Loading
Notes
Study Reminders
Support
Text Version

Objections in a Job Interview

Set your study reminders

We will email you at these times to remind you to study.
  • Monday

    -

    7am

    +

    Tuesday

    -

    7am

    +

    Wednesday

    -

    7am

    +

    Thursday

    -

    7am

    +

    Friday

    -

    7am

    +

    Saturday

    -

    7am

    +

    Sunday

    -

    7am

    +

Objections in a Job Interview
Interview Objections

Be prepared to answer the most common objections that may be voiced during your interview. Focus on the positive and keep your answers professional.

In fact, you should practice your answers to these questions out loud so that your answers are crisp and conversational. When an interviewer presents an objection, take a breath before you answer the question. Restate the objection and then answer it. It’s best not to dwell on an objection and talk too much, simply handle them and move on. [1]

Here are some common objections and suggested ways to handle them.

Objection 1: You Don’t Have Enough Experience

The best way to anticipate and even avoid this objection is to review your portfolio during the interview. [2] A portfolio is a visual way to demonstrate your skills and experience.

It’s one thing to talk about what you’ve done, it’s quite another to bring it alive to your interviewer. It’s especially important to show your work from internships, class projects, volunteer projects, and any other examples.


Objection 2: I’m Not Sure You Will Fit In with the Team

This is another opportunity to refer to your portfolio by talking about projects that you work on with other people.

Chances are you’ve worked on teams for class projects, internships, volunteer projects, and other areas. Be prepared with specific examples about how you have worked in collaboration with a team or taken on the leadership role within a team. [3]

Objection 3: The Position Doesn’t Pay as Much as You Are Looking For

Your response to this objection should be something like “Salary is only one part of compensation. I’m looking for the right opportunity, and I’m willing to look at other areas of the compensation program.”

It’s best not to take this conversation into a salary discussion. Wait to have the salary conversation until the company has extended an offer. It’s a good idea to have a salary range in mind before you go into an interview. [4]

Objection 4: You’re Too Experienced

It’s always best to seek a job you really want. But starting at a level that might be below your expectations is a good strategy, especially in this economy. When interviewers say this, they are worried that when the job you want comes along, you will leave.

Answer this objection by pointing out that you are willing and excited about learning about the business from the ground up. Also give your interviewer a specific reason about why you want to work for his particular company.

Hidden Objections
Although there are some common objections you may hear in a job interview, chances are you will rarely hear an objection on a job interview. This is one major difference between a sales call and an interview.

Most managers and recruiters respond during an interview in a more neutral way so as not to imply that the job is going to one candidate over another. [5] Prospective employers prefer to interview all the candidates and then make their hiring decision. Therefore, their objections are often more like hidden objections, those that are not openly stated during the interview.

Unlike the sales call, it is not appropriate to keep probing to identify the objection. The best way to overcome objections, hidden or stated, is to be prepared to sell yourself in the most compelling way possible.


The concept of value, can be a successful way to overcome objections in a job interview whether the objections are stated or hidden. Prepare for the interview, understand the company’s needs, and demonstrate how you can meet the needs. Simple. Effective. Powerful.

Set Yourself Apart
After you’ve shaken hands and finished your interview, keep in mind that your ability to stand out is not over.

Follow-up is the currency of sales; those who follow up significantly increase their chances of getting the sale (or getting the job). You have the opportunity to say thank you more than once. Prospective employers want people who want to work for the company.

It’s important to use e-mail to thank your interviewer for their time. Also there are three major parts to a thank-you e-mail.

Thank your interviewer for her time

Mention something specific

Close with a note about the next steps

As with the thank-you e-mail, timing is important for the handwritten note. It’s best to write and mail it the same day as your interview.

It’s the perfect way to reinforce the fact that you go the extra mile to make an impression and build a relationship.

When attending interviews, writing e-mails and thank you notes there are some things that you should focus on doing and others that you should avoid. Follow these guidelines to maintain a professional job hunting approach.

Tips for writing effective thank-you e-mails and notes:

Do ask for a business card at the end of each interview so that you have the correct spelling and title for each person with whom you interviewed. [6]

Do write individual thank-you notes to each person with whom you interviewed. If a recruiter arranged the interview, send a thank-you e-mail or note to her, too. [7]

Do write a thank-you e-mail or note even if you are not interested in the job. It’s always a good idea to say thank you to someone for his time. [8]

Do proof your thank-you e-mail or note before you send it, including the spelling of the person’s name.

