Listen carefully to show that you’re interested. Make intelligent comments and ask pertinent questions. Given the opportunity, use expanded PARs to demonstrate your experience, particularly in any area of the interviewer’s interest. Most of the PARs in your resume are two-line bulleted statements. During your interview, expand them
to two or three minutes, describing the problem you faced and the action you took including the skills you used. If the company has problems in your area of expertise, there may be a possibility of a hidden job. Explore the company’s needs delicately because you promised in your initial approach that you wouldn’t expect a job opportunity. You lose credibility if you push too hard.
The interview may turn into a preliminary job interview, even though you were told none existed. It may also turn into a discussion of your doing consulting for the company. Signs of this transition are the interviewer’s asking increasingly probing questions about your background. This may indicate that a “green light” has turned
on, with his or her revealing “insider information” about the company, introducing you to others in the company, extending the meeting beyond the time you expected, inviting you to come back, describing the company in a favorable way, or probing deeply about your salary expectations.
Handle questions about salary carefully. Revealing a specific figure too early could cool the company’s interest in you or lock you into a salary below what is possible. At this point, say, “Salary is important, but it’s only one consideration. The most important consideration is the opportunity itself.” Let the contact do most of the talking with your role being that of an interested and involved listener.