It’s Not an Interview, It’s a Business Conversation

Let’s cut to the chase, some of the best people for particular jobs suck at interviews. What we hate witnessing is people who are outstanding interviewers but not necessarily great in the role winning positions while those who may not interview well but could thrive in these positions fail to convey their qualifications.

We’ve all seen the many lists, tips, tricks, advice columns, and articles instructing candidates to say this ONE MAGICAL PHRASE or have this ONE WINNING HABIT in order to secure whatever job he or she is interviewing for. Some of the advice is logical and offers viable takeaways. Some of it is completely absurd. The element most of these blurbs negate is the consideration for the actual candidate.  We’ve sifted through the nonsense and know wholeheartedly that the ultimate goal is  not to put a body in a role, but to facilitate a relationship between candidates and clients. We make the connection and ensure that both the client and the candidate are able to make a timely, well-informed decision that works best for them both in all aspects. It’s not about getting A JOB – it’s about getting THE JOB.

As we are getting to know these candidates, part of our responsibility is to assess their skill set, to assess their experiences, to be listening to their personal, professional, and financial goals (scorecard) and as we are doing all of those things it’s our role to put them in a position to be successful. We have steps that we recommend to candidates to utilize as they prepare for an interview. Some of it resonates with them and some does not.There are many tactics we suggest to candidates in order to ensure that they are fully prepared for an interview and will represent their competence and career history effectively. The favorite of Mike Bitar, Partner and Managing Director of FMCG at Protis Global, is more of a mindset. Well, it’s a mindset that encompasses steps. Its an approach.

Essentially, the people we work with in the marketplace typically are sitting in on anywhere from a couple to a dozen business meetings every week. They have a mentality already of what it means to prepare for a business meeting.  When presenting in business meeting a professional knows to research and become extremely versed on the topic at hand. So, why do interviews freak people out or cause such a different response? Stop it! It’s a business meeting, like any other. We’ve found that candidates find ease in thinking “the topic of this particular business meeting is me, my career, my motivators, the things I am trying to get accomplished as I take this next step in my career.”

The proof of concept is consistent. We’ve time and time again our approach and our prep to be one of the most valuable aspects of what we offer to both the candidate and client alike. When you spend enough time with clients and candidates you start to get a feel for what they are comfortable with and what they are not comfortable with. For those who haven’t experienced an interview in an extended period of time, there is a bit of anxiety that may exist for whatever reason. So, we have to bring it home for them in their day to day life. With every person that we decide needs to use this interview approach, there has been a reason, based on our interactions, that lead us to believe that this mentality will probably be a more comfortable way for them to carry on. The feedback we have received is typically “hey that makes total sense to me and now whatever stress I had about it, though not eliminated, is reduced. Now I can wrap my head around it”

Many candidates fail to overcome their personal apprehensions in regards to a traditional interview. Bitar believes that the anxiety, nerves,  and frenzy occurs because candidates allow themselves to get worked up about it being an a formal interview instead of simply putting the encounter into the context of something they do everyday. Mike communicates to his more nervous candidates to think of the interview as more of a business conversation. Change the mental dynamic of the encounter. Now, the fear of the unknown associated with an interview is mitigated and the exchange is familiarized. This is a concept that has happened and developed over time and it works consistently so it just came to be the paradigm mentality for us. 

Oh yea, and p.s. if you want to dive even further