The world is full of job opportunities, but how many of us can convert job opportunities into high-level success? Job seekers looking to achieve six-figure salaries may often wonder if there is a secret to it all since trying to ace interviews and converting interviews into job offers is a process that can be steeped in failure. And, although failure during an interview will not kill you, failing can take its toll. Rest assured, there is a logic behind nailing the perfect interview — especially for those seeking director, vice president or executive-level positions.
Before you can get to the interview though, you’ll need to consider your resume. Your resume is the foundation in your job search, a representation of your achievements and skills and a helpful tool you can use to drive your interview points and convince your interviewer(s) that you are the ideal choice for the job. Know this: Showcasing your value on paper and in person is less about ingenuity and more about authenticity. Owning your value and your achievements makes all the difference.
As important as it is to know what is on your resume, you also need to know how to present yourself to future employers with confidence and memorability. Here’s how:
1. Master your elevator pitch.
What is an elevator pitch and what effect can it have? An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that explains why the organization should be interested in you. In other words, it is your introduction that highlights your most valuable professional attributes and what you excel at. It should effectively summarize your accomplishments and achievements relative to the position you are targeting. There is a small catch here, though: Your elevator pitch should not be too long. The maximum time limit I suggest is 60 seconds. It should be concise and polished so that the interviewer sees that you do not beat around the bush!
2. Seek clarity.
One of the major aspects of any interview is the question-answer session. Your panelists are trying to find out how much you know and how you approach solutions to problems. As a candidate, you will need to understand the questions from the employers. Try repeating the question back to the interviewer to be sure you understood the context.
Next, you want to keep your answers to every question to around 60 seconds. Every answer you provide should be crafted as a story about what the issue was that you faced in a similar role, how you solved the problem and delivered results. In my experience, your future employer will be impressed by your concision. This establishes you as an ideal match for the organization and helps build your image away from the fluff of long-winded responses.
3. Look ahead.
It’s also important to know the next steps in the process. High-level job interviews can stretch out for weeks at a time — especially for those seeking six-figure roles — as most organizations have extensive hiring procedures consisting of multiple rounds. As a candidate, you are expected to have a clear understanding of the process. Therefore, it is a best practice to ask your panelists what the next step would be when appearing for an interview. You can ask them when you can expect to hear back and lock down your next steps by getting a firm follow-up date and time for your next communication. In the current marketplace, companies might forget to get back to you. So, it’s wise to follow up with them to show how eager you are to land the job.
Converting your job interview into a lucrative offer will take practice and a plan. Creating the perfect synergy across all three of these key interviewing points increases your chances of landing that lucrative job offer in a sea of competition. Rest assured it happens every day. In fact, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported a decline in unemployment numbers thanks to notable gains in the leisure and hospitality industry. Framing your accomplishments with concision, clearly understanding the needs of your future organization, and locking down the next steps are proven methods for elevating your candidacy.