June 21, 2018

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How Not to Sell Yourself During a Job Interview

Interviews are not Selling Events

Common interviewing advice recommends you sell yourself during a job interview. Interviews are often called selling events, but this is not true. Job interviews are just like playing darts blindfolded.

When you play darts, there is one target youíre trying to hit with your three darts. The person with the highest score wins the game.

Playing Darts Blindfolded

Interviews are exactly like playing darts. The target is the mental criteria each interviewer is measuring you against. Each dart represents a dimension of your many talents. You have many "darts of talent" you could throw at the target, but you can only throw three of them. To win this interview game you have to locate the target and decide which three talent darts you will throw. Remember also that each interviewer has a different target that you must locate.

You have one additional challenge. You're blindfolded and cannot see the target. To win the job interview dart game you must ask questions to illuminate the target. Asking the right questions will help you locate the target and tell you which three talent darts to present to your interviewer.

Find the Target & Select Your Darts

An effective opening question will provide you with the critical information you need to locate each interviewer's target.

Asking one of these opening questions at the start of each interview will help you locate the interviewer's target. I've asked an opening question every time Iíve been interviewed. Each time the interviewer answered clearly and I immediately knew how to handle that particular interview.

An opening question also tells you which three dimensions of your talents this interviewer is most interested in. Hence, with one opening question, you have found the target and know which of your talent darts to use with this interviewer.

Did you Hit the Target? Ö Did you Win?

Remember, in this game you are blindfolded. You'll need to check if you hit the target. After you throw each talent dart, check to see if you hit the target by asking the interviewer a follow-up question. The intention of your follow-up question is to make sure your answer was understood accurately.

These are a few examples of follow-up questions that will help solicit interviewer feedback on the effectiveness of your answers. Asking follow-up questions will also influence the course of the interview and help you perform at your best when it matters most in your job search. Job interviewers are just like playing darts blindfolded. If you do not ask questions you will be in the dark, miss the target and lose the game. Ask opening and follow-up questions in order to win this dart game and secure the job offer.

-Michael Neece

CEO Interview Mastery

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