Hitting The Bullseye in a Job Search: How to land more quickly and with less frustration by Greg David of Gregory Laka and Company

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Hitting the bulls-eye in an interview is about eliminating common interview mistakes, and performing interview best practices. Even in a down job market, people are being hired all the time. Why …

Hitting the bulls-eye in an interview is about eliminating common interview mistakes, and performing interview best practices. Even in a down job market, people are being hired all the time. Why shouldn't it be you?

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  • 1. “Hitting the Bulls Eye”Advanced techniques and strategies to outpace, outsmart, and outperform your job search competitors.
    Greg David, President
    Gregory Laka & Company
  • 2. The focus is negative.
  • 3. When an organization needs to hire, it does not look for value in applicants. That would take too much time to interview each and every applicant. The time and cost to hire would make hiring cost and resource prohibitive.
    Instead, organizations use a “funnel approach” much the same way responses to RFP’s or RFI’s are evaluated.
    By applying critical data points to quickly reduce the number of applicants to a manageable talent pool, an organization can manage its resources and expenses more responsibly.
    This occurs in screening resumes, in interviews, and in comparing candidates throughout the interview process.
    Firms focus on ruling people out, not looking for value. It is a productivity and process issue, and it is not personal.
  • 4. The key to managing a successful job search is producing the highest amount of activity in the shortest period of time, with as many of the administrative and “low return” tasks being automated.
    Low return tasks are searching for jobs to apply to, and sending resumes to recruiting firms and corporations (tips on how to automate this and generate much higher job search activity is covered in my other presentations).
    However, even with high activity, many job seekers continue to come in a bridesmaid, never a bride.
    Coming in number two is the same as coming in number 200. There still is no job offer, and close doesn’t count.
    Today you will learn how to use advanced techniques that improve your chances of coming in number one, and getting that job offer!
  • 5. The best candidates are rarely hired.
  • 6. Firms hire people who perform better in the interview and interview process:The most qualified candidates and the candidates getting the offer are usually not the same person.The key to success is two-fold: 1) Avoid committing interview suicide. 2) Perform more interview ‘best practices’ than the other candidates.
  • 7. In other words, when it comes to interviewing:
    Play chess, not checkers.
    If you do not understand that now,
    hopefully you will by the end of
    viewing this PowerPoint deck.
    That is the key to interview
    and career success.
    Historical recollection is when you mentally reflect on
    work related events and experiences that you may use
    as examples in the course of interviewing.
    Not doing historical recollection prior to an interview
    significantly lowers the probability you will be selected
    to pass on to the next layer of interviewing.
    Not doing historical recollection is the equivalent
    of flying by the seat of your pants.
    It is crucial to do for phone and face to face
    interviews alike.
  • 10. MOST appear ASLEEP!
    When qualified candidates are ruled out during an interview, it is usually due to:
    Lack of preparation prior to the interview.
    Lack of “historical recollection” in anticipation of the interview.
  • 12. The best way to perform “historical recollection” is to identify the probable criteria that the firm will evaluate you against (see later slides on behavioral interviewing for examples).
    At the top of each page of a legal pad, list a single criteria that you feel you’ll be measured against.
    Under each criteria, ‘brainstorm’ about useful examples to cite during the interview.
    This ‘fermentation process” is essential for you to be able to compete and win during the interview.
  • 13. Mirroring.
  • 14. What is “Mirroring”?
    Wikipedia defines mirroring as the behavior in which one person copies another person usually while in social interaction with them.
  • 15. Most people focus on THEMSELVES in an interview rather than the needs and wants of the hiring manager/firm. So to the hiring manager/team, they appear like this when it comes to mirroring: DISTORTED!
  • 16. The key is to crisply create an attractive reflection.
    Work to make yourself appear to be an exact reflection of what they want.
    FOCUS ON MIRRORING when you apply, tailor your resume, cover letter, complete application, email, and interview.
    This will radically enhance the odds you keep “making the cut” at each turn of the interview process.
  • 17. You want to create this:
  • 18. A word of caution when MIRRORING!
    Avoid stating that you see yourself as an exact fit,
    perfect fit, or are the best available candidate
    for the role.
    This type of behavior alienates your audience and
    causes you to miss a critical opportunity to
    demonstrate humility.
    In addition, since not all requirements are
    shared with the job seeker, you also will
    protect yourself from looking foolish.
  • 19. MIRRORING TIPS to find openings.
  • 20. Mirroring tips to find positions to apply to or firms to apply to:1) Do a Campaign Based Job Search (see my other presentation on this connected to my LinkedIn profile).2) Search LinkedIn for firms you have worked at. Examine the returns for: a) Other firms that past employees have gone to work at. b) Common schools of employees—then search on what firms like to hire from those schools.
