The final hurdle to overcome in landing that dream job you’ve always wanted is the sit-down interview. In this article, I’d like to give you some tips that will help you out by really explaining what the purpose of the interview is.

Most “how-to-get-a-job” experts give tips on how to obscure your past during an interview. I get shivers down my spine when I watch the YouTube videos that pop up when you search for “Interview Tips.” These experts seem to want you to use semantics and obscure phrases when describing your past. For example, instead of saying “I was fired,” you’re to say “due to economic circumstances in the company, I was down-sized.” You know the jargon. It pretty much all means the same thing – bull excrement.

Sitting on the other side of the table, the employer knows all these key phrases too. Do you think they don’t? You’re not that ignorant, are you? Anytime you use a vague phrase like that in an interview, their bull-alarm goes off in their head.

Removing the facade during the interview

So instead of trying to dig through all the crap, a lot of employers (myself included), have resorted to “testing” applicants. The employment agency that I use has over 500 different employment tests that they can perform. This includes basic things like literacy tests, typing tests, software tests, spelling tests, math tests, and accuracy tests. But what I always look at is the personality tests. These are getting better and better at removing the false facades that people erect, and finding out whom they are at their core. I had a friend that has been looking for a job complain to me that if he had to take one more personality test, he was going to shoot someone.

What are they looking for in the personality tests? They are looking for someone that has the heart of a servant. This is huge; at least to me in my business. That is why I’ve written previous articles about servanthood.

I can train someone to perform the responsibilities of the job. But I can’t train them how to have the attitude of a servant. That is something that they have to come with. If they don’t have it, they won’t succeed in any meaningful way.

When you aren’t a servant, you’re the opposite: a rebel. A company full of rebels is a disaster waiting to happen. That is why the bible says:

When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order. Proverbs 28:2 (NIV)

Applying this in a business context: “Customers notice when employees are making up rules as they go along; but a company that maintains consistency, projects trustworthiness.”

I’ve had employees that wanted to do things their own way. Notice the word had. They are gone now. It may sound like I’m a tyrant, but my business is all about serving the customer. It is my job to see that the customer feels like they are being treated fairly. If the people that work for me want to do things to make their life easier, instead of making the customer’s life easier, then the business won’t succeed. Those people are a cancer in a business, and they need to be removed quickly before the attitude spreads to healthy parts of the company.

Changing out employees in a company is very expensive. For starters, you have double the amount of training that has to be done. So a company takes the hiring process very seriously; which is why they will put applicants through a battery of tests and other stressful conditions. They want to know if they are a servant, or a rebel. Once they think they have a potential servant, they’ll call them in for an interview, just to confirm the tests.

The Interview Is A Sales Pitch

So now you’re at the interview stage of getting your dream job. How do you convince the employer that you are a servant and not a rebel? How do you sell yourself?

Before I answer that, did you ever notice how the interview process (from the perspective of the applicant) is really a “sales pitch?” The applicant is trying to persuade the employer to buy them and put them into the dream job. That is exactly what it is! It “IS” a sales presentation.

The company is the buyer, and the applicant is the seller.

Because the interview is really a sales situation, the applicant must treat it like one. However, 97% of the population would rather crawl through broken shards of glass than become a salesman. So it is of little surprise that the interview makes them break out in a cold sweat. They wander into the interview room expecting the employer to take charge and do all the talking. And that is absolutely the worst thing they can do! If a salesman doesn’t take command of the sales-situation, the buyer will turn it into a commodity deal, and look for ways to get the best price on the item being sold.

That is not salesmanship.

Selling is About Offering Solutions To Problems

Whatever your problem, I can solve it…

Being a salesman means trying to find the right solution to your customer’s problem. That is the core of selling. But most people (who hate selling), think that what a salesman does is “slick.” They think that salesmanship is convincing a customer to buy a square-peg, even though they have a round hole that needs to be filled.

Because that is what most people think that selling is, the interview process turns out to be the applicant telling the employer that they are a malleable plug, and that they can fit any hole that the employer has open. That is why they concentrate on learning interview tips and finding useful phrases to obscure their salty work experience.

They have the whole process wrong. That is not “selling,” because they are not solving a specific problem. They don’t even know what the problem is.

The bible has the sales process – or “how to sell” defined perfectly:

The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him. Proverbs 18:17 (NIV)

In other words, the first “salesman” comes into the room and just regurgitates facts, figures, and arguments. They say all the right things that they think the customer wants to hear. That is what most people consider “the thing” that salesmen do to win a sale. And that seems right to them (as the verse says).

But the second salesman – a REAL salesman – comes into the room, and asks “questions.”

The real essence of salesmanship is “asking questions.”

If you read a true book on salesmanship, it is “all” about asking questions. “Questions” are at the heart of persuasion. You cannot convince anyone to buy things. But you can get them to open themselves up to the prospect of buying things when you ask questions. The entire sales process begins by asking questions.

When you start asking good questions, it tells the employer your understanding of the situation, and revels your level of wisdom, and your attitude of servanthood.

Even at 12 years old, Jesus displayed his wisdom by the questions he asked. And the teachers were “amazed as his understanding.”

After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. Luke 2:46-47 (NIV)

Be amazing. Ask hard questions. It is the golden key that gets you into the company of great people, and will land you that dream job.

Next time: How to blow the dream job interview


Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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3 Responses to “Dream Job – The Interview’s Purpose”

  1. Hi Tim,

    what an excellent post about becoming an employee and landing the real dream job so many people desire and crave. With the state of the current economy, I know a number of people in deed who are looking for work. So your post on earning money is certainly timely!

    I’m referring a couplah friends over to this post. So if you see some strangers commenting, it should still be kosher!

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell
    Dating After 40 Expert

  2. […] is a way to improve your odds. The way, as I suggested in our last article, is to view the interview as a sales scenario. You, as the applicant, are the salesman. The company, […]

  3. Austin says:

    Imagine someone coming in asking “How may I be of service to you?” – Whether the person ends up with the job or not, If that’s the actual attitude the person has (To serve a purpose) he’ll end up with work at some point!