• Initial Rapport
  • Be calm, confident.
  • Tune in to the other person. Pay attention to who s/he is and how s/he’s doing this day.
  • Be genuine.
  • Approach the interview with positive expectations.

Probing, Listening Actively, Building Rapport and Knowledge of Primary Needs

Identify primary needs to assess the person and the opportunity, and to be persuasive.

  • Primary needs are the real, often hidden, needs of the interviewer. They might include:
    • improve the value of my equity by getting these problems solved
    • get a role model in here to help the younger folks and take a load off of me
    • get a guru here because I can’t handle some of the questions, etc.
  • Listening actively means engaging in what’s being said. At appropriate breaks, you reflect your understanding of what you hear, empathize, and/or probe further to expand or clarify what’s being said.

The interview is a unique form of goal-oriented communication

Presenting Features, Backed by Examples and Translated into Benefits and Outcomes

To illustrate:

Feature: I’m an expert on IP security.

Example: In fact, I was one of the chief architects and patent holders on the latest version of our product.

Benefit: What that means for you is that I can bring in a specialized knowledge as well as contact base and even notoriety to your security issues. We closed a major customer not long after a presentation I made to the CSO and her team.

Benefits are most powerful when personalized to someone’s primary needs.

Overcoming Objections

Sometimes objections should not be overcome, for example, when certain basic requirements for proceeding are not met. For example, if someone considers you “ too senior for what we basically see as maintenance coding,” the job is probably not right for you, unless there is a chance at creating a role that would utilize more of your expertise.

To overcome an objection, first listen to ensure that you:

  • understand the nature of the objections
  • understand the model of what the objector really wants, confirmed through reflecting what you’ve heard

Often, people’s objections stem from short-sighted assumptions or hidden biases. You must quickly evaluate the validity of the objection before marshaling your response.

If you are to respond, there are three basic rules to follow:

  1. Don’t get defensive. A response differs from a defense.
    Example: “It’s true I had those two short tenures in a row. I understand your concern about commitment. But you can see I have longer tenures as well, and both the shorter ones were with start-up’s, which demonstrates my ability to take risk. I believe you can use someone who isn’t afraid to try new approaches.”
  2. Probe for the bedrock concerns at the foundation of the objection.
    Objection: You’re expensive.
    Possible Concerns:
    -How can I feel more confident of return on my investment?
    -I don’t have the budget for this. Is there something you can say to help me get more?
    -Hey, you make more than I do!
    -To pay you that money would create unrest with the rest of the team who earn less.
    -I don’t think you’re a match, but it’s easier to say it’s the money.
    -What if you don’t produce?
  3. Position negatives from the objector’s model into positive differentiation.
    Example: “I understand your financial concerns. But look at it as a commentary on how much I’ve been valued in other settings. And that’s because I produce. Of course, it also means I’ll have that much more incentive to produce here, to prove myself.”

Interviews should be closed out with purpose

Summarizing, Giving and Soliciting Feedback

  • At the end of a session, summarizing what should be understood clarifies what’s been communicated. Offering specific feedback, particularly if you feel positively about a potential opportunity, adds meat around the bones of your interest to continue, thus making it more natural to move towards closure.
  • Knowing you intend to summarize and offer feedback at the end forces you to listen more attentively throughout.

Closure Towards Action Plan, Step Commitments

  • It is important at every stage in the process of developing a good opportunity to understand what it takes to achieve the next step. Often the time when you can most artfully gain a commitment from someone on the fence is during the feedback and summary at the end.

Managing Expectations

  • The concept of managing expectations is rooted in one prime directive: no surprises. Identify problem areas as quickly as possible and raise them to your EGS Elite Search Consultant or other appropriate person. It might be compensation, job title or responsibilities, commute, feeling about an interviewer. Dealing with these or other issues early on creates the opportunity for resolution one way or the other.

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