job interview tipsGetting to the Next Step in the Process. How to increase the chances you’ll be going on to the next round.

The wise candidates understand the power of marketing in the job-search, and comparing the job interview to a sales call is vital to achieving greater success — in obtaining the job offers you seek. But the burden is not all on the job-seeker, because the employer also sees the job interview as a sales call — and just as much as you are selling yourself as the product to be purchased by the employer, the hiring manager is also selling the employer’s value to you.

And anyone who knows even just a little about sales knows that the key to success is in overcoming objections and then closing the sale. This chapter shows you how you can do the same in the job interview — and how using this technique will take you one step closer to the job offer.

First, if you are excited about the job and feel you had a strong visit, you should ask for the job offer. As we say in sales, try to close the deal. If you’re offered the job, ask about getting a formal, written offer, and ask about when the company needs your decision.

Second, if job offer talk is still too preliminary, then make sure you ask about the next step in the process – and the company’s timetable for filling the position.

Overcoming Objections

In sales, it’s a proven theory that if you can overcome all your prospect’s objections, s/he will have no choice but to agree to your offer. And while you are not doing the exact same thing for the same reasons, the logic holds that if you can overcome all the objections of the hiring manager, then you’ll be more likely to move on to the next step in the process.

Overcoming objectives can be done in a number of different ways, but the keys are to acknowledge the interviewer’s objection, understand the true cause of the objection, and respond with enough information to defuse the objection. It’s best to anticipate these potential objections before the job interview so that you’ll be able to practice your responses.

What do you do if no objections are raised? It might not mean that there are none, so it’s best to probe to uncover any — again, because it’s much better to get them out in the open and address them than to let them sit, clouding your future. As the interview winds down, if no objections have been raised, you should consider asking a question such as, “Do you see any concerns that stand in the way of my succeeding in this position?”

Some Common Objections From Employers

Here’s a collection of some of the more common objections raised in job interviews.

We think you have too much experience for this position.”

This comment is the most loaded of objections because it can mean one of several things — and it is your job to discover which one it is. The good news is that if you are in the interview, there is something about your qualifications that make you an attractive candidate. Most often, this comment is concealing a concern about your age, attitude, or motivation. Obviously, the interviewer cannot ask your age, but someone with a lot of experience is often older, and the employer may have some concerns about fit, especially if the rest of the department is younger. Older workers also sometimes put out a vibe that because of their vast experience they know it all — and are seen as having an attitude problem. Finally, if you have years in the same type of position, some interviewers will question your drive and motivation to move ahead (incorrectly assuming that everyone wants to do so).

“we cannot pay you the salary you are seeking.”

Related to the over-experience comment is the salary one. Employers are always concerned about salary — and hiring employees that best fit their budgets — so there may be interest in you, but the nagging question is whether they can afford you. In this case, it’s important to defuse the objection without giving away too much information so that you still have leverage if you do get the job offer.

“you don’t have enough experience for this position.”

On the other side of the spectrum is a job-seeker who shows potential — and thus gets the interview — but with whom the employer has some lingering doubts. Perhaps it is not quite enough years of experience, or perhaps the experience is in a different field. The job-seeker’s goal is to show exactly how — regardless of the time spent or where it was spent — that you have the skills to get the job done. One great tool for this objection is a career portfolio, in which you not only can tell the story of how you are qualified — but show it as well through examples in your portfolio

” we think you wouldn’t fit into the team.”

So many jobs require workers to participate in one or more teams that it seems inconceivable that a job-seeker would not have experience working in teams, but if for some reason you do not have much experience in teamwork, you must demonstrate that you understand the importance of teams in the workplace and how you can be a team player. Demonstrating your knowledge of the organizational culture will also be a plus in this situation.

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