What does it take to sell yourself as a job candidate? During the application process your potential employer may not tell you what it takes, but that should not stop you from asking. If you get a constructive response, that could change the game. I’ve asked, and was tipped off about a book the owner of the company wrote. This gave me insight into the company culture and, when I was later able to quote the boom, demonstrated that I could learn and take the initiative.
“This is your chance to pivot and pursue.”
During the job search process, and later in the employment relationship, it’s important to remember it’s not about you but the services you provide. During the application and interview process, identify three key problems that the company is trying to address with this hiring, and then present yourself as their solution now, and going into the future. If you talk to them over the phone for a screening or an interview:
- Notice when they’ve gone silent. They may be typing or writing notes. This isn’t a time to panic or get nervous but a chance to display confidence. What does confidence look like for you in this situation? Can you tell when you’ve said something profound? If you made a slip of the tongue, can you recover? This can also tip you off when you answered well so keep this in mind as you move forward.
- Notice when they ask you to repeat something. That ‘something’ has caught their attention. This can be your chance to pivot and pursue this topic as it may be your strength in this situation. It may also be that your intent was not understood. It can take practice to know the difference, but to restate the answer in a more concise way may provide you with the insight you need.
“Discover what dots to connect and which ones to hang your hat on.”
There could be a lot of candidates, or only you. Keep in mind that, regardless, this is a process so you are trying to make it positively memorable.
- Know when they’re offering opportunity for growth. Opportunity is the chance for you to grow something. If you ask them for an oak tree and they provide you with an acorn, this is a chance for you to demonstrate you know what they’re offering, and to illustrate how you’ve made something happen in the past, or how you plan on making the most of this chance now. It is key that you know what dots to connect and which ones to hang your hat on.
- Know how they like to build their team. If you don’t know, ask. If they provide you with an opportunity, ask questions about the structure or guidance they provide.
The truth is their ideal client may change so its important to be adaptable because this process is also an opportunity to make something grow.