For most jobseekers everything gets turned upside down. They approach their jobs and their job search, confident that they know their craft. They believe in their skills and value what they have learned from their experience.
However, finding a job takes completely different sets of skills. These skills include managing the online systems, finding jobs that are a good fit, analyzing Job Requirements, producing compelling cover letters, preparing for interviews, … If you are a jobseeker, then you know the list is endless.
Networking and interviewing can be two of the most challenging skills for jobseekers to acquire. Listening and observing are at the core of both of these skills and there are some specific differences. Through your calm, professional demeanor, your mind is in hyper drive, listening and observing for the details that will give you an edge.
If you haven’t already read the companion blog on this topic, please take a minute to do so: Jobseeker Hyper Drive
How the process works:
As a jobseeker, you are listening for the challenges that a company is experiencing and your mission is to uncover ways that you can offer solutions. Here are some examples:
Networking: Perhaps you go to a sports event with a friend and at some point talk about how his or her work is going. You might ask, “What are the current challenges that the company is facing?”
Interviewing: The same question applies. Once you know the challenges, you can get more specific with your questions. For example, you could ask, “How would the company like to see this resolved?”
Response: As you learn more, you can then strategize how you might demonstrate how you have been part of a similar solution.
Listen for expressions that indicate:
- Pain or problems
All of these lead to opportunities for you to demonstrate your value.
- When an interviewer shift positions
- When the interviewer pauses in their speech
- Facial expressions
- When your interviewer takes notes
This takes practice and every conversation is an opportunity to do so.
- Ask questions to learn more:
- What were the circumstances or situation?
- What is the current status of the situation?
- Affirm and confirm the pain or problem:
- Nod affirmatively, make eye contact
- Respond verbally, “I can understand the frustration there.” OR,
“Those kinds of challenges can be complex.”
- State your desire to help and demonstrate how you would do so:
- Use stories of similar situations where you provided a solution.
- Using the situation at hand, outline brief steps you would take to define a solution.
- Follow-up with a call or email, “I’ve been thinking about the project we were discussing and did a little background research. Do you have a few minutes to hear an idea that I believe might help.
Again, this takes practice and every conversation is an opportunity to do so.