Posts Tagged ‘interviewing’

The Most Successful Job Interview Tactic

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

42033419_sHaving coached the full range of job seekers, from entry-level candidates to C-suite executives, I learned the one job interview tactic that makes the difference between success and failure. This same tactic works for coaches and consultants who want to build a larger practice, secure more clients and do it more quickly.

The true genius of this tactic comes from Anthony Parinello, the author of the best-selling book Selling to VITO: The Very Important Top Officer. Tony has written about this technique as the foundation of successful selling to executives at the top of their organizations. If you don’t know Tony’s work, go to https://www.vitoselling.com – and grab the free download and enjoy meeting this world-class sales trainer.

There’s a profound similarity between selling to CEOs and interviewing for a job. The same fundamental truth is key for building your professional practice. The common thread between selling and interviewing is this.

Who you think YOU ARE is the key to success (or failure).

Success is not in the hands of the person with whom you are speaking, nor is it in the product, service or skill set you believe you represent.

Per the Carnegie Institute of Technology, 85% of the decision to hire you is based on your personal traits. Only 15% of the decision is based on your skills, experience or proof that what you do is better than other people who are competing for the position.

How does the interview or potential client learn about or experience your personal traits? Largely through how they see you relate to yourself.

Self-respect, self-worth and a self-positive attitude are what you must convey in an interview. Why?

Your attitude about yourself is like a cold. It’s contagious.

If you believe you that you are lucky to have the interview, you are likely to lose the job or the deal. If you believe the recruiter, hiring manager or prospective client is lucky to have the interview: you are likely to lose the job or the deal.

If you see the interview as a meeting of two people with equal business stature – you are going to succeed.

Of course this does not mean that you can do the same work as your interviewer or prospect. Why would they need you to do that?

Equal business stature simply means you share the same profound interest in successfully accomplishing the goals of the job. It means you are someone who is bringing a solution-oriented mindset, resourcefulness, ingenuity, and commitment.

See the next interview you have as an exchange of like-minded people, equally interested in addressing the challenges of the position that needs to be filled. Don’t court, cajole, or toady; don’t undersell or overpromise.

Show up ready to engage in a business conversation, where your focus is on the problems that need to be solved – not simply on what you have or haven’t done in the past.

Simply put: show up ready to engage with clarity and confidence.

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3 Wordplay Tricks For Winning Big Deals

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Businessman-Thinking1Your winning in business cannot depend on others taking a lot of time to understand you and what you mean. If you have had a cover letter and resume simply go into the email trash bin of an HR department, without your receiving even an acknowledgment of your existence, you know you haven’t mastered the language of getting attention, much less a positive response.

Saying what you mean – and getting a positive response – is akin to winning at Scrabble or Words with Friends. You have to be strategic in your thinking. You have to play the game, being tactically superior to others.

Words are what make the difference between your getting what you want or not. It’s not your good intentions that gets you a job or a new client. It’s not your sincerity. It’s not your big heart. It’s not your ability to work hard.

You must frame your position, argument or proposition in a winning way, one that generates a specific, positive response.

Here are three wordplay tricks that you might put to use.

  1. Take out as many pronouns as possible when you tell a story. Make it less about you, and more about the recipient of your effort. Big tip: don’t start with “I.” For example,

DON’T SAY:

I volunteer every Monday evening at the food pantry on Main Street, because I want to give back to people. I am especially drawn to families with kids, who are struggling to get on their feet. I worry they only have that one meal to look forward to, and I want to make a difference in their lives by bringing groceries and serving them dinner.

DO SAY:

One out of every six kids in America is “food insecure.” It’s hard to believe, but that many kids wake up not knowing if they’ll have a meal that day. So you’ll find me every Monday evening at the food pantry on Main Street, bringing groceries and serving dinner to families gathered there for perhaps their only meal of the day.

  1. Lead with what your recipient gets, rather than frame your offer about what you receive. For example,

DON’T SAY:

I want a compensation package of $117,000 annually as well as a modest moving allowance and a guaranteed expense account of $2500 per month for client entertainment.

