Go to Menu 5 "Sticky" Interview Tactics: Part 1
By Nick Corcodilos

You've heard the term used when describing web sites: "It's very sticky!" In other words, the site employs techniques that ensure its repetitive use, that keep visitors thinking about it, and that encourage users to tell other people about it. You just can't let it go.

Like a good web site, your mission in a job interview is to be as sticky as possible -- to make the employer never let go. That's easier said than done, when eight candidates interviewed ahead of you and there's a slew after. How can a job candidate be sticky?

1. Attach yourself to the work.
The problem with most interviews is that they're repetitive. After meeting four or five candidates in a day, all a manager remembers is his own interview questions. By five o'clock, all the candidates' answers kind of blend together and seem meaningless.

You can stand apart by devoting some interview time to the one thing the manager will remember you for: solving one or two of his real, live work problems. To do this, detach yourself from the interview protocol and attach yourself to the work.

Ask the manager to lay out a "live" problem he's facing that he would want the new hire to tackle. Then show how you'd solve the problem. Your solution need not be perfect. If you can just show that you care enough to actually focus on the work itself and to demonstrate your abilities rather than just talk, you'll leave him with something he'll remember.

2. Let the manager see you as an employee.
It's a simple tenet of social psychology: the more we let someone into our inner circle, the more we regard him as one of our own. Your goal in an interview is to cast yourself as an insider. To achieve that, you must act like an employee. Doing the job, as discussed above, is one way to accomplish this. Another way is to become part of the backdrop in the manager's department.

Ask the manager to give you "the cook's tour" of the facility. Even if this means nothing more than walking the long-way-around the office on your way out, this is how you will meet other workers and get a chance to ask about and comment on the equipment, tools and workspace. Your mission is to drag this out, asking smart, relevant questions without seeming presumptuous. Under the right circumstances, you can even ask to try out some of the equipment, or to demonstrate how you'd use it.

You'll be the only candidate remembered as actually participating among the troops. That makes you sticky, especially if you use the opportunity to show what you can do to help the manager.

Go to: Sticky Tactics: Part 2

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