How to answer hiring objections to nail the job interview

Lets be honest, interviews are damn stressful – for both parties. It’ s like a 1st date – you desperately want it go well and find you ‘click’.   How to answer hiring objections to nail the job interview is critical. .  Knowing how to answer hiring objections and concerns is critical.  Questions may be asked directly. But most concerns and objections are never verbalised and just thought.

But if concerns and objections are not addressed a successful interview result is impossible.

Now interviews are a 2-way street – both interviewer and candidate are checking each other out to establish if there is a match and ultimately whether both can satisfy each others needs.   Both want to pull out the elephants and concerns to discuss and qualify.

Concurrently, when we are making any new major purchase there is often anxiety and worry around the decision process.   We want to make the RIGHT choice and hence minimise future problems.   Anxiety and worry is often dispelled when further information and evidence comes to light.

Major purchases are where this most commonly comes to bear, but hey we even get flustered around ordering a simple meal at a restaurant or deciding which movie.   Making decisions involving a buying commitment will share similar pre-purchase evaluation elements and it is no different for both parties during job interviews and the ensuing process.

In my sales training workshops ‘Objection Handling’ is a key topic. The most important aspect of understanding Objections is for the sales person to embrace a ‘welcoming mindset’.    Objections are expressed because the customer is not sure about the product/service and sub-consciously or consciously wants more information. So a ‘welcoming mindset’ puts the sales person in a great position to logically and effectively respond to allay concerns for the buyer.

Also the first objection given by the customer is generally not the ‘real objection’. More often than not, it’s a smoke screen or delaying tactic for deeper concerns (which are often too confronting for them to verbalise). But nonetheless, the customer is still in the game and wants more information and therefore comfort.

Ask any sales person what the 1st objection they generally hear and it will be around price/cost! Then after digging further, it is found that it’s about ‘value alignment’ – ie they don’t see the benefits to them.

Now in an interview situation the interviewer is like the customer – they want to buy something (ie hire) but they need comfort and assurance. So they will give a wide range of initial hiring objections. And most of these objections are ‘illogical’ and fear driven from a ‘cookie cutter’ hiring approach. Also if the interviewer does not have a really broad range of experiences to draw from, their own knowledge of transferrable skills and abilities will be thwarted by their circle of reference.

Whatever role, level or industry you are going for, there will be the need overcome the similar hiring objections.   Remember that success is generally 80% attitude and 20% skills (notwithstanding jobs requiring absolute academic specifics)

So what do you do when you hear these common hiring objections?

You don’t have enough experience in this field  | You haven’t worked in this sort of job previously | We are looking for someone who can hit the ground running immediately

We are looking for someone who knows the XYZ program | You don’t have much local knowledge | We don’t have time to train someone up to speed

You don’t have the contacts in XYZ – the list goes on

Using the  FEEL FELT FOUND technique is a wonderful tool which can be applied to all areas of our career and life.   It’s a tool which is non combative, is soft and yet extremely powerful. You need to put it into your own ‘voice’ but it must follow 3 basic principles:

“I understand how you FEEL – This phrase lets the interviewer know that you heard what they said.

“Others have FELT that way –  This phrase lets the interviewer know that their initial objection is common – inferring that the situation CAN change.

“What I have FOUND, however is ………..   this is gold where you show the interviewer in a logical and well thought out manner how you can do the job without question with transferrable and relatable stories. In other words this is where you comfort them that hiring you isn’t as bigger an objection as they thought.

Some examples:

I understand how you FEEL that I haven’t worked directly in the engineering sector Some other companies have FELT the same way initially.  But I FOUND after talking with many different clients in both areas was that the sourcing problems faced in the engineering industry were very similar to those with my architectural clients.

Finding economical suppliers is difficult for both and my technical experience in developing SLA’s with architectural suppliers would align easily with your company as I understand the implications of technical trade.

I understand how you FEEL as I haven’t had 5 years experience selling luxury jewellery and watches. . Others in the retail sector had FELT the same way.

But what I FOUND was that as I was thrown in at the deep end at my last role I was able to learn all the store and client management skills in a short period of time. Many have said that what I learnt in 2 years was equivalent to what most learnt in over 5 years.

I understand how you FEEL as I am new to Melbourne and have no existing contacts in media agencies.   Others have FELT the same way and were concerned that sales revenue would suffer without existing networks.

But what I FOUND when I travelled throughout Europe & Asia was that it only takes a short time to build rapport and give an agency confidence that you understand their problems. Working with XYZ in London & Dubai is something that I know most of your clients will relate to and I also have a few tricks in my toolbox to get agency buyers on side quickly.

See how you go with this tool and I hope it helps relieve some of the stressful elements when job hunting.  Or try it with your friends and partners if you are debating  whether you should drink white or red tonight at dinner or whether you should go to a movie or concert over the weekend.

Now read the Real Reason your are Being Interviewed 


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