DO SAY:

It’s great to have the opportunity to discuss compensation with you. I can meet all the job objectives as well as the quotas for production you have outlined and arrive ready to work on the day you prefer, for a salary of $117,000 annually as well as a modest moving allowance and a guaranteed expense account of $2500 per month for client entertainment.

  1. Kill your habit of saying: “like,” “you know,” and “I mean.” For example,

DON’T SAY:

At my last job, you know, I had a lot of responsibility. I mean, I worked overtime like three days a week for like months.

DO SAY:

At my last job, the amount of responsibility given to me required my working overtime three days a week on average for several months.

Some people don’t like these types of wordplay “tricks” because they believe it’s not authentic to change your natural speaking pattern. However, consider that your aspirations may have outgrown the way you express yourself. It may be time to strategically approach communication. These three tactical changes may jumpstart your success.

Do you have a worrisome speaking habit or are you looking to frame a delicate issue in the most diplomatic way? Tell me your concern and I will help. Email: [email protected]. Subject: Speech

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The 3 Job Interview Questions You Never Expect

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Would you be shocked into dumbfounded silence, if a hiring manager asked you these three questions in a job interview?

 

 

1. What have you invented?

2. What is your greatest achievement in life?

3. When have you stood up to authority?

What? These are BIG questions, taken from a real interview. They get at the meaning of your life. Your answers define you as a person with – or without – self-knowledge, self-worth, and purpose.

Would you be able to answer them on-the-spot?

Should you be prepared for them or momentous questions like them? After all, most people consider job interview questions a mere formality.

You might be one of these folks. You think the job interview merely gives the recruiter an opportunity to verify some facts on your resume. Or, gives the hiring manager an opportunity to eyeball you. See if you dress for success. See if you cleaned up the clutter on your desk, if you’re on skype.

You don’t understand that today, a job interview is more like the new ABC game show: 500 Questions. That show is about to be another blockbuster hit from Mark Burnett and Mike Darnell who gave us Shark Tank, Survivor, The Voice, and The Bachelor. In that show, each contestant must answer up to 500 difficult general knowledge questions. Get any three wrong in a row and you’re out.

500 Questions is promoted as the ultimate in self-reliance, since there are no lifelines to experts and no audience support. “Intellect, strategy and stamina are all equally essential in order to win,” according to the show’s website.

Wow! That is so unlike life, right? So unlike a job, right? Wrong. Wrong.

I’m sorry if you believe your life is a collaboration. Perhaps you misunderstood what a boss means by that “there’s no I in team” philosophy. FYI it means: you do the work, the team takes the credit. From time to time, it works the other way – but don’t hold your breath.

Can you imagine if it’s just you and those really big job interview questions?

Well, that’s actually what a job interview is meant for, if the company is serious about hiring you.

It’s just you and the questions. You cannot call an expert for help. You cannot poll the audience.

Except this one time. Choose one of the three questions and send me your answer. I’ll give you a direct critique. Email me at [email protected]. Subject line: Question

 

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Can You Tell These 10 Stories?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Getting Ahead, interviewing, nance rosen, Personal BrandingOften times in a meeting with a prospective client or employer, you want to tell a success story. You want to speak about something that you have accomplished. You want to have it directly connect to their issues, products, services, or something they can relate to.

What if you don’t have anything?

What if you are talking to someone in an industry where you have no experience?

What if you have never done anything great – or anything at all – that communicates how they could anticipate you would perform for them on their specific issues?

When you freeze up and you’ve “got nothing,” what do you say?

You tell the truth. You tell the truth about who you are and what you have done. No, you don’t say, “I got nothing.” You don’t have “nothing.” You have a lifetime of everything you have done.

When I ask candidates a question about their experience, sometimes I see this wild, fearful look in their eyes. In that moment, I know they have forgotten the most important thing about everyone in the room (or on skype or by phone).

They forget we are all just people. Real people, speaking to real people.

