The Pietrack Press
The Language of Good Interviewers: Four Phrases Used by the Best Interviewers
I’ve had the luxury of meeting some excellent interviewers, and I’ve noticed a common language that they use. I wanted to share a few phrases I hear being used by some of the most-hirable candidates. Too often I write about what not to say, here is a list of four phrases to work into your vernacular as you prepare for your interview.
1. “I’m glad you asked”: I recommend using this phrase when you get a question where you feel you have an answer that is very unique. I coach candidates to say, “I am glad that you asked because I have a truly unique answer.” I have found that when you lead in with “I’m glad you asked” you grab the attention of the interviewer, and your answer has more impact. I hope it goes without saying that it can be over used. I wouldn’t advise using it more than twice. The best time to use it is when you get a really cocky interviewer who asks, “Why should we chose/hire you?” Try starting your answer with “I’m glad you asked” or “I was hoping you’d ask that.” The only caveat is to have a really great answer after it too.
2. “I understand”: This is a great phrase. It is versatile and powerful. I coach candidates to preface their answer to questions that have deeper meanings with, “I understand why you’re asking.” An example of a time when you might use this is when they ask you about your weaknesses. You might respond, “I understand why you’re asking, and I can assure you I’m approachable and coachable in my areas of development.” Then go into explaining an area of development. This can also be used when you might want to side-step the answer. The classic example is, “What are your compensation expectations if you were to make a job change?” A good response might be, “I understand why that is important, and I want to put your mind at ease. If an offer were to come my way, I would be fair and reasonable in evaluating it and eager to accept it.”
3. “I’m thankful”: People want to hire employees that are grateful for the experiences that they have been afforded. Even if you are disgruntled beyond belief in your current role, portray gratitude. If you ever talk negatively about your previous company, you might as well be saying those things about yourself, because negative comments only look negative on you. A positive attitude never reflects poorly. Here’s an example, “I’m thankful for my time at XYZ company — I’ve met great people and worked on many interesting projects – unfortunately, I’m come to the realization that the time has come to look for opportunities elsewhere.”
4. “Specific fit”: No interviewer wants to be told that they are across the table or just received an email from the “perfect fit.” Now there may be times where you as the candidate feel that you are a perfect fit. So, my advice is to replace “perfect” with “specific.” Write how your background lines up with their needs, and then say, “Because I am such a specific fit, I thought I’d email you to learn more.” If you’re in a live interview, you may want to say, “I’m excited because I am such a specific fit to your needs.” Try not to only focus on how the opening fits your “specific” needs.
Now these aren’t magic phrases that if used you are guaranteed the job. The best interviewers execute all the other points I’ve made throughout this blog series, plus they are effective communicators. If you practice these, without overusing them, you will show yourself to be a person that is different and one they should closely consider. I truly hope this have brought you value, and I appreciate the opportunity to share my experience with you.
About the Author: Michael Pietrack is a leading executive recruiter in a the Pharmaceutical Industry and arguably the top recruiter in the Medical Affairs space. His specific expertise is recruiting in Field Medical Affairs placing Medical Science Liaisons, and therefore, he has been dubbed “The MSL Recruiter” (www.TheMSLRecruiter.com).
What is TMAC Direct?: TMAC Direct is an executive search agency that serves the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industries. This boutique firm fills critical staffing needs on a retained, partially retained, or contingency basis. TMAC Direct is the direct-hire recruiting division of The Medical Affairs Company, commonly known as TMAC. Together TMAC and TMAC Direct, provide an unmatched staffing service in the Medical Technology arena, whether the hiring needs are on a permanent placement or outsourcing basis.
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