The good news about objections is that you have an opportunity to change the interviewer's mind. Often the interview does not really get started till an objection is raised, otherwise it is just another fluff interview where the interviewers are just going through the motion. When this happens you are not getting the job.
Poor Objection Handling Can Hurt Your Chances
I once had an interview with a large company and the hiring manager raised an objection that my most recent work experience has been mostly working for startups. I did not handle this objection well. I said that I approach a position like an entrepreneur, so even though her company is large, I am certain that the company will benefit by hiring someone with an entrepreneurial mindset to help it grow. As it turned out this did not satisfy the manager as I did not get the job. Upon further reflection she was very concerned about how well will I handle their overall corporate culture of following their structured process of doing things. I actually gave the worst answer that I could possibly give from what she was looking for. I did not allay her concern. As you will see in this post I did many things wrong and it hurt my chances since there weren't any other objections raised during the interview.
Objection handling is very important in sales, and you can learn the techniques they use and apply it when you are looking for a job. In the blog appearing in salesforce.com website titled "6 Techniques for Effective Objection Handling," the author gives you some of the reasons why objections are raised and then gives sales techniques on how to handle them.
Why Objections Are Raised?
Before looking at how to handle objections, you do need to understand some of the reasons why objections are raised.
Lack of knowledge
The interviewer may not know something about your background such as that you have worked for a large company before.
Specific, warranted concern
You have worked for a startup and may not be able to make a transition to a big company culture.
The interviewer may have a preference for another candidate that he likes.
The interviewer may think that you may not be that technical.
Not clear about their interests
The interviewer is not forthcoming on whether social media skills are not a priority for them.
Take you out of you game
Sometimes interviewer just wants to test you how you react under stressful conditions. They will say something to tick you off because the company, for example, may have a culture where people may tell you that your idea is stupid in a meeting.
There is no substitute for preparation. You do not want to think on your feet when it comes to handling objctions. It rarely works. You have to go into an interview anticipating certain objections that are likely to come up. This is no different than politicians going into a debate knowing certain questions that are likely to come up. The objections could be both direct ot indirect.
For example, if you are old, the interviewer may not ask something indirectly such as how much do you know current stuff or whether you use social media tools or can handle criticism. You have to be very careful and not cite that you have a Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus accounts. The question is much deeper for which you have to prepare ahead of time. The interviewer really wants to know whether you use these tools that will increase you productivity in how people work at the company.
How to handle objections?
Take a Pause
You have to handle an objection professionally so the first thing to do is take a deep breath and wait for two seconds.
Say "Thank You" for asking the question since this means that you are being given a chance to address their concern. This means that they are willing to listen to what you have to say rather than just say "no."
Before you answer the question make sure you understood the question. You can ask the interviewer to clarify it or you can rephrase the question to make sure you understood the question correctly.
You want to better understand why the interview is raising this objection. You may even want to apologize for not being very clear with your answers.
If you are not sure what is behind a question then you may want to ask before answering the question. You want to probe by asking the interviewer to be more specific. You kind of want to be like those whiz kid at a spelling bee who will ask all sorts of question before spelling a word. You want to take this very seriously since if you don't answer it well, you will be gone and the customer is not going to let you know by ringing a bell as they do when a speller misspells a word
Show Value x 3
Once you are absolutely clear then you want to provide three examples to neutralize the objection. The reason you need to give three is based on the Losada ration applying to objections. If the interviewer has a negative thought then you need 2.91 positives to neutralize it. It may not be always this, but if you have three then use it.
I explain the Losada ratio in the blog titled "Positivity Pays Dividends" which states that to counteract one negative comment, you need three positive comments. I view objection as a negative comment and to neutralize it, you will need three good reasons. If you give one, it may work sometimes, but if you give three reasons then you are leaving very little doubt.
You need the ability to evaluate the outcome.What knowledge was applied, and what knowledge was not applied? In other words, you need a coach. It is almost impossible to be your own coach. The President of the United States has advisors on everything, including people whose job it is to tell him when he's screwing up. He needs "rapid and unequivocal feedback" on his thoughts and actions.
Objections are part of our life since everyone views the world from their vantage point. You have to break through this which requires both salesmanship and empathy. Salesmen deal with this a lot since they have to make a living by convincing people to buy. Similarly if you want to get a job, you will have to learn the same techniques. You will have to put yourself in another person's shoes on first understanding the objections before answering them. Sometimes you will find that you do not have to even answer them since by you asking the question helped answer it. Lastly, objection handling is not something you want to have to think on your feet. You must practice deliberately so that you are anticipating objections that are likely to be raised, so when they come up you can hit it out of the park and move on.