The right candidates for the right job!
1. Emphasize the immediate value you can bring. Achieving results quickly by making a swift impact on sales and profits is especially vital to small businesses. Discuss what you can deliver right away and during your first three to six months on the job. Prepare a variety of examples from your career that fit their situation to demonstrate how you can solve current problems.
2. Personally connect with the interviewer. Chemistry with your boss and co-workers is essential for a small business, where working relationships are closer. Show that you are easy to get along with and the type of person people want to be around. Display qualities that can be a plus in the decision-making process, including humor in good taste, warmth, and understanding.
3. Step up your face-to-face contact. Smaller companies will be less likely to advertise openings or post them on Internet job boards. Opportunities surface at in-person meetings. Networking at trade shows and professional groups pay big dividends. Volunteering with charitable, civic, and religious organizations shows potential employers what kind of work ethic you possess.
4. Acquire key referrals. Referrals play an enormous role in small businesses. A good referral from a valued employee or someone close to the owner or manager will go a long way. Scour your networking contacts and use social media websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook to obtain a referral or two.
5. Be receptive to contract or temporary work. Resumes are two dimensional. They are words on paper that tells the hiring manager “Who” you are, “What” you can do and “Where and When” you worked. Temporary positions give you a chance to show the manager or owner the “How” of your experience. Many employers are adding contract or project workers before deciding to hire full-time staff. You may be able to transition this into a full-time job if you achieve superior results. Look at it like a working resume.
6. Prepare to overcome objections that you are over-qualified and/or will leave for a better job later. Smaller businesses may be more sensitive that you have held higher positions with larger companies and earned greater compensation than they are able to pay. Address interviewers’ concerns you may leave for a better job by countering that your experience will solve problems and create solutions that will help increase revenue and salaries.
7. Show interest and excitement in the opportunity. Smaller companies want people who are enthusiastic about working with them, and can motivate and inspire co-workers and direct reports. Communicate this in a variety of ways and express your enthusiasm for hitting the ground running.