In our busy, attention-deficit world of Gifs and Snapchats, any short-cut that helps a hiring manager get more quickly and succinctly to what you have to offer, must surely be a good thing. This post looks at a framework called the Customer Window and how it can be adapted for job applicants who want to communicate why they would be the right person to get hired.

Imagine your prospective hiring manager is the customer. Just like when you are the customer of a service, you will have expectations and requirements, ranging from the quality, the price, and value, to how the experience makes you feel. The Customer Window focuses on two questions to answer:

  1. What does this employer want and not want from my service or offer as a prospective employee?
  2. What does this employer get and not get from my service or offer if I get hired?

Get hired

The top panes of the window are about ensuring you meet the job requirement in the hiring process. Are you clear about what the employer wants and needs? How can you test this during a job interview? What questions can you ask to see how well you have put your offer across?

The bottom right pane is a mismatch between what you offer and what the hiring manager expects. It’s a common pitfall to rehearse your answers to anticipated questions and stick too rigidly to the script. So, pay keen attention to your listening and observation skills.

The bottom left pane is about delighting the hiring manager with something you offer that has not been considered or adds value in some way.

How one person used it to get hired

I know someone who applied for a job as a team leader in a technical environment. One of the leading criteria was understanding the product area. During the interview, it became obvious her knowledge was limited. However, it also became clear that the team’s relationships were not great. She was excellent at developing people to work well together and had proven experience. She pivoted at the interview, spotting the opportunity, by introducing this added value and they hired her despite her shortcomings on the technical front.

You can apply this framework to any person or group that you want to satisfy. It helps to ensure you cover all the bases, you step into the employer’s shoes and see things from their perspective, and focuses your attention on being laser sharp in communicating what you would provide.

Do you see yourself as a service provider when applying for jobs? Do you see the employer as your customer? Try looking through the Customer Window to help you get hired.