Three Ways to Prove You're The One to Hire

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: December 4, 2007 - 2:55 PM

Start working before the interview to land the job you want. Demonstrating your knowledge of the company and ability to do the job well will show employers that you are capable and skilled.

Kevin Donlin

Photo: Jamie Hutt,

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What's the best way to get hired for the job you really want, in any economy?

Prove that you're the best person for that job. And a great way to do that is to start working -- before you're hired.

How do you do it? Let me explain with three mini-case studies that won jobs ...

1) Start work BEFORE the interview "Six candidates were interviewing for a sales position in Atlanta with an exclusive company that had just received about $83 million in funding," says Ron McManmon, a former recruiter and Executive VP of

"Five candidates were 'top gun' sales people who all came from industry leaders ... and then there was Tony. He was young, with about five years of experience. But Tony was highly motivated and willing to go the extra mile."

"In his job interview, Tony not only mapped his accomplishments out in a PowerPoint presentation, he demonstrated that he had already started working for the company. He did this by researching, assembling, and bringing with him a list of sales leads and contacts. His presentation consisted of past, present AND future. The other candidates did nothing like this."

Did it work?

"Tony was hired over five more-experienced candidates," says McManmon.

2) Start work BEFORE the interview -- Part 2 This example is near and dear to my heart - it's how I landed a job with a marketing communications firm back in the 1990s, when I worked for other people.

After mailing in my resume, I was called by a receptionist to schedule an interview. During our conversation, I asked if he could send me back issues of their corporate publications. I explained that I wanted to research the writing styles of the magazines and newsletters I would be editing if I got the job.

He agreed, and had a nice package of materials couriered over to me the same day.

It turned out to be a gold mine.

I found three typos in one back issue of a magazine I would be proofreading in the position I was interviewing for. Here was proof that I could do the job.

Two days later at the interview, the subject of proofreading skills came up. I pulled out the magazine (with post-it notes marking the typos), slid it across the table and said: "I've been researching your publications and found these three errors. If you hire me, I can improve your image by preventing this from happening again."

They hired me.

3) Start work AFTER the interview This lesson in perseverance is a variation on the first story, about the candidate who brought a list of sales leads to a job interview.

"Robin, a woman from Los Angeles, had been interviewing with the same company for three months. She felt she was a perfect for the position, but the hiring manager was not responsive -- he wouldn't tell her yes or no about a decision to hire her," says Ron McManmon.

So Robin called McManmon to discuss her dilemma. His advice?

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Kevin Donlin