Here’s the ideal thing to say.

“I am concerned that I don’t have a direct example to give you. Would it be all right if I shared an experience that I think is relevant, and would you tell me if I am making a connection that makes sense, given this position (or project)?”

You are going to get encouragement to share your experience. It’s up to you to have stories in mind, prepared in advance, that get to some core issues that are almost unavoidably involved in any type of work. This would be where your personal intelligence and personal brand development work will win the day (or the project or the position).

What could be relevant? Your ability to

  • Identify the root cause of a problem
  • Sift through resources to find relevant data and findings
  • Use information to develop different solutions
  • Model implications or consequences, positive and negative
  • Set up decision-making rules and use them
  • Present choices to decision-makers
  • Cooperate with others to implement a decision
  • Test and measure results
  • Capitalize on positive results and re-purpose successful programs
  • Bounce back from failure and persevere by revisiting your initial work

That’s ten stories you’ve got to have “on trigger,” ready to articulate with details that make your experience come alive, especially when you have no direct connection. Worst case, you might not be the fit they are looking for this time. However, you will have made an indelible impression, and be top of mind when you do fit.

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You, Steve Carell, Will Ferrell, and Seth Rogen?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

 

interviewing, nance rosen, Personal Branding“We made up all our lines,” Seth Rogen remembered of Apatow’s 2005 flick, “The 40-Year-Old-Virgin.” A lot of the stuff was just us talking to each other and trying to make each other laugh, knowing that we had the freedom to say whatever we wanted. It looks very natural, because we honestly didn’t know what we were saying until we were saying it,” per MTV.com.

I particularly admire Drew Carey for getting just the right mix of players together for his Improvaganza shows, because it’s not just professional comedians provoking each other.

The kind of improv I really like – in part because it’s so scary – is when the audience is asked to shout out topics and without any script or rehearsal, the players begin to act out the scene. You hear people yell out: “Men in top hats and tutus choosing apples in the grocery produce section.” “Family under attack by giant cans of Diet Coke while they eat Thanksgiving dinner.”

Of course, improvisation is more than just getting laughs or evoking strong feelings in an audience. You need to generate a coherent, compelling story line.

You’d think only really experienced actors or those naturally gifted to think on their feet, believe they possess the magical talent called for in improv. But, well, no. You probably attempt it much more frequently than the best improvisational actors do.

Really, I bet you Steve Carrell, Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen and of course, the late and great Robin Williams have a lot in common. You all do improv. You just do it much more often than the pros.

You do improv when there’s nothing funny on the line. You do improv when it concerns your career or business.

Did you know that’s what you do? Have you considered there’s one commonality among nearly every question you get asked in a job interview, in the workplace, at a networking event, by coworkers in so-called casual conversation, or by potential referral sources and investors?

Questions in a job interview or in business transactions, negotiations and conversation are all predictable.

The really interesting questions, that the biggest and most important bosses ask, are published each week in the New York Times. Just read its “Corner Office” column. There’s a treasure trove on nytimes.com. But really, the questions you can expect to get on the average day or the average interview? You just haven’t yet considered them to be the worthwhile opportunities they really are.

How are you? What did you do this weekend? Why did you choose this career? What would you consider to be the perfect job opportunity? How did you decide to leave your current job or occupation, and take a risk in a new industry? What are you looking for exactly?

All these predictable questions have crisp, clear, compelling and memorable answers. Those answers all transmit your personal brand. They say everything about your values, your traits, your qualities, your aspirations, your interests, and your level of preparation for the life you want.

Yes, even really simple answers to questions like, “How are you?” present an opportunity for you to communicate who you are, often to the most important people. Those are the real opportunities for elevator pitches you get – when you meet eyes with a stranger or your CEO, and get some air-time.

Here’s what shocks me. Until I meet and coach or teach them,  95% of my career coaching clients and 98% of the students I teach: do not have answers for even the most basic questions. There are one hundred once-in-a-lifetime encounters you have in any given time period – a massive association meeting, a month of job-seeking, a year of meeting people in the city you’ve just moved to, or a couple of years at work. And, you very likely have no really good answers – no clear, crisp, compelling and memorable answers to these potentially life-changing questions.

