This is the second post of a 2-part series about the two-way sales process during hiring. Yesterday was focused on how the business can attract the best candidates, and talked about how the company can go about selling the opportunity. Today is about the applicant’s sales role, and how he or she can find a good match.
Thoughts for the applicant
You might be feeling some, or even a lot, of urgency to acquire a new job opportunity. The fit (or lack thereof) between you and this job, and you and this company, can make life good or miserable for both of you. So look beyond this job opening. Find out about how the business handles advancement. Do they have an internal training program, or do they financially support higher education for their employees? Take a look at their website, their core values, and consider whether you can get behind them. Give them the opportunity to sell you on why you should come to work there. It’s not good if this is only a 3-month relationship. Turnover costs them and it costs you.
On your end of the sales process, you will have already demonstrated some success if you are called for a pre-screening interview or better yet, an in person interview. These folks are busy, and they might be interviewing many people in a compressed time frame. Stand out from the crowd by submitting a strong, concise, relevant and accurate resume. Padding your resume might seem like a good idea to attract a call for an interview, but ultimately your overstatements will be found out and your credibility shot. The actual job application is a legal document, and you sign it to vouch for the accuracy of the information. If the application is later found out to be inaccurate, disciplinary action or even immediate termination could result.
Pre-interview, find out what you can about the company so you can ask intelligent questions of your interviewer. The extra steps you take to prepare will demonstrate your interest in the job, and your self-motivation level. If you can, research how employees dress for work at this company, and target your appearance one click more dressy. Your goal is to be impressive at first glance when you walk in the door, and to appear like you would fit in culturally in the business. Unless and until you know company policy about things like facial hair or body art, choose interview grooming and clothing that plays down your more artistic or edgy aspects. And for women candidates, avoid low necklines, short or high-slit skirts, and flashy jewelry. Your appearance, whether male or female, should not be a distraction during the interview. You’re selling your skills, knowledge, positive attitude and productive work habits. And they should be able to hold center stage.