By now, just about everybody's seen the infomercials for the Snuggie, the robe/ blanket/ medieval monk costume thingy that's sold twenty million units since it was introduced in 2008. Late night comedians have made jokes about it, there are YouTube videos that parody it, and the mere mention of it in conversation is a surefire giggle guarantee.
But with its inane appearance, offensiveness to fashion, and overall goofiness, how the heck has the Snuggie become such a humongous money-maker? Because it's presented as being not just an article of clothing, but an essential solution that delivers clearly stated and highly desired benefits to whoever buys it.
The same approach can be utilized when planning an effective job interview strategy.
Rather than sitting down with your interviewer and presenting yourself as just another job candidate, you must instead present yourself as an essential solution who can deliver clearly stated and highly desired benefits to a potential employer.
These benefits differ slightly from those that the Snuggie can bring, but they fit into the same general categories, which I call "closing triggers."
In sales, a closing trigger is a benefit that, if you've proven that your product or service can deliver it, will result in a sale to a prospect. When selling to consumers, successful closing triggers would be if your product or service can make people money, save people money, or improve the quality of their lives.
The Snuggie delivers on two of these closing triggers: it saves you money because it provides physical warmth (which can reduce your heating bills), and it improves the quality of your life by bringing a sense of security and comfort (which, in these uncertain economic times, is much needed).
In your interviews, you can successfully apply the "Snuggie strategy" by learning the unique closing triggers of the company that's interviewing you, and then introducing your accomplishments, credentials, and experience as proof of your ability to deliver them. These closing triggers would be making the company money, saving it money, or improving its image in the marketplace.
By using smart and incisive research methods, you can get an excellent sense of the company's specific goals, needs, and challenges, which will allow you to intuit the exact closing triggers that would resonate most powerfully in your interview.
The Snuggie infomercial works because it makes a convincing case of the product's ability to deliver highly desirable "what's-in-it-for-me" benefits to its buyers. In order for you to differentiate yourself from other job seekers and get the job offer that you want, you'll need to use the same winning strategy in your interviews.
(A note of caution: while the Snuggie's example will enhance and energize your interview skills, the improvements that it can deliver do not extend to the area of attire, and a traditional business dress code is definitely recommended when meeting with potential employers.)
Rafe Gomez is the author of WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME? A POWERFUL NEW INTERVIEW STRATEGY TO GET YOU HIRED IN TODAY'S CHALLENGING ECONOMY, a downloadable audiobook which offers an innovative new perspective on the interview process. He's presented his unique rehirement approach on MSNBC, Fox News Channel, PBS, NY1, and more. Follow his advice on Twitter @rehirementcoach.