- How do I match up with what this company needs?
- How can I be most useful to this employer?
The best way to answer these questions is by focusing on the big three: Skills, Attitudes, and Results Produced. Let’s look at each.
What skills are needed for this job? Do you have those skills? Where are you lacking? How can you overcome this lack? Which of the necessary skills are your strongest?
Prepare a new skills statement that is based on the skills that this job requires. Using the new skills statement early in the interview increases the interviewer’s interest in you. You are showing that you understand the job and that you have the most important skills– the ones needed for this job.
What sort of attitudes are required in the job you’re applying for? Which of these attitudes are you strong in? Just as you prepared a new skills statement, you can also prepare an attitude statement. With it you can clearly show an employer that you have the right attitude for the job.
Here are some statements that show valuable attitudes:
- “I really want to work.” (Not “I really need a job”– everyone needs a job. Employers want people who really want to work.)
- “I’m always on time or early because I know that time is money.”
- “I can be trusted to do my best and get the job done right.”
- “If I don’t know something, I’ll ask.”
- “I want to work for a company where I can grow and advance.”
- “I believe I have a lot to offer an employer.”
What does the employer want? Is there a backlog in the word processing department? A problem with quality in production? A decrease in sales on one of the routes? What is needed to help make more money and improve the business?
This is hard information to find. And it is the most important. If you can’t find it before the interview, you must uncover it during the interview. In either case, you must then think about results you have produced on other jobs.
- Have you helped save time or money?
- Did you come up with new ideas that worked?
- Did you increase sales?
- Did you decrease costs?
- Did you improve quality?
These results produced don’t need to be earthshaking. Even small improvements, like rearranging a filing system, can help reduce time needed in filing and retrieving documents. That means workers have more time to do something else and that results in increased productivity and profits.
Statements like these about your skills, attitudes, and results produced are music to an employer’s ears. Be ready to back each of these statements up with stories that show examples. Think about this before the interview and have your examples ready. Practice saying them. When you show the right skills, attitudes, and results produced you make hiring you less of a risk. That leads to your hearing the best employer question of all: “When can you start?”