So much of the interview advice bandied about on the internet is about damage limitation. Advice like “Don’t be late,” or “Dress smartly” is great if you want to avoid sabotaging your interview but if you want to get ahead of the crowd advice gets thin on the ground.
This article is my humble attempt to share a true value-add interview tip, so with no more fluff or fuss…
Just the Tip
The interview is virtually over and it probably feels like the job is won or lost already, there is just that pointless final question left:
“Do you have any questions for us?”
The tip is to answer this with:
“Is there anything I can do between now and starting the job to make me even better suited?”
That line puts the interviewer in a position where they have to verbally say you are perfect for the job (which is no small thing), or name some specific shortcoming and give you another chance at convincing them of your abilities or experience.
Of course, if you are genuinely weak in the named area this is not going to help much. But often it is usually a case of accidental omission on the part of the interviewee. It is all too easy to not give enough coverage on a particular subject which the interviewer may be interested in, especially if the job requires numerous skills or experience.
My Personal Experience
I would never advise anything unless I had used it successfully myself.
And this tip is gold! Since being told about this by a fellow freelancer a few years ago, I have used this approach around ten-fifteen times (as a freelancer I tend to interview every 6 to 9 months) and it has been well received every time.
The usual response is a nod and wry smile from the interviewer(s) as they acknowledge the brilliance of this question. I have even an interviewers compliment me on it and admit they will use it themselves at their next interview.
Does it guarantee you’ll get the job?
No, but nothing will.
There are always factors outside our control. But personally, I can directly credit it with me securing at least three jobs when concerns were raised around my abilities or experience and I was able to address these fears.
Obviously, making this ‘tip’ public potentially weakens it as a strategy for myself, so I’ll probably have to return to asking if it is okay to use the disabled parking if I’m hungover!
About the Author
Dean Paumme is an active freelancer in the Business/IT arena and author of “The Secret Route to Riches: How to make millions with your current career”, a no nonsense, tip laden guide to making the most of your skillset.
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