51. What are your goals?

TRAPS:

Not having any…or having only vague generalities, not highly specific goals.

BEST ANSWER:

Many executives in a position to hire you are strong believers in goal-setting. (It’s one of the reason they’ve achieved so much). They like to hire in kind.

If you’re vague about your career and personal goals, it could be a big turnoff to may people you will encounter in your job search.

Be ready to discuss your goals for each major area of your life: career, personal development and learning, family, physical (health), community service and (if your interviewer is clearly a religious person) you could briefly and generally allude to your spiritual goals (showing you are a well-rounded individual with your values in the right order).

Be prepared to describe each goal in terms of specific milestones you wish to accomplish along the way, time periods you’re allotting for accomplishment, why the goal is important to you, and the specific steps you’re taking to bring it about. But do this concisely, as you never want to talk more than two minutes straight before letting your interviewer back into the conversation.

52. What do you for when you hire people?

TRAPS:

Being unprepared for the question.

BEST ANSWER:

Speak your own thoughts here, but for the best answer weave them around the three most important qualifications for any position.

* Can the person do the work (qualifications)?

* Will the person do the work (motivation)?

* Will the person fit in (“our kind of team player”)?

53. Sell me this stapler…(this pencil…this clock…or some other object on interviewer’s desk).

TRAPS:

Some interviewers, especially business owners and hard-changing executives in marketing-driven companies, feel that good salesmanship is essential for any key position and ask for an instant demonstration of your skill. Be ready.

BEST ANSWER:

Of course, you already know the most important secret of all great salesmanship – “find out what people want, then show them how to get it.”

If your interviewer picks up his stapler and asks, “sell this to me,” you are going to demonstrate this proven master principle. Here’s how:

“Well, a good salesman must know both his product and his prospect before he sells anything. If I were selling this, I’d first get to know everything I could about it, all its features and benefits.”

“Then, if my goal were to sell it you, I would do some research on how you might use a fine stapler like this. The best way to do that is by asking some questions. May I ask you a few questions?”

Then ask a few questions such as, “Just out of curiosity, if you didn’t already have a stapler like this, why would you want one? And in addition to that? Any other reason? Anything else?”

“And would you want such a stapler to be reliable?…Hold a good supply of staples?” (Ask more questions that point to the features this stapler has.)

Once you’ve asked these questions, make your presentation citing all the features and benefits of this stapler and why it’s exactly what the interviewer just told you he’s looking for.

Then close with, “Just out of curiosity, what would you consider a reasonable price for a quality stapler like this…a stapler you could have right now and would (then repeat all the problems the stapler would solve for him)? Whatever he says, (unless it’s zero), say, “Okay, we’ve got a deal.”

NOTE: If your interviewer tests you by fighting every step of the way, denying that he even wants such an item, don’t fight him. Take the product away from him by saying, “Mr. Prospect, I’m delighted you’ve told me right upfront that there’s no way you’d ever want this stapler. As you well know, the first rule of the most productive salespeople in any field is to meet the needs of people who really need and want our products, and it just wastes everyone’s time if we try to force it on those who don’t. And I certainly wouldn’t want to waste your time. But we sell many items. Is there any product on this desk you would very much like to own…just one item?” When he points something out, repeat the process above. If he knows anything about selling, he may give you a standing ovation.

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