Selling the Benefits
by Michael Mayher

Any accomplished and successful salesperson reads the title and knows immediately to what I am referring. The best way to sell any product or service is to present the benefits, thus demonstrating to potential customers why they should choose what you have to offer to them rather than someone else.

When you interview, it is, or I suggest it should be, the very same concept you use when you interview for a job. Simply replace the word buy with the word hire and the advantage of this approach should be obvious. Applying this logic and making the appropriate adjustments to your efforts can make a notable difference anytime you are presenting yourself in pursuit of a new job, for a promotion or even a pay raise.

This concept goes to the heart of the interview process and exemplifies your task when you are looking for a new job. As a headhunter, before I will consider whether or not I might represent someone, I always ask, “Why should anyone hire you?” How they reply will influence to what degree I think I can help them. You need to ask yourself this same question. If you can’t sufficiently answer with anything compelling then you have some work to do and this, ladies and gentlemen, is the starting point and where to focus your self-improvement efforts. This is an aspect that can quickly transform your interview performance results. I consider it to be so important, that you should not even attend another interview, until you can provide some compelling answers to that basic question.

Make a list if you need to and refine it, practice it so you are ready when the time comes. Know how to respond with something that results in a hiring manager nodding his head in agreement when he or she hears your responses. If you make a claim be ready to back it up with evidence. You can pre-empt them and also save time by sharing some of the information when they ask, “So tell me about yourself?” Don’t delude yourself into thinking you can breeze through an interview hiding behind and simply reciting your resume. You’ve got to go beyond the resume and elaborate, expound about that which they already have in their hands, they can read too. That’s the difference between those who simply attend and interview and those who participate in an interview – know the difference, make a difference.

Your resume got you in the door but it’s up to you to get invited back for the next interview. To take it up a notch further, in addition to presenting (selling) your benefits, point to examples using anecdotal evidence about a situation that encapsulates and proves your claims.

Regular readers of my blog know that I suggest you adopt a salesperson's role; you are product and your resume is your product brochure. The hiring managers, the interviewers are the customer. Sell the benefits as to why your product, you, are the solution to their needs.

More articles by Michael Mayher:
Be Indispensable
Unprepared for the Interview
Workplace Harassment
About Urgency
Job Seekers Hurt Their Own Chances
Another Warning About Social Media Exposure
The Problem with HR
Get Noticed
The Chicken or the Egg
The Confidence Deficit
Earn the Opportunity to Say No
Resume Usefulness
After the Interview
Getting an Invitation
Reference Checked Before the Interview
Networking Effectively
A Failure to Communicate
Increasing Your Chances
Why You Should Heed My Advice

To Those Still Asleep
The Way It Was/The Way It Is
Demonstrating Interest is Not Begging
Confidence is a Key Ingredient
Stop Relying on the Internet
Career Survival Skills: The First Interview
The Interview
Resolve to Make This Year, Your Year
Periodic Update of Your Resume

About the Author: Michael Mayher has been an international direct search recruiter on two continents for over 22 years. A consultant, published author, lecturer and blogger, he re-introduces professionals to critical Soft Skills lost in our digital age and necessary to effectively navigate their careers. You can find more information by visiting his blog and website.  

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