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Learn How to Interview Like a Politician

Sunday, November 6, 2016 11:45
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From the Personal Branding Blog

medvedev-1485638_640It doesn’t matter what questions they are asked. When debating, politicians come prepared to speak about certain key points that they want to get across to the audience.

These topics are well rehearsed and serve no other point than to make that person appear more likable, intelligent, relatable, competent (i.e., they are meant to paint the individual in a positive light).

Their strategy is to be proactive. Instead of hoping the moderator asks the “perfect question,” politicians will be prepared to turn any question into the perfect answer.

When done correctly, their responses address key concerns of the audience, don’t appear too out of context and, most importantly, both arouse emotion and play to the audience’s logic.

What Interviewees Can Learn

The overwhelming majority of interviewees prepare for a meeting by attempting to anticipate the questions that will be asked of them during the meeting. The problem is that they rarely guess correctly, proving the inherent flaws with this strategy.

Just like a debate moderator, interviewers pride themselves on asking questions that are unique and unpredictable. In essence, they are working against the interests of the job seeker. Rarely do they ask a question that allows the interviewee to paint themselves in the best light.

For this reason, anticipating these inquiries is not only highly difficult, it often leads to the job seeker feeling they are not on even keel with the hiring manager, which spikes nerves, kills concentration and lowers the ability to respond with clarity.

Because trying to guess what will be asked is often ineffective, a switch in preparation strategy is necessary in order to properly persuade any hiring manager.

Preparing Based on Priorities Instead of Questions

Forget about trying to predict the questions that will be asked. Instead, mirror a politician’s strategy. Know what you want to say and interweave those key points throughout your answers. Regardless of what’s asked, you’ll come across more persuasive, on-point and in-tune to the needs of the audience.

Here’s how:

– Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. If you were that individual, what would your first priority be? If you don’t know, simply ask your interviewer.

– Once you define the chief priorities of that person, write down examples in which you’ve been able to meet those concerns during past jobs or educational experiences. Let’s say you are interviewing for a digital marketing position and from your research you determine that the hiring manager is firmly set upon increasing the firm’s online presence.

You now know it is in your best interest to talk about how you were able to increase online exposure at your past job and that you attribute much of your success due to your ability to implement complex digital strategies with relative autonomy and efficiency.

– Try to predict any concerns that the hiring manager may have and address those hesitations in an indirect manner before the topic is brought up. For instance, if you have had multiple jobs in the past few years, it’s safe to bet that a hiring manager will have a natural concern about you leaving the company soon after you begin.

Proactively address this by working in the fact that you’re making sure you align yourself with a company that has insightful leadership and dedication to their clients because at this juncture in your career, it’s crucial that you are with an organization for the long-run.

In the End

It’s in your best interest to predict the concerns and primary needs of the interviewer and base your preparation on those factors. Not only does this approach have a much higher success rate, it allows you to interview in a more persuasive, confident manner.


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