  • 21. 3) Companies on LinkedIn may also have a “group page”. Expand your searches to include groups.4) Search the new hires for an organization to see where they are coming from (industry and name of company). Can you mirror them?5) LinkedIn will also provide links to recent new articles on firms you do research on.6) Recent activity (click on all activity) will tell you where people have recently gone to from that firm.
  • 22. All is fair in love and war: LINKEDIN “telegraphing”.Targeting people with a similar skill set to yours, take note when these LinkedIn users begin following a particular entity. This is called “telegraphing”.Often, they follow the firm due to an opening that exists. You can learn of jobs that are viable for you, by “telegraphing”, or watching what organizations these people follow. ****You should exercise care if you follow others. Who is telegraphing you?
  • 23. Use search engines, job boards, group directories to find resumes, CV’s, employment profiles, or BIO’s.1) Find out where past peers have worked, or gone to work so you can target those firms/industries.2) You can also use alumni, association, user group, and SIG (Special Interest Group) directories. 3) Also search volunteer groups, faith based groups, and social groups to find people like you and where they work.
  • 25. Inject THEIR WORDS into your email, application, resume, cover letter, etc.1) Get THEIR WORDS from their website, annual report, articles written about the firm, press releases, webinars, brochures, or letters from the CEO or executive team. Search the Internet to learn how they describe themselves, their culture, their employees, their mission statement, etc. a) Mirror them by using THEIR words to create synergy, parallels, and alignment. B) Rewrite your resume whenever possible using their lingo, keywords, and hot buttons.
  • 27. Always be your ‘professional self’ and be honest (but not to a fault).1) Mirror the handshake/greeting.2) Mirror their speech (volume, rate of speed).3) Mirror their body language (make it subtle and slow).4) Mirror their formality (but don’t get too informal).5) Mirror their message (use their lingo).6) Mirror their energy.7) Only mirror relaxed dress if you are told to do so and it is not a test (ask your recruiter or do some homework).
  • 28. Warning about MIRRORING on the interview:1) Do NOT mirror negative behavior whether it be verbal (swearing, negativity, speaking ill of past employers, etc.), or physical (crossing arms, not smiling, hands under the table, etc.).2) Don’t mirror their every move, nor mirror right away. Always vary the adjustment time (anywhere from 5-15 seconds), but be careful not to do it too much.
  • 29. If you are ‘caught’ mirroring on the interview--- go to a 4 point position:(1) Smile pleasantly but not overly.(2) Hands and arms open in lap, on table, or taking notes.(3) Face the other person directly.(4) Sitting straight with both feet on the ground.
  • 30. Mirroring should CHANGE UP!You should mirror each person differently both in providing data, and in mirroring verbal, non-verbal physical attributes.Ask each person you meet: (1) What are the most important qualities in the person you hire from your perspective? (2) What is the biggest challenge you see for someone new coming in, in this capacity? (3) What are you most concerned with in filling this role?
  • 31. MIRRORING after the interview.
  • 32. Mirroring after the interview: CRITICALALWAYS send a thank you note to each person, but ALWAYS make it personal and unique. 1) Inject data that you gleaned from the interview and use their lingo. 2) Directly tie how you are a solution to their pain. 3) Show direct interest and enthusiasm for the role.
  • 33. More MIRRORING after the interview:1) If they are amenable to receiving it, send examples of work with their language and culture added where possible.2) If it will be well received, send articles relevant to the role, issues with the role, upcoming initiatives, and layer into the email, their language, information gathered in the interview, and anything that can “tie” you to their culture. ***Be careful not to come off as over the top, or stalking.
  • 34. “Playing poker” during the interview, only means one thing:You are outdated. The days of playing hard to get are over. People who do this are ruled out for lack of enthusiasm, passion, and interest.
  • 35. Behavioral Interviewing.
  • 36. What is behavioral interviewing?Wikipedia defines behavioral interviewing as a type of interview based on the notion that a job candidate’s previous behaviors are the best indicators of future performance. It is also known as competency-based interviewing.
  • 37. Behavioral interviewing often targets certain areas:Ability and accomplishment AdaptabilityAbility to influence, persuade, or leadAbility to deal with change, stress, or conflictCritical thinkingDecision makingFlexibilityFocus on others (i.e. clients, stake holders, peers, partners, end users)Listening skillsProblem solvingProfessionalismResults orientationSelf confidenceTeamwork
  • 38. Behavioral interviews begin with:Tell me about a time when you…Describe a situation when….Give me an example of….What are….When did you….How do you normally/typically/usually…
  • 39. In behavioral interviews you need to be:Specific and detailed in answers.Data driven in your answers.Careful to avoid tangents.Prompt in answering the question.Careful to share information that can be verified.A smooth, inviting ‘story teller” that engages the listener.
