Would you be shocked into dumbfounded silence, if a hiring manager asked you these three questions in a job interview?
- What have you invented?
- What is your greatest achievement in life?
- 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 Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Question
The economy is booming!
Or, the economy is booming?
Several years ago, I wrote the press release read around the world. Carried by 420 media outlets. It got me on CNBC, CBS, Investors Business Daily, San Francisco Chronicle and smaller outlets like Pakistan Today.
The headline was: If You Can Tweet, the Job Market is Sweet.
It was the early years of social media.
CEOs were clueless, even the hardware manufacturers. And, I don’t mean new cabinet knobs.
The New York Times reported that Cisco CEO John Chambers was pressured by his interns to learn how to put 144 characters together. Remember back in the day, we didn’t realize 122 is better, because it saves space for RT.
There was a rumor that companies should have a “two way dialogue!” with ACTUAL consumers.
Investors understood social media even less than management. Investors were lots of middle class folks (yes, there was a middle class!!!) who were learning how to email stale jokes to one another. Facebook was for college kids.
But, “new media” turned out not to be Miss American Pie. It did not die.
At that magical moment: if you could tweet, boy (or girl) was the job market sweet!
Interns became social media managers, and were actually PAID! They were PROMOTED!
This famously includes Eric Kuhn, who as an intern led CNN into social media. He quickly ascended to Vice President of United Talent, and I spoke to the Screen Actors Guild Foundation members; warning them that the so-so actor with 300 followers was more likely to be cast than a more talented actor with 30.
Of course, those days are gone. Your sixth grade cousin has 3,000 followers (if he’s not popular).
The current boom in the economy is largely about the recording breaking Dow Jones and NASDAQ.
But for whom does this economy toll?
Investors are no longer middle age or middle class. They aren’t young families tucking money into mutual funds to pay for their kids’ college or their own retirement.
Investors are the uber wealthy.
Millennials would be driving for Uber, if they could afford to buy a car.
Boomers who hung on can’t afford to retire.
Gen Y is getting the stink-eye or flat out laid off.
Tweeting is no longer the ticket to a big deal job. It’s a job requirement. Lots of companies consider the number of your connections, friends, fans and followers in their hiring decisions.
And we join together to celebrate the minimum wage, in those cities where it soars. That means you can pay for weekly groceries and a bus pass to get to work since you can’t afford to live nearby.
I rarely write anything that is not PRO-business, because business is my not-at-all secret crush.
So this is not an anti-business rant.
It’s just that I spent this entire weekend leading the Personal Branding Boot Camp on the UCLA campus. For two solid sunny Southern California Spring days: a phalanx of amazing, intelligent, innovative, kind, resourceful people came to up their game. They worked for it. They killed it.
All we are saying is give Millennials a chance.
Looking for a big personal brand boost? Join me at UCLAx Personal Branding Boot Camp this weekend! bit.ly/1NFpKHQ
A big “aha!” moment for my campers is seeing how out of control they really are, when it comes to creating their reputations. In fact, many of them spend the majority of each day, in fact their lives, working on other people’s priorities and goals. Hence, they are a reflection of others, and not authentically projecting who they really are.
Perhaps it has occurred to you, that you are not the center of your own work and life.
Unless you stop and reframe the purpose of each action and interaction so it’s in your interest: work defines you – and not the other way around. Instead of working a plan that creates the life you want, you may be relying on your wits and reflexes to manage large and small things, including the people around you.
Surprisingly, the foundation of creating the life you want is simply engaging in a new habit, but one that is very tough to acquire. Nobody around you wants you to do this. Everyone is counting on your being a passive actor, helping them move forward.
So this new habit requires you have both grit and desire. The habit is to be outcome-minded.
Before any action or interaction, get a clear, ideal outcome for yourself. Connect what you are about to do (and how you are going to do it) with what you want for yourself and your relationships in the long term.
For example, for every important person in your life – and those you would like to meet – you need a relationship outcome and a map of your interactions. What is it you want from this person? The next step is to plan what you’ll achieve in each interaction so you reach your ideal outcome. Of course, each stage or interaction will have a specific goal.
Remember your reputation is made via relationships, so make sure your plans are good for your targets as well as yourself.
If you’ve never thought about relationships like this, it might explain why connections or networking fail to deliver what you need.
As an example of a relationship map, below you’ll find the nine stages of a successful new business relationship. Consider what information, examples, questions, activity, or even other people you might bring into each stage, to move the relationship forward toward your ideal outcome. By the way, this mapping works with recruiters and hiring managers, too!
If you want more free content on developing business relationships, email me at Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Relationships.
Stage 1 – Curiosity
Your prospect has a sense of intrigue about you, your company or solution, and entertains the idea that you might benefit him/her. You sense that it’s worth your time to continue interacting.
Stage 2 – Connected
You both sense that the two of you understand each other and have common ground worth exploring further.
Stage 3 – Inspired
It’s obvious that a relationship or collaboration would benefit you both, and the possibilities are energizing.
Stage 4 – Engaged
Your prospect feels safe to acknowledge unmet needs or discuss current or new goals. You confirm that you are talking with the right person (one with purchasing authority and a budget).
Stage 5 – Committed
You strike a clear agreement to move forward with the purpose of fulfilling your prospect’s unmet needs or helping him/her take advantage of opportunities. Your prospect agrees to buy, if your solution would satisfactorily benefit him/her.
Stage 6 – Learning and sharing
You support each other with important information and insights. You share a clear goal for your collaboration or relationship. You agree on the initial steps to move toward your goal.
Stage 7 – Problem-solving and planning
You and your prospect rigorously or systematically identify pain, obstacles, positive and negative forces, and implications of not solving the problem. You each contribute to strategies for overcoming obstacles or reaching goals, and create/act on a tactical plan for purchase and use.
Stage 8 – Buying and selling
Your prospect generates the purchase order or other documentation necessary for you to create an agreement, and arranges the time to review, accept and sign your agreement. You generate the agreement, which the prospect signs. You prepare to deliver, install or integrate your solution. You receive a check and oversee implementation.
Stage 9 – Recommending and referring
You both actively seek to send additional business or contacts to each other. You keep each other informed about opportunities for upgrades and add-ons. You meet to stay up-to-date.
Take 3 interactions/relationships you currently have with suspects, prospects or customers, and associate each one with the stage you are now in, using the 9 stages above. Jot down notes to track what went on at each stage. If you’ve missed some stages, ask yourself: what can I deliver to get on the fast track?
If you want more free content on business relationships, email me at Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Relationships.