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Interviewing: Close the sale with the right message

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in Centerpiece,Hiring,Human Resources

interviewWhen interviewing applicants, it’s important for supervisors to discover the person’s skill level and to see if they’d be a good fit for the organization. But it’s also important for the interviewer to exude positive energy and let the candidate know that this is a great place to work.

That’s why everyone who comes in contact with prospective job candidates, from receptionists to hiring managers, must think of themselves as salespeople at times. Here are tips to help achieve that goal:

  • Exude enthusiasm for your job. No one wants to work for a company where people are unhappy. Convey to the candidate what you love about your job, the company and co-workers. Smile and let your personable side show.
  • Bring in other satisfied­ ­­workers. Introduce the prospect to other em­­ployees who genuinely love their jobs and are good ambassadors of the organization. Select people who are friendly and able to generate the same enthusiasm.
  • Get specific. Don’t just say, “It’s a great place to work.” Say what you like about it: the benefits package, the location, friendly co-workers, challenging work, advancement, etc. Point out what sets the organization apart.
  • Explain advancement potential. Candidates will want to learn about their chances of moving up. Use examples to make your point. However, don’t make any promises. Statements such as “You could work here a very long time if you work hard” could actually be deemed legally binding, and the company could be sued for breach of contract if the employee is terminated.
  • Be prepared. Don’t quickly scan a résumé just before an interview. Take the time to review it beforehand and think about what you want in new employees and what you can say to encourage their in­­terest. Preparation also helps you keep the interview on track and decide if a candidate is qualified.
  • Don’t wait. Plant the positive seeds right from the start. Subtly sell the organization even during the first meeting. That way, you can reinforce those points later in the hiring process.

Avoid these top 4 interview turnoffs

Think of the last time you interviewed for a job. You wanted the interviewer to be polite, knowledgeable, honest and interesting. Here are four things to avoid when conducting interviews:

  1. Being vague about the job. It’s important for interviewers to provide a realistic overview of the position, including the less appealing facts. The last thing you want is a new employee feeling duped on his or her first week on the job. Downplaying a job’s unattractive aspects will result in more turnover and more hiring hassles.
  2. Asking illegal questions. Job candidates these days know that interviewers shouldn’t be asking them questions like “Are you married?” or “Do you have daycare plans for your children?” or “Do you have a disability?” Every question should revolve around one issue: How well could this person perform the job at hand?
  3. Overhyping the job. Being positive and enthusiastic is good, but don’t try to oversell the position. During the first interview, find out as much as possible about the applicant.
  4. Talking more than you listen. While putting in a good plug for the company is important, aim for an 85/15 split, with 85% of your time spent listening. Don’t rush to break silence; give candidates time to think.

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