That’s why I train my personal branders on trigger talk. Have all your answers prepared and memorized, so they come out like you really are the brilliant, hard-working, inventive, attractive, interesting person you are. Not like you’ve been caught streaking across campus when the police show up. That’s typically the look in your eyes, when we ask you these questions.

Do this: Make a stack of frequently asked questions of you. You could make the list by writing down every question you get over a month – or you can just reflect on conversations you have. Then, get down your answers on paper. Yes, use a pen and paper – so you inscribe the right refrains in your brain. Handwriting or printing works much better to rewire your brain, than typing or thumbing on a device.

If you do way more improv than you think you should or your career is evidence that you are: send me an email. In just a few weeks: I will send you my new ebook on how to avoid improv and the nine other career killing mistakes you are making. Email: [email protected]. Subject line: Killer ebook.

 

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Why You Must Act Like A Jerk

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

173854947You know all those people you think are jerks for being louder and pushier than you? Here’s a shocker. They get what they want, way more often than you do.

Compared to those who are less straightforward: people, who emphatically say what they want, get what they want more often. Not because other people are intimidated by these so-called jerks. But because other people understand in no uncertain terms exactly what these jerks want.

So, these folks aren’t jerks. They are just really clear about what they want, and certain they need other people to know it. That’s how they get attention and action in their favor.

Say What You Mean = Get What You Want.

What happens when you FAIL to say what you mean, and fail to speak up in terms that are explicit, clear and emphatic? You actually diminish the chance you’ll get what you want. When you are vague, oblique or otherwise understated about your goals? The statistical likelihood of our agreeing to it goes way, way down.

If you pussyfoot around an issue: that’s like giving your audience – a boss, recruiter or colleague – instructions to do more of what you don’t want.

Here are some examples:

If you want recruiters to hire someone else: don’t ask for the job during the interview.

If you want to receive no raise or bonus this year: don’t ask your boss for a specific amount.

If you want to do a massive amount of work alone until way past midnight: don’t ask your co-worker to stay and help you with a specific task.

That’s the key. You must be specific.

You must also speak or write in an authoritative tone.

And you must give unambiguous instructions.

That’s how what you say becomes what you get.

For example, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant report on persuasion guru Robert Cialdini’s experiment on saving a forest.

When signs were posted with warnings that people were stealing petrified wood and irreparably damaging the forest, stealing wood increased dramatically. Then new signs were posted that said: Don’t Steal Petrified Wood. Stealing dropped dramatically.

Whatever your issue – it pays to be a jerk. That is, if you define being a jerk as saying what you want and getting it.

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What’s Wrong With Your Image?

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

NRBimage
You may not realize you have an image.
And the image that exists for you may not be ideal. The goal of reputation management and personal branding is to intentionally and authentically put together an image that is coherent, consistent and compelling.

What distinguishes your image from your personal brand or reputation? Your image is more diffused. It encompasses much more about you, although it plays a big role in your personal brand and reputation.

You may be very surprised that how you earn your living is the LEAST important aspect of your image.

I have described my new concept to many of my coaching clients, and they are surprised at what matters to recruiters, hiring managers, and even their bosses and co-workers – much less all their contacts.

So I created a simple way for everyone to think about the image we hold in our heads about you and the other people who pass through our lives, businesses, networking events and more.

I – What are you IMPROVING? What can you say you are actively learning about, studying, seeking more information about, and otherwise trying to add to or modify about yourself? Could be something like learning a language. Or something smaller, like learning good manners for cross-cultural business etiquette.

M – What are you MANAGING? What financial matters, education courses, workload, community commitments, family circumstances, and more are under your control? You are your Chief Life Officer, after all. What would we be impressed to know you manage now?