  • 40. Use the STAR technique in behavioral interviews:Describe the Situation or TaskDescribe the Action you took in response (be careful to include what you did, not others).Describe the Results (the outcome and what you may have learned as result).
  • 41. Examples of behavioral interview questions:Describe a time when you set a goal. Describe a situation when you had to resolve conflict.Describe when you had to enforce a policy you did not agree with.Tell of a time when you were given conflicting direction.Give an example of when you were faced with making an unpopular decision.Share when you were able to persuade someone.Tell of a time when you failed..
  • 42. Group or Panel interviews.
  • 43. Group or panel interviews are:1) When a single job candidate is interviewed by a group of interviewers.OR2) When multiple job candidates are interviewed at the same time, in the same room, by the same interviewer(s).
  • 44. Group/panel interviews measure how well you:1) Perform under stress.2) Interact with others.3) Work well in teams.4) How logically you reach conclusions.5) Listen to others.6) Persuade, influence, and lead others.7) Communicate.8) Deal with change.9) Demonstrate maturity.
  • 45. Tips for group/panel interviewing:Demonstrate:1) Problem solving.2) Leadership.3) Listening skills.4) Ability to analyze and gather critical information.5) Decision making.6) Negotiation and persuasion skills.7) Communication and presentation skills.8) Ability to handle stress.9) Creativity.10) Humor, if appropriate.11) A positive mental attitude.12) Respect, courtesy, and friendliness.
  • 46. Stress interviews.
  • 47. Stress interviews are conducted to determine:How a job candidate:1) Handles stress and responds under pressure.2) Thinks quickly.3) Listens.4) Deals with change.5) Maintains a sense of balance.6) Gets along with others in tense situations.7) Resists knee jerking.
  • 48. Tips for stress interviews.
  • 49. 1) Relax, and remain calm. Smile and stay positive.2) Practice deep breathing, and smiling.3) Demonstrate balance and confidence but not arrogance.4) Listen carefully to the questions.5) Pause if necessary to think, or ask them to rephrase the question.6) Do not react to negative responses. They may intentionally try to see if you argue or get defensive.7) Psych yourself up to “enjoy” the experience.8) See it as a challenge you can learn from, or a game you enjoy winning.
  • 50. Case interviews.
  • 51. A case interview is:When a job candidate is put into a timed (normally 15-30 minutes of time) situation in which to work through a business problem.They are used to demonstrate how well a job candidate may assess a situation, analyze data, quickly make decisions, determine multiple positive solutions, move towards a logical “best solution” outcome, and resolve the issue or situation.
  • 52. Tips for case interviews.
  • 53. Do research (www.vault.com or www.google.com).Practice before an interview based on case interview examples you can learn of online or in interview preparation books.Listen carefully to the question, and ask for clarification if necessary.Pause to think through your answer and select your answer carefully. Never begin answering immediately. There is usually no single “right” answer. They want to see how you think, process a situation, arrive at a sound solution, work under stress, and communicate.
  • 54. Technical interviews.
  • 55. Tips for technical interviews:If interview is by phone, avoid using a cell phone.If you are uncertain as to the correct answer, don’t guess. Be forthright with the person doing the interview.Have pen and paper available so you can take notes. Relax and take your time when answering. Be prepared. Know the requirements and duties of the role prior to the interview.
  • 56. Telephone interviews.
  • 57. Phone interviews put you at a disadvantage:
    Over 50% of all phone interviews have a
    negative outcome.
    You lose the ability to “read” the person
    interviewing you.
    Most people are not skilled in how to
    do phone interviews.
  • 58. Telephone interview “best practices”:Use a landline only.Sit, do not stand or pace.Have resume in front of you. Force yourself to take notes, and have several pens available.Have a copy of the job description if possible.Have a mirror available to measure how often you smile.Smile throughout the entire phone interview.Sit up straight and breathe calmly.Have prepared questions to ask if given the opportunity.Avoid use of jargon, slang, or verbal crutches (i.e. um, uh, ah, etc.).Be formal in your speech (yes, not yeah or uh huh, etc.).
  • 59. Meal interviews.
  • 60. The purpose of a meal interview is to further put you under the microscope, so…Avoid the blunder that you are close to an offer. You are equally as close to a rejection.If you do not have terrific table manners, learn some quickly.Order an item that is easy to eat, and still allows you to interview. Avoid foods with a strong odor, or that are pricey.Follow the lead of the interviewer in all choices.
