||Deadly Job-Hunting Assumption #1:
They know I want the job
By Nick Corcodilos
Job hunting is challenging enough, but most people
make it even more difficult by operating under incorrect assumptions that can cost them
their future. One of these assumptions: They know I want the job.
When I coach someone on how to conclude an
interview, I always use my "love and marriage" analogy. It makes most
peoples eyes light up because theyve never considered how similar getting a
job is to getting married; and theyve never considered how profound this
"closing technique" is. I introduce the analogy by asking:
Would your spouse have accepted your marriage
proposal if you had never uttered these exact words at some point during your courtship:
"I love you"?
Ive yet to meet anyone who has gone to
the altar without those words being said clearly and sincerely.
In a job interview, it takes a similar unequivocal
statement of commitment to elicit a job offer. At some point while youre taking
leave of the employer, you need to look him or her straight in the eye preferably
while you have their hand in the comfortable lock of a handshake and say, "I
want to be a part of your team. I want this job."
Most people never say those words. Why? Because
they assume. They think the employer already knows they want the job.
The employer doesnt know you want the job
until you tell him. If you assume he assumes, you lose. So, say it.
|From the Ask The
Headhunter case file
sales vice president asked me for help to nail down an offer from the one employer he
really wanted to work for.
"Our interview was two weeks ago," he
explained, "and I still havent heard back. The meeting went exceptionally well.
I just dont get it. What else can I do to get them off the dime?"
I went for the throat. "What was the last
thing you did before you left the interview?"
"I shook the managers hand and thanked
him for his time," said the VP.
"Did you tell him you wanted the job?" I
"No, not in so many words. You know as well
as I do thats just not done. They know I want the job, otherwise why would I be
"You have to tell them in exactly these
words: I want the job," I replied. "There is no substitute. Before a
company will hand you a hefty salary and the reins to a job, it wants to know that you
will wake up every day excited about going to work there. It wants to know youre in
love. Its probably already too late, but if you want a shot at this job, you have to
call and tell them you want it."
Try as I might to explain this, the VP had umpteen
reasons why this was "too awkward, too unprofessional and too inappropriate". He
not only didnt get the job; they never called him back. Would he have gotten the job
if hed said the magic words? Maybe, maybe not. But I believe his chances would have
been significantly improved if he had.
Most employers will jump over ten
candidates who score 100% on the ability scale to hire one who scored 80% but really
wanted the job someone who wanted to be on the team so much he just burst with it.
Why? Because you can teach someone skills, but you cant make him love you.
Learn to say it.
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