A – What are you ADVISING other people about? What expertise, knowledge, or special skills are you imparting to others? Do you do some informal or formal mentoring? Could you be a resource on a topic that another person or business needs to know about? Do you use social media to get out that information for free, or perhaps do you exchange services or even do it for free (right now)?

G – What are you GIVING? Where is your social philanthropy, your cause-oriented work, your support for people in need, pets in need, the planet itself or simply in your own family and community?

E – Finally, how are you EARNING your living? What are the large (and small) jobs you have and have held in the past? Do you do more than one thing? That’s so good for us to hear. Perhaps you hold down a full time job and do freelance work in another field. I have a client who manages a small business, she does bookkeeping for it and another company, plus she is a dance instructor. How impressive is that? That’s real multi-tasking.

When you fail to let us know these great things about you, something’s missing from your image. We may overlook you, just because someone else IS prepared to talk about these major dimensions of their life and personal brand.

Pepper your conversation with all these dimensions of your image. If you want to try out this formula for yourself, just jot down your thoughts for each letter, and send your IMAGE to me at [email protected]. Subject line: IMAGE.

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We Must Like You to Hire You

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

ShadowPortraitIn all the time I’ve been working, coaching, teaching and speaking: I have never met anyone who is too stupid or uneducated to get the job they really wanted. I’ve never met a business owner or someone who wanted to be an entrepreneur who lacks the intelligence or ability to build the enterprise they really wanted to captain.

It’s been about 15 years, and I’ve directly met over 50,000 people, plus many more from speaking to audiences around the world. So, I have a lot of proof that you can do pretty much what you want to do.

Your life is pretty much what you make it.

If you feel you’ve got a skills or information deficit, at your fingertips on a moment’s notice, you can learn almost anything. Just Google “how to roast a prime rib to medium rare” or “how to do a laparoscopic spay.” True, that last one presupposes you run a veterinary clinic, but most often the skills or knowledge you need are all over the web, with plenty of videos to give you second opinions, workarounds, alternative approaches and some good arguments.

In addition to various search engines directing you to real time resources, you have an abundance of remarkable educational institutions offering free courses on science, technology, management, design, and nearly every other topic you can yearn for.

Of course as an educator with UCLA Extension, I must mention you have access to an abundance of high quality on-ground and online courses for a fee. These 2-day to 12-week courses often turbo charge your learning, because you apply new skills as you study with teachers who are working in the field you want to enter.

There’s so much knowledge, it’s impossible to say you can’t become exactly what you feel driven to achieve. And, if you can just watch videos: you pretty much have the intellectual capacity required for that dream, along with the resources.

So it’s not for lack of intellectual capacity or opportunities for skill-building that most people find themselves stuck in a bad job or failing in a poorly run business, or failing to fulfill their desire to be an entrepreneur, consultant or anything else.

And, it’s not for lack of employers or customers who want to pay reliable, motivated and personable individuals to help them achieve their goals. Truly.

That’s the secret. If we don’t like you, we won’t hire you or retain you.

Very few people are really personable and likeable. The researcher Anderson along with many others who have expanded or contracted his seminal work on personality, determined there are 555 traits that define anyone’s personality. More than half of those traits are undesirable ones.

Your worst personality traits ALWAYS overshadow your good ones. You may be hostile, irritable, selfish, ungenerous, boring, discontented, trouble-making, a gossip, negative, annoying, attention-getting, confused… the list is long.

Unfortunately, the people who are stuck, can’t land an interview, can’t get funded, can’t stay in business or otherwise fail are leading with their worst traits, or letting them run amok when they need to be corralled and defused – before we meet you.

It all but kills me when I meet someone who could be so happy, satisfied, proud, and financially stable except for the fact that their negative personality traits are like a bad odor that won’t go away (so everyone else does).

Stop thinking you are being victimized by some outer force – although you may be. Most of us who succeed, overcome the odds, including a bad economy, less than ideal bosses and all the other things that are just a part of business and life.

Would you like an inventory of the 555 traits, and an assessment of your personality? Email me at [email protected]. Subject line: 555

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