The Need


How does the public speaking rule that you need to know your audience translate into a useful job interview skill?  If you haven’t interviewed in a while, it can be quite an eye-opener.

1. Who is your target audience? Will it be your potential boss, one of the HR reps, or a group of some type (i.e. for one interview, I sat with the future boss and two future coworkers)

2. Where does your target audience work? More than just “the company where you applied to work.” You want to be able to show at least a basic understanding of a few key facets, no matter what job you’re looking for within the company:
– Where are they? Local, National, or International. Will you be at the headquarters, or a branch office?
– Where are their customers? same possible answers
– How much are they partnered with the community? i.e do they sponsor local events or charities?

 3. What can you do for that audience of one? Will you be working with them to make the company better, or are you just looking for a steady paycheck? Important: Look at the job posting, and figure out how to sell your value to the company in the form of benefits. (i.e. “in my last job, I was able to increase sales in my region by 40% in just one year”)

Figuring out the answers to these questions can go a long ways toward preparing to sell yourself to your next employer, and helping you be more comfortable and confident during that interview.


  1. Rob,

    Good article. Focusing on our audience is key wheth it is an audience of 100 or 1. The job interview angle is an excellent take on the issue. I wrote a piece called The Social Contract – – on this most fundamental of questions that every speaker should ask. Hope you and your readers find it useful.



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