’s not the whole truth. In fact, when it comes time to choose between applicants, qualifications often take a back seat to other considerations.
So if qualifications are not the most important thing, what is?
That’s right. Every employer wants to minimize the risk that the person they hire will be hard to manage, to work with, or to fit into the culture of the organization. In other words, that they will be a jerk who will create more problems for the organization that they solve.
Here’s the truth: most hiring managers want pretty much the same thing: they want to reduce risk. They want the safest candidate who can do the job they can find. They know that most applicants can be taught the skills they need. But character and work habits can’t be changed. The stakes are raised by the fact that hiring mistakes are expensive. No hiring authority wants to be responsible for a failed hire. For all these reasons, most companies want to play it safe.