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Interview Tip #10 – Don’t Forget to Interview the Company & "Ask for The Job" If You Want It!

Part of an ongoing series of interviewing tips to be presented over the next 100 days.

by Todd Oldfield, 22 Year Recruiting Veteran, 
Founder, TeamEliteAdvantage.com

Interviewing The Company & “Asking For The Job”

It amazes me that many, if not most job-seekers do not do “ask for the job”. Such a request is rarely used, and just so simple. Why “asking for the job” is not done consistently in professionals when they are interviewing, is disappointing to me.

This is my advice; when you know you want the job (not when you walk into an interview, of course), ask for it.

IT’S ABOUT TIMING…

How and when is the right time to ask? Well, as I mentioned above. Don’t walk in, sit down and ask. At this point, the company knows nothing about you, your incredible abilities, your devotion offered, the benefits they will gain by hiring you. They just see a new face in an old chair.

This is not the time to ask.

At the same time, you do not know anything about the company. You don’t know their industry (maybe), their product (maybe), their place within their industry (maybe), the leaders involved (for sure), or the team which you will be part of (for sure). So, when you first walk in;

This is not the time for you to ask for the job.

“Never forget, you are interviewing the company,
as much as they are interviewing you. This is paramount. Never forget this!”

When IS the right time to ask for the job then? After you have determined that you have green check marks down the board.

THE CHECK MARKS

As you interview, you need to mentally be looking for “BIG GREEN CHECK MARKS” and “RED FLAGS” in each of the following areas.

The Company, Their Products, Services, and Leadership.

You are there to learn what you could not learn on your own. It is assumed you did your research prior to walking in. You Googled them. You read their website. You learned everything you could from the “About Us”, “Investor Information”, “Our Leaders”, and “Our Products/Services” pages. You may have even registered an account if they had that ability so you could have an inside look at what their customers see.

Mentally, if it looks promising and like a company you want to work for, you probably will have given them their “big green check mark” prior to doing the interview.

The Job They Need Done & Can You Do It.

So, when you sit down, you probably have a pretty good idea about the company. Now, you have to learn more about the job, the tasks needed to be completed, the requirements and as your interviewer is interviewing you, you are also giving yourself an honest assessment (inside) as to if you can do what they need done successfully.

Always be honest with yourself, and for sure, ALWAYS be honest with your recruiter and the hiring authority. Never blow smoke up people’s rumps!

So, listen to what they need done. Can you do it? Ok. If so, give them a BIG GREEN Mental Checkmark under the JOB category.

The Team; Your Supervisor & Coworkers

I would not make any job decision until I have met the team I will be working with. Let’s be honest here. There is always a likelihood that you could love everything about the job, the company, the opportunity, should it arise for you…. and yet, still hate the people you are working with. So, nail this one down ASAP. What’s the team like? Get to know them, their backgrounds. Subtly, try to figure out their interests, educations, where they came from, etc. Look for common backgrounds, common threads. It may seem small now, but being able to really get a good feel about what it might be like to work with them could be a big factor in your job decision.

If it looks like the team for you, give them a big green check mark!

The Job, The Salary, the Benefits, and the Perks

I would advise that these topics be discussed last in any interview situation. Don’t leave that first interview without finding out these matters ever. Even if the answer from your interviewer is “that will be discussed later”, be sure to attempt to research these topics during the interview.

Find out the WIFM (pronounced “Wiffem”… LOL); the “What’s in It For Me”. Find out the possible salary range on the position, the bonuses offered, the commissions (if offered), the signing bonus (if offered), vacation offered, relocation assistance, the benefits (medical, dental, vision, yada, yada, yada), and any perks; dry cleaning, meals, parking, mann’y/pedd’ys?  Hahahahahaha.

This is your one chance to set yourself up the right way, for later (when it is time to negotiate. MORE COMING SOON in other tips.) This is also your one time to “get it from the horses mouth”, early, so that you have the facts and can decide if you wish to move forward, if asked to.

By the time you have researched all this information from the interviewer, you should be in a pretty good place to decide, if offered, would you want to do this job, for this company, with these people.

Right?

Get it? So, if you know by now that you want the job…. what do you do?

Ask for it. Now is the time.

“Asking for the Job”

Here is the differentiator between you and the next candidate. This is VERY IMPORTANT.

Imagine you are the hiring authority for a key position with your company. The management is pressuring you to find the right guy/gal for this important position and you have looked at and screened through 200+ resumes, and interviewed 5 candidates for the position. You have had “the team” interview the top 3 candidates and the feedback has been mixed on all three (but favorable on each). The top 2 candidates are both excellent, have roughly the same experience, same education, same salary demands, same everything for the most part.

How do you decide which to hire? They are roughly identical candidates and the input you receive from “the team” is virtually identical, near as you can tell.

Whom do you hire?

Now, what if you, as the job-seeker ended your interview with the following verbage;

John (the interviewer’s name), I have very much enjoyed the interview today. I hope I answered all your questions completely. You and the team have been very transparent with me. I came here not sure what to expect, although I was very interested in XYZ company, but, in thoroughly researching your company, I had a lot of questions of my own. Now that I have been afforded an inside look at the company, your products, the team I would be working with, and have met some of your leadership, I have my questions answered and am squarely on board. I would love this position, should it be offered to me.

After having thoroughly researched the job you need done, I am 100% certain that I can be successful in this role. As soon as you come to that conclusion, please give me the job so that we can discuss my coming to work for you. If you need anything further, including references on me, I am happy to provide them. Thank you for your time today.”

Mostly importantly, what if you ended the interview with that… and the other top candidate for the position…. did not?

If you were the interviewer, which would you remember? Which would you hire, given all other matters being equal?

There you go… expect an offer.

One last point… DO NOT ask for the job until the END of the interview. You cannot use this technique until you have first done the work. They have to see you researching. They have to answer the questions, provide you with the information you seek. You can’t sell the idea that you have been thorough in your research, if you have not.

Before the interview, get to know all you can about the company, the people, their industry, their product, and their place within their industry. RIGHT?

During the interview, find out all you can about the team, the leadership, the environment, the compensation, the benefits, perks and the job they need done. RIGHT?

And only at the end, be so bold as to ask for the job, and only if you believe you can be successful in the role COMPLETELY, 100%, right from the beginning.

As always, I have enjoyed sharing these tips with you. If you have questions, comments, thoughts, ideas, etc. please leave them.

 

 

 

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