While my primary work is coaching writers through their writing process, I’d like to use my experience as a job search coach to benefit you as a writer. Your book might be one of those that needs the contribution of others to bring it to life. When this happens, interviews become an important aspect of the job.
Interviews also become a key player in collaborative projects. Think James Paterson. He always gives his co-authors credit for the significant role they play in writing his novels. A new model has emerged-one where the person with the ideas, the characters, plot and story arch can partner with a writer with the skills to bring everything to life. It’s even better when two powerful writers work together!
You’ve made it to the interview. Your writing has gained entrance. However, you must never forget there are other talented writers, and few people limit their research to one person. This is why you don’t want to leave your best your best opportunity to sell yourself as the right candidate for a writing job or collaboration without closing the interview like a sales call. It’s one of your most important interview strategies. If you don’t close that sale, you’ve cut your chances that you’re the person they will hire.
Don’t worry. I’m not asking you to turn into everyone’s pushy car sales nemesis. I’m suggesting you learn those techniques consultative sales specialists use to build long-term customer relationships.
Just as a sales person tries to close the sale before he or she walks out the door, you need to close your interview before you leave the room (or call). Let’s look first at the elements of a close.
Most interviews draw to a close with the following question: “Do you have any questions for me?” This is your perfect opening for asking questions that help you find out whether they are interested in hiring you. You don’t want to ask, “Am I in the running? Are you interested in hiring me?” It’s okay to be direct, yet being this blunt could repel your potential employer.
Instead, ask questions that show you are open to evaluation.
If the answer is yes, find out what those obstacles are. You may have experience which overcomes those barriers.
If you don’t feel comfortable with asking such direct questions, your questions can be more subtle. Ask questions that show your interest in meeting expectations.
All of these questions move your potential employer toward seeing you in the job.
Another way to show your ability to grow into a job successfully is to ask questions which seek advice.
Remember that as you gain additional insights into the company’s needs, you are also capturing another opportunity to show your fit for the job.
Of all the interview strategies you can use, learning to close the sale of yourself as the candidate to hire (or move up the hiring chain) is one of the most important. Begin with questions that evaluate where you are as a candidate. Then use ask questions which gather more information so you can generate deeper interest and overcome obstacles to hiring you for the job.