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Selling Your Company to a Candidate during an Interview

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If you’re assuming that the interview process is a one-way street, and you believe that the candidate’s primary goal is to impress and dazzle you with her willingness to jump through hoops, think again. When you’re facing a highly talented candidate, the interview process is definitely not a one-directional grilling session or a pop quiz. It’s a professional negotiation in which both parties have something to gain: a profitable, thriving, and happy long term relationship. So you’ll need to stay on your toes and make sure you’re highlighting the most appealing aspects of the company. Here are a few ways to grab and hold your candidate’s attention.

Be on your best behavior.

Before the candidate arrives, make sure you know her name and you’ve read and carefully reviewed her resume. Don’t ask her to restate basic information or provide you with key details and documents that you should already have. This doesn’t create a promising impression. On your side of the table and on hers, the same rule applies: preparation is key.

Have your talking points in mind.

Your candidate will have prepared an “elevator pitch” that summarizes her most important selling features. And you should do the same. Don’t just sit back and expect the candidate to ask you what makes this company great, or why she might want to work here. Instead, have your pitch ready and waiting. Discuss the company’s profitability, stability, and long term plans. Explain how your product or service is positioned in a competitive marketplace, and talk about your mission statement and the key pillars that contribute to your success.

Explain what you have to offer.

Your product may be the top seller on the market, but your candidate isn’t here to buy your product. So once you’ve explained that the company is successful, stable, and growing, move on. Explain what you have to offer to her directly. Shine a spotlight on your workplace culture, on your values, and on the various ways she might advance her career within these walls. Explain what you have to offer in terms of experience, training, and exposure, and then describe how your candidate can realize her specific ambitions here. You don’t have to talk about salary or benefits just yet, but make it clear that your company is an exceptional place to work.

Show, don’t just tell.

If you’re describing your company as a sleek, professional, well-organized operation, make sure you’re not being undermined by your own sloppy attire or cluttered, dimly lit workspace. Make sure your building and your office create a respectable impression. Don’t cut corners.

For more on how to pitch your workplace and attract top candidates, contact the staffing and hiring experts at CSS.

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