  • 61. Some overlooked meal interview basics:Sincerely thank the interviewer for lunch.Do NOT take leftovers with you.Do NOT season your food prior to tasting it.Be polite (please, thank you, etc.) to EVERYONE—wait staff included.Silverware: start at the outside and work your way in if there is a full silverware setting.Watch your elbows, body language, speaking while eating, etc.).
  • 62. Structured VS Unstructured interviews.
  • 63. Structured interviews are more formal interviews where candidates are asked the same questions, in the same order.Unstructured interviews are more free-form allowing for greater flexibility and less restriction. These can be dangerous for an unskilled or “gabby” interviewee since there is much opportunity to speak in error, without careful reflection, or to go off on a tangent (the kiss of death in interviews).
  • 64. Note taking. Only for winners.
  • 65. Here is what it says about you:
    Doesn’t take notes in interview:
    Doesn’t care about the interviewer or their thoughts.
    Isn’t interested in the role.
    Doesn’t respect their time nor the time of the firm.
    Makes decisions carelessly.
    Reactionary in decision making.
    Lacks intelligence.
    Low performer.
    Takes notes in interview:
    Interested in role.
    Careful with their time, resource, organization.
    Makes data driven decisions.
    Carefully makes decisions.
    Achievement focused.
    Goal oriented.
  • 66. Note taking is perhaps the single most IGNORED important action item:
    There is a significant correlation between
    taking notes, and advancing through
    the interview process.
    Firms rule out people who don’t take notes.
    People who take notes, have a much
    greater chance of getting a job offer,
    and a HIGHER offer!
  • 67. Asking questions is the 2nd most ignored & fatal action item:
    What do you feel is most important in the person you hire? What else? What else?
    How do I compare to others performing this duty?
    How do I compare to others you are interviewing? How am I stronger? How am I not as strong?
    What do you feel are my strengths for this role?
    What do you feel are my challenges for this role?
    How do I compare to your ideal or “dream” candidate?
    What can I do to strengthen my candidacy?
    What concerns do you have about my background?
    What do you like most about my experience?
    What can I provide you (i.e. examples of work) to help you evaluate my candidacy?
  • 68. Have 25 written questions prepared prior:
    Have 5 questions tailored to the job description and scope of responsibility.
    Have 5 questions tailored to the organization and issues in the organization.
    Have 5 questions tailored to the industry and issues in the industry.
    Have 5 questions targeted at the immediate challenges of the role.
    Have 5 questions specific for the interviewer.
    5 good foundational questions:
    What do you enjoy most about working here?
    What is the best advice you can give to someone who will be working here?
    What skills are most important in someone to be hired for this role?
    What qualities are most important in someone to be hired for this role?
    What do you wish you can alter, modify, or change about the firm or industry??
  • 69. Have a well prepared, articulate presentation on WHY!
    Not that you will give it, but have an articulate, data driven, prepared presentation on why you want to work:
    For this company.
    In this industry.
    For this hiring manager.
    With this team.
    In this role or capacity.
    On this initiative.
    Be able to deliver it
    You will want to WOW them in addressing these points with:
    Data and research(deep and wide).
    Enthusiasm and passion.
    Sincere interest.
    Genuine warmth.
    Mature desire.
    Your opinion that this would be fun, and more like a hobby than a job.
    Positive energy.
    Evidence of responsibility, maturity, and global vision.
    Alignment with your goals.
  • 70. Make them fall in love with you.
  • 71. Your job in the interview cycle is to do one thing:
    It is NOT to get a job offer.
    That is too vague, complex, and hard to control.
    Getting a job offer is the result of LUCK, or
    successfully (sometimes accidentally), getting
    them to fall in love with you.
  • 72. You make them fall in love with you by being SURGICALLY STRATEGIC!
    Be surgically strategic in how you brand yourself versus the requirements of the role.
    Be surgically strategic in how you tweak your emails, cover letters, resumes, examples of work.
    Be surgically strategic in the data you provide in interviews, and in articles you send later.
    Be surgically strategic in citing examples during interviews.
    Be surgically strategic in mirroring the values, culture, personality, etc. of the organization, hiring team, hiring manager.
    Be surgically strategic in adding their words to your “interview speak” so that you mirror their private and public hiring requirements.
    Essentially, at every step, you are drawing them closer and closer to you, and creating more distance between you and your competition.
    Remember, people essentially want to hire nice people, who have good values, are trustworthy, achievement oriented, and will make their lives/jobs easier.
  • 73. In fact, you might call SURGICALLY STRATEGIC, playing chess, not checkers!
  • 74. Greg David, President
    Gregory Laka & Company
    105 W. Adams, Suite 1350
    Chicago, IL 60603