Surface and Deal With Any Objections That Arise
Your next key to interviewing is to be able to overcome objections in a smooth and seamless way. With today’s competition, if you stumble, there are too many others the employer can turn to. So, why play this by ear? Here is a simple method for handling objections, the “ARTS method.” The letters stand for the following:
A = Acknowledge the objection.
R = Redirect the person’s concern.
T = Test to be sure you’ve removed the concern.
S = Use a story to make your point.
Whenever someone raises an objection, the tension level rises. In step A reduce the tension level.
A = Acknowledge the objection
“I can understand your concern, and I would like to address it for you.” Or “You’ve raised an interesting point. It deserves some frank discussion.” The phrases are not so important—it’s the feeling you impart. You have acted in a reassuring way; it’s clear that you feel secure about your abilities.
R = Redirect their concern
Let’s say the interviewer raised the fact that your experience was in a different industry. “What qualities are you looking for in an ideal candidate that prompted this concern?” Now, you can’t change your past, but you can show that you are someone who contributes quickly (e.g., “When you raise that question, I understand that you want to be sure the person you put in this job is someone who will contribute quickly. Isn’t that it?”) The interviewer will reaffirm that you are indeed correct. With just a little thought, it is easy to refocus the conversation toward the positive qualities that are really on the interviewer’s mind.
T = Use a testing question
The idea is to see if you removed their concern. Here is an example of asking a testing question: “If I could show that I could contribute quickly, even when learning new information, would that help?”
After you get a positive response, you can go directly to your answer, or you can introduce one of your key strengths. You might say: “If I could show you that I work well under pressure, might that ease your concern somewhat?”
S = Use a supporting story to confirm
The final thing is to use a supporting story. Remember, what really counts is the fact that you did not get flustered. If you’ve done it right, interviewers won’t be that concerned about your exact answer. They’ll be thinking, “This person handled that situation very well.” Note: An objection is really a sign of interest. If employers were not interested, they would not bother asking you to overcome the objection.
(Originally published on Robert J. Gerberg‘s site)
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