So, the CV worked - but what about the interview? Matt Craven of CVIA provides his advice and guidance on the next steps.

Firstly, we must ask ourselves: is it an interview or a client meeting? You’ve been invited for an interview but you’re a contractor, right? So why is it pitched as an interview and not an opportunity to pitch for work? I understand your frustration and often clients will view your meeting with them as an interview rather than a pitch, which places constraints over your ability to sell yourself as a business solution.

Or does it?

We all know that an interview is a sales call, and that contractors would rather be seen to be pitching for work than attending an interview, but things are the way they are. What you can do is use advanced interview techniques to transform your traditional question-and-answer interview into more of a two-way discussion that allows you to present yourself as a solution to your potential client’s needs.

This technique is based on the sales lifecycle and encourages you to view an interview as a sales call with a rapport building phase, needs analysis, presentation, objection handling and close. This really is easy and by following what we call ‘The Sales Wedge Framework’, you can start to take control in an interview by doing the following:

  • Find out what your client’s challenges are
  • Present ways you can overcome these challenges
  • Deal with objections
  • Close the sale

Clients of ours who use this technique significantly improve their interview-to-offer rate and rarely fail to secure a contract if they are genuinely suitable for the role.

Competency-based interview

The competency-based interview is another result of the standard approach to hiring permanent staff and contractors alike. They shouldn’t be hard but how many times have you been caught out with a question like “describe a situation when a boomerang hit you on the head while delivering a major project - how did you react?”

Now you didn’t prepare for that question did you? The answer is in the preparation and our ‘Career Autobiography Approach’ will take you through a foolproof technique for preparing for competency-based interviews. The crux of this is to imagine you are preparing raw material for an autobiography and to take the same approach to preparing for interviews.

This article has been provided by Matt Craven of IPSE Affiliate ‘The CV and Interview Advisers’. To find out more, go to www.cvandinterviewadvisors.co.uk

CVs and Sales