Attract – Convince – Reassure, Episode 2: Convince

pictureNow that you have been noticed by the people you wanted, the real work is just starting… You have to make them think they would be better off if you would work by their side.
Here’s how to help them go from “hm… he/she is interesting…” to “How can I make them join my team?” ?

‘If you talk the talk, you better walk the walk’.
You managed to get their attention, now prove them you are worth it. Show them that in your professional past you have done things which you could do now for their benefit. Without bragging, nor re-telling old war-stories about your glorious past, you have to persuade them you have re-usable experience, adequate expertise and professional maturity.

That phase is about 2 key elements:
how to refer to your past, to ensure you will deliver on what you hinted at during the attraction phase,
having enough intelligence about your target current situation (projects, strategy and organization) to design your communication specifically.

During an interview you will convince through a/ your introduction speech, b/ each of the examples you give and c/ how you wrap all up by clearly stating what you could do for them.
a/ & b/ must have been prepared in an universal/generic way during the early stages of your job search campaign, c/ is prepared specifically for each targeted companies.

a/ The introduction.
Presents and explains your career in an interesting way and links it smoothly to what you offer to do now. Does not last much more than 2 minutes. Uses the 4 rules explained in the ‘attract’ post.
Doesn’t tell us your work history but describes the issues/problems you are good at solving.
Since it is a short and effective speech, you can tell it whenever you start an interview, even if nobody has officially asked you to present yourself.

b/ Examples.
They are little stories, no more than 30 seconds, you can drop all along the discussion. They clearly explain how you have tackled issues and solved problems at your past jobs.
I usually recommend to build these stories according to the STAR(E) methodology recruiters following CBI are familiar with. This way you just don’t declare skills/competences, you explain how practically you made things go forward. I recommend you work on a good dozen of them, whatever the length of your career.
You will decide which ones to use for which interviews, thanks to your ‘Business Intelligence’ activity:
– Reading all the official communication of your targeted companies: website, annual reports, Facebook and Linkedin pages, their tweets… and generally all the data you can find on Google News, etc.
– Networking your way into talking with some of their former employees, current ones, clients (if they do B to B) and providers.
This investigation work will enable you to make your own opinion on their situation, and understand whether they have a use for your unique talents and abilities. Most of all, it will allow you to decide if you want to work with/for them!

c/ Conclusion.
Summarize, again in a very short amount of time, along the lines: “what I have done for X and what I learnt at Y … will be useful to lead your project of …”
Don’t be shy, stake your claim.
If your explanations have been crystal clear and credible, it does not matter much that what you explained is not your potential future boss highest current priority. You would have got him/her thinking along YOUR lines and proved you are interesting. You will stand out from the crowd. They might answer you that when they get to tackle this need they will call you and really mean it! Or they might tell you that they would rather have you work for them on another project.
What’s sure: you will be considered much more than a classic candidate.

You worked to convince them they have a use for your special set of services.
Now you must stand the distance, e.g. they need to still feel comfortable with the idea of trying you out, once you are not facing them any longer.
We will talk about it in episode 3…

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