When you share the right information, your interviewer will forget about the emails buzzing onto their smart phone and start taking notes on what you say. If you are interviewing for a public facing job, here’s how to grab your interviewer’s attention.
This method will help you gain greater knowledge of the organization and give you unique ideas for what it can do better. And it will cause you to easily stand out from other candidates.
Now, you probably know that a smart way to prepare for your interviews is to speak with current or previous employees – to collect some insider information.
Yet, if you prepare for your next interview by speaking with a different group of people, you will have different information, information that the hiring manager may not already know but would like to.
See, every single organization has a ‘customer’, someone who they serve. Customers include: students and their parents, patients, donors, Fortune 500 companies, or local shoppers.
And your future employer cares about the what these customers have to say whether that employer is: a non-profit trying to get more donations, a local or international business trying to land more sales, a medical practitioner trying to improve patient care, or almost any other field.
What kind of information would grab your interviewer’s attention? Here are some examples:
What do our customers ideally want from us?
What are they worried about (where we could provide help)?
What information do they need to feel completely comfortable with what we do?
Where is our organization excelling in their eyes?
What of their needs aren’t being met, and how are they dissatisfied?
What would we have to do differently for this person to recommend us or become an advocate for our organization?
Now, imagine your next interview after doing this research. Your interviewer asks you a question like, “What can you do for us?”
Then, you respond by saying, “After speaking with some of your current and prospective customers, I realized that you have a unique opportunity to create a new product and fix a major problem. I have the skills to help you do both…”
At that moment, your interviewer will definitely be paying attention. Questions about strengths or weaknesses will seem a lot less important than the insights you are about to share.
As an added bonus, if you do collect this ‘outsider information’ before your next interview, you will show that you are a go-getter who can help the organization succeed.
Now, to gather this information is going to take some work on your part. You will need to identify current customers or (often better) potentially new customers, reach out to them, have a conversation with them (short phone calls are great), record the info, and finally organize what you learned so that you can more effectively present this information in the interview.
This strategy is not a free lunch. Yet if you do this right, you can really stand out.
And if you want to make 100% certain you grab the interviewer’s attention with this research, you can take another step. Take all of your research and insights. Put it together in a proposal that shows exactly what you can do to solve their problems and, more importantly, their customers’ problems.