We always prepare candidates for their interviews with our client companies, just as most search firms do. I particularly enjoy prepping candidates and am a big believer in making sure a candidate delivers three to four messages during the course of the interview. Most companies have a structured interview process and while candidates have plenty of time to talk—it’s usually in response to questions that are posed by the interviewer.
The next time you have a phone interview or a face-to-face interview, try to create a vision in your mind about the three to four messages you want to convey during the interview. Imagine you are walking into your home and there are three to four rooms in the hallway as you make your way through the home. Then associate each of your three to four messages with each room in the home. Once you deliver your first message imaging walking past that room to the next room—or in this case the next message—you would correlate your first message as you imagine walking by the first room. And let’s say that it's about your leadership qualities and perhaps your operational expertise in associates in the second room and so on as you make your way through the rest of the house.
You usually don’t have a chance to have notes you can refer to during a face-to-face meeting so you have to have some way to remember your messaging, and I’ve found that in my coaching/prepping candidates over the years this method seems to resonate well with most of our candidates. In your messaging you want to make your point but it needs to come across naturally and somehow tied to the conversation you are having. What you don’t want to do is simply call out your message, as that would likely come off the wrong way. Being natural and genuine is the key here.
A key part of successful selling is how you message your product to the market you serve. In this case you are the product and the person interviewing you is your market. Always remember that you want to deliver three to four messages in every interview. It will make you stand out when compared to the other candidates they are considering.