Are you selling your company in an interview?

When most of us think about a job interview, we naturally think the candidate must do all the selling. They are expected to sell their:

  •    Accomplishments
  •    Capabilities
  •    Personality and professionalism
  •    Future (meaning their value to the company)

Some interviewers believe they are in the position of power, sometimes with an attitude of “impress me or you’re gone.” That stance may have worked years ago when the economy wasn’t doing so well, but it is not the best course of action to take today.

According to Careerbuilder and many other news & hiring organizations, the hiring climate today is the best it has been in a decade. What does that mean for the person conducting the interview? Simple: In order to hire the best talent for your organization, you need to be prepared to close the deal and be prepared to:

  1. Sell yourself
  2. Sell your company
  3. Sell your vision
  4. Answer tough questions
  5. Know what your competition is saying
  6. Know what your competition is offering
  7. Have your compensation be competitive
  8. Communicate your interest in a candidate
  9. Be prepared to close a candidate on why they should join your company

To many individuals, the above list sounds unnecessary, but think about it. Have you lost candidates due to:

  • Other offers
  • Counteroffers
  • Not wanting to take the first offer that comes along
  • The job not being exactly what the candidate wants
  • Wanting or expecting a higher compensation

It’s in the best interest of the person responsible for interviewing and hiring the top talent to be prepared for these objections. The days of “our company is great and everyone should want to work here” are not as prevalent as they once were. Even top 100 companies need to understand that they are competing for talent today and must have a plan to sell who they are and where they are going.

So where do you begin?

Start with yourself. I believe that ‘people go to work for people’, so it is imperative that you put your best foot forward. After all, you are making the first impression on behalf of your company.

Think about selling your background and why someone should want to join your team. Consider your own journey with your company. Have you been promoted? What accomplishments are you proud of achieving in your current role. Do you and your team consistently reach your goals?  New hires want to join a winning team. If your team has struggled, be honest about your struggles and your plan to overcome.  

What’s new on the horizon?

Think about what type of a manager you are and what are the best approaches to communicate effectively with you. Being able to address these topics will create a succinct picture for potential candidates to buy into. When you interview top talent you want them to see a very clear picture of who they will be working for and how they can fit into your vision. You want the best talent but you also need to find the right fit on the team.

Think about this from a different angle.

Consider your company’s culture.  What is it like to work at your company? What is the communication style?  Does this company promote from within?  Do they acknowledge people’s work? Is the atmosphere collaborative or cut throat? Make sure when you prepare to sell your company, you take into account the reasons people will excel and thrive in your company.

The question becomes how can you sell your vision to potential new hires?  Think about the direction you are taking your team and why someone should want to go with you. This is where you own personal passion and sincerity comes in. People need to believe in you and want to work with you to move forward.

As all of this comes together through the interviewing process you should expect the candidate to sell you as much as you are selling them.  But remember that in today’s climate, candidates are receiving multiple offers. Be prepared to help close the candidate on accepting your offer. In this climate, it is not the time to make a low offer to see if you can get lucky with an acceptance.

By being prepared and staying true to yourself and your company, you will find the right candidate.

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