Things to avoid when sending thank-you e-mails and notes:


Don’t stop job hunting even if you had a good interview. The job isn’t yours until you get an offer. [9]

Don’t bother the employer and follow up in a way that becomes annoying. [10]

Don’t follow up sooner than the interviewer or recruiter indicates is appropriate.

What If You Don’t Hear Back
At the end of a job interview, it’s a good idea to ask about next steps. Usually interviewers or recruiters will tell you the expected time frame in which they will make a decision.

This is valuable information because it will help you determine how and when you should follow up. If you don’t hear back from the employer or recruiter within the specified time frame, it’s recommended that you call and follow up. Companies frequently have good intentions of making a decision quickly, but business issues take priority.

Following up with a phone call helps remind your prospective employer that you are interested in the position. While it is appropriate to follow up by e-mail, it is more effective to follow up by phone. It’s easier to have a conversation with the interviewer or recruiter and get some insight about the timing as well as reinforcing why you are a good choice for the position.

Continue to do research on the company so that when you follow up, you can discuss company news. For example, you might say something like “I noticed that you were recently awarded the ACON business. It sounds like this is an exciting time at the agency and one that will need some motivated salespeople. I wanted to follow up on our conversation last week to see where you stand with filling the position.”

Follow-Up on Résumé
You can see that follow-up is critical after an interview. It helps overcome objections even after the interview is over.

The same principle of follow-up applies to every contact you make during your job search.

Your mailing list should include a phone number and e-mail address for each person on the list. Within one week of sending a cover letter and résumé, a phone call to each person on your mailing list will help reinforce your cover letter and résumé and give you the opportunity to sell yourself on the phone.

follow-Up after Networking

Like other forms of contact, networking requires follow-ups. Make it a point to follow up by e-mail or phone with each person on your networking list every four to six weeks.

It’s especially important to follow up quickly with those people with whom you connected about a possible job or contact to someone at a company. It’s appropriate to follow up within a week, unless the person told you otherwise.

Fail...to Succeed
It may seem counterintuitive, but the best way to succeed is to fail. The fact is, failures can be a positive experience because they can help you avoid repeating mistakes. [11]

Since failures are much more painful than the sweet taste of success, we tend to remember our failures more vividly. [12] But as important as the actual failure is what you do as a result of the experience. “You don’t have control over what happens to you in life,” says Lisa Peskin, sales trainer at Business Development University, “but you absolutely have control over how you choose to handle it.” [13]

Example 1

Peskin has over twenty years of experience in business-to-business (B2B) selling. To overcome the feeling of failure especially on daily sales calls, she suggests the “rocking chair test”: will you remember that someone said no to you today when you are sitting in a rocking chair fifty years from now? “

Don’t get upset over the small stuff” is her advice to salespeople. “If you want something you never had, you must do something you’ve never done, and that may result in some failures, but a lot of successes.”[14]

Example 2

It might be hard to imagine that successful people ever had failures. But Shantanu Narayen, CEO of software maker Adobe Systems, says, “You know, there is no such thing as failure. You’re always learning.”

He goes on to share his personal experiences: “I have looked back at aspects of my career where somebody might look at it and say, you know, that start-up was not successful, and I look at it and I say, ‘I learned how to build a team, how to raise money, how to sell a vision.’ It was a great steppingstone for me.” [15]


Failure is a fact of life, an average of 70 percent of people who walk into a retail store don’t buy anything, and 99 percent of people who visit a company’s Web site don’t make a purchase. [16], [17], [18]

So, it is inevitable that you will have to fail in order to succeed.That doesn’t mean that failure should become a way of life. With failure comes personal responsibility, acknowledging and accepting that you are accountable for the choices you make with your prospects, customers, your career, and in life.Failure is about learning and taking personal responsibility, which is key to your personal success. “The price of greatness is responsibility,” said Winston Churchill. [20]

KEY TAKEAWAYS


Objections are a normal part of the selling process and are not a personal reflection on you but rather an opportunity to learn more about how the customer is evaluating the potential purchase.

Objections actually help build relationships because they give you the opportunity to clarify communication and revisit your relationship with the prospect.

The best way to handle objections is to be thorough in every part of the selling process from qualifying through the preapproach, approach, and presentation.

It’s a good idea to anticipate objections by reviewing your presentation, writing down every possible objection, and building it into your presentation.

