EP 1215 I take a lesson from tv and apply it to job search tailored to executives.

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This is a lesson that I want to offer you that I think comes right out a television and the lesson really is about …well, let me just go through the story.

How many crime shows have you seen where weeks are compressed into one hour and, at the end, the good guy wins? That's pretty much the plot of every show I've ever seen; probably, it is the same for you, too. Here’s what, unfortunately, happens. Job hunters have an unrealistic expectation of what's going to occur.

First of all, this one lesson is valid and that lesson is people have missed something along the way. As a job hunter, one of the things you have to do is figure out where your misses are. That’s not necessarily about efficiencies in your background, but it can be a better execution.

So, for you as an executive, for you as a senior professional, I want to remind you that although you can do the job, you may not be able to have the skills yet, you may not have learned what's necessary to find the job. Even though you’ve hired hundreds of people in the past, it's different being on the other side of the desk.

I can't tell you the number of executives that I’ve work with who hired so many people and, put them in the interview seat, and suddenly they are stammering idiots. You don't want to necessarily be that and, most of you wouldn't be, but you can be amateurs, making mistakes and confessing things about your background that are completely unnecessary.

I want to be clear. I hate people who are sanitized on the other side when I interview them. I love people with personality but their focus, they are targeted. They have a clear idea what they're trying to accomplish and I want to make sure that, from the standpoint of you interviewing, you don't make the mistake of thinking that this is a sprint that you're going through. You or not to make the mistake of believing that you can just walk into an interview, without any preparation whatsoever and, like a meeting with you walked into unprepared, be able to ace it. It doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t work that way on TV.

Eventually, they find what the miss was and they solve the crime in the course of the investigation. Life isn't a TV show. People make mistakes; they make tons of them in job hunting. For you as an executive, I'm simply going to say you have to do your homework. You can't behave like an amateur. You have to go out there and sell yourself and be prepared to talk about your experiences in ways that are useful for the audience to understand (the audience being the people that you are interviewing with) how you can deliver the goods for them. That's going to involve some preparation on your part in understanding the role.

So I got some great videos. Watch one called, “The Single Best Question You Should ax on Any Interview.” There are a series of them in the interview playlist on YouTube that I think you'll find helpful.

But, the end of the day, I can't make you prepare. But I know you know how important preparation is. If the role, you haven’t been winging it throughout your entire career. You’ve been well-prepared. That’s how you’ve gotten to the seat that you are in.

Don't take the shortcuts here. Don’t make the rookie mistakes that cost you.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1200 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Connect with me on LinkedIn. Then message me to schedule an initial complimentary session.

If you have questions for me, call me through the Magnifi app for iOS (video) or PrestoExperts.com (phone)

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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