The First 30 Seconds of an Interview |

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EP 1273 Robert Herjavec has discussed how to standout on Shark Tank. I  take that and convert it to job hunting.

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Robert Herjavec from the TV show, "Shark Tank"  did the video recently where he talked about how to stand out on the shop.  I think there lessons for job hunters here that are useful and I'm going to translate what he says it is something for job hunters.

The 1st thing he talks about is the 1st 30 seconds.  The cast of the show, "the sharks" are out there for 12 hours a day, listening to page after page. They are board. They are tired.  They are hungry.  After a while, they don't want to be there. They'll be back at home working on their business.  However, they are committed to doing the show and doing it well so they come out and put on a performance.

Sound like many hiring managers you talked with?

They are bored, tired, hungry, and have interviewed multiple people a day. Their staff is the same way. They are distracted because they have other things to do.  You have to engage them in the 1st 30 seconds.

There are a few ways to do it.  Robert talks about how they walk into the tank.

For you is your approach to the hiring manager and who you are interviewing with.  How do you approach them. In many cases, the 1st contact us by phone.  How do you answer your calls?

You may be getting a call on the mobile, looking at it, and wondering, "Who the hell is that," and answer as though there is a Viagra salesman on the other line and discover that it is in HR person, a hiring manager, someone who's doing screening for the hiring manager who works in his department.  While you're doing your job search. You need to be focused in on how you answer every single phone call.  This could be someone that you are selling to.

From the 1st moment you pick up the phone, answer with enthusiasm and excitement, speaking with a certain style with the aggressiveness that allows people that you are awake and not asleep at the switch.

If they introduce themselves to you over the phone, immediately leap into, there is also,

That makes them talk about the job with you at the beginning of the interview. So, mentally, you can get your switch turned on, and be prepared to talk about what you have done that matters to them, and not just simply talk about what you've done.

Notice there is a difference in their between those 2.

Talk about what you've done that matters to them versus talk about what you've done.

If it is in person, remember, you are walking in and shaking hands with someone and there has to be a certain command presence that you have, especially if you are a manager or above interviewing for a position.

These lessons are all true, the matter where you are in an organization, but they are particularly critical for those in a manager level and above.

Why?  Because you are a visible representative of the person who is evaluating you – – the VP, the director, the SVP – – whoever it is ata more senior level than you, you represent them. And if you come across like a slug, you reflect poorly on your future boss.  You also present yourself poorly for yourself.  You become a bad representative for them and for you. It's an immediate turn off.

If you think for some ideas makes a difference, it's a big world, it's a big country, there are a lot of people who are going to be is capable of doing this job. As you and present better.  Don't be a slouch with this. Dress well. Present well.

Robert talks about people who walk into the tank and they don't know the numbers and the sharks help them.  There are also people who walk into the tank and they beat the crap out of.  That's the difference in how someone presents.

I want to be clear.  There are people who will interpret what I am saying as talking about being "professional."  I think in terms of being honest, open,, effective, strong, prepared… A leader.  I don't care what lovely Warden organization, it doesn't mean that you have to prepare is being ruthless.  You can be a nice person and be a nice person and firms will like you and engage you.

There's also another thing that comes into play and that is the idea of engaging on a human level.  How you speak to them as an honest individual who is engaged and forthright and self-confident.

There is the classic question of, "Tell me about yourself."  There is also,"Hey, thanks for so much for making the call.  I remember the position description but I want to get your take on the role.  Would you tell me about the role as you see it and what I can do to help?"

That's the 1st thing you do.  If you are meeting them in person for the 1st time, and you are sitting down in the chair, ask that question.  Then when they get around to them, "Tell me about yourself," or some other equivalent question they ask, here's what I want you to follow up with – – it's the standard answer that question, but you need to do some homework.  This is the way I would like you to continue on with it:

"I'm sure a lot of people say similar things to you, but what makes me different is…" And then you talk about being a difference maker for them.  What makes you different than the other 25 people that have spoken with about this job.

I don't care if you are a recent grad, a college senior preparing for your 1st job or in the C suite looking for another position.  You can still present yourself as being a difference maker.  That's the thing that is going think immediately get their attention.

Figure out what your critical difference is.

You can say things like, "I'm sure a lot of people at said stuff like this to you before.  But, what makes me different is that I've actually delivered on what I'm talking about.  I'm just someone who stepped into organizations with problems and what I've done is…" Then, you talk about how you took a disengaged organization and got them to recommit.

"How did you do that?"

"Well, often organizations with engagement problems hired engage people, but, along the way, these people got turned off by management decisions. They didn't buy into.  Then,…" Do you see where I'm going with this?  I talked about being a difference maker and working in an organization with problems.  What I've done is… And I talked about how you took a disengaged organization and got them to recommit.

I took the standard question was prepared to answer how I went about doing it.

So, it's 30 seconds to get their attention, that 1st question (Tell me about the role as you see it and what I can do to help) is a great attention getter. It follows up with another attention getter where you talk about your differences from the standard individual, they might interview who walks in the door but you have an additional thought that encapsulates how you are different and that is going to benefit them to have you around.  If they don't like the idea that you took a disengaged organization and turn them into a productive organization because of how you will achieve buy-in, this isn't the place for you, is it?


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1300 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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