It’s especially important to understand risk from your prospect’s perspective so you can create a risk-removal strategy.

Prospects object for four reasons: money, no perceived need, no sense of urgency, and no trust.

Prospects may pose objections at any time, but especially while setting up the appointment, during the presentation, and during the trial close.

Exercises
Identify the three most common points at which objections occur in a sales presentation. Provide an example of each one in your everyday life.




Assume you are selling real estate and you are calling a prospect to set up an appointment. How would you handle an objection that she doesn’t have the time to meet with you?

Bibliography
[1] Randall S. Hansen and Katharine Hansen, “Closing the Sale and Overcoming Objections in the Job Interview,” Quintessential Careers,http://www.quintcareers.com/printable/interview_objections_closing.html (accessed October 24, 2009).

[2] Randall S. Hansen and Katharine Hansen, “Closing the Sale and Overcoming Objections in the Job Interview,” Quintessential Careers,http://www.quintcareers.com/printable/interview_objections_closing.html (accessed October 24, 2009).

[3] Randall S. Hansen and Katharine Hansen, “Closing the Sale and Overcoming Objections in the Job Interview,” Quintessential Careers,http://www.quintcareers.com/printable/interview_objections_closing.html (accessed October 24, 2009).

[4] Mary Moss, “Tips for Overcoming Objections during a Job Interview,” Associated Content, August 13, 2007,http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/337859/tips_for_overcoming_objections_during.html?singlepage=true&cat=31 (accessed October 24, 2009).
[5] Kim Richmond, Brand You, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008), 188.

[6] Randall S. Hansen, “Job Interview Follow-Up Do’s and Don’ts,” Quintessential Careers,http://www.quintcareers.com/interview_follow-up-dos-donts.html (accessed November 8, 2009).

[7] Randall S. Hansen, “Job Interview Follow-Up Do’s and Don’ts,” Quintessential Careers,http://www.quintcareers.com/interview_follow-up-dos-donts.html (accessed November 8, 2009).

[8] Alison Doyle, “Writing Thank You Letters,” About.com,http://jobsearch.about.com/od/thankyouletters/a/thankyouletters.htm (accessed November 8, 2009).

[9] Randall S. Hansen, “Job Interview Follow-Up Do’s and Don’ts,” Quintessential Careers,http://www.quintcareers.com/interview_follow-up-dos-donts.html (accessed November 8, 2009).

[10] Randall S. Hansen, “Job Interview Follow-Up Do’s and Don’ts,” Quintessential Careers, http://www.quintcareers.com/interview_follow-up-dos-donts.html (accessed November 8, 2009). [11] Stacy Blackman, “Want to Succeed? Learn How to Fail,” BNET, July 21, 2009,http://blogs.bnet.com/mba/?p=962 (accessed September 7, 2009).

[12] Dave Kahle, “Learning from Failure,” American Salesman, February 2009,http://www.davekahle.com/article/learningfromfailure.html (accessed May 16, 2010).

[13] Lisa Peskin, “Top 10 Secrets of Selling in a Recession” Philadelphia Business JournalWorkshop, Philadelphia, PA, July 29, 2009.

[14] Lisa Peskin, “Top 10 Secrets of Selling in a Recession,” Philadelphia Business JournalWorkshop, Philadelphia, PA, July 29, 2009.

[15] Adam Bryant, “Connecting the Dots Isn’t Enough,” New York Times, July 19, 2009, business, 2.

[16] Baseball Almanac, “Career Leaders for Batting Average,” http://www.baseball-almanac.com/hitting/hibavg1.shtml (accessed September 7, 2009).

[17] Amanda Ferrante, “Retailers Counting on Conversion to Drive Store Metrics,” Retail Store Ops Blog, March 17, 2008, http://retailstoreops.blogspot.com/2008/03/retailers-counting-on-conversion.html (accessed September 7, 2009).

[18] The Conversion Chronicles, http://www.conversionchronicles.com/, September 7, 2009 (accessed May 16, 2010).

[19] Dave Kahle, “Learning from Failure,” American Salesman, February 2009,http://www.davekahle.com/article/learningfromfailure.html (accessed May 16, 2010).

[20] Wayne Mansfield, “Seven Tips for Handling Stress in Challenging Times,” Article Dashboard, http://www.articledashboard.com/Article/7-Tips-for-Handling-Stress-in-Challenging-Times/612133 (accessed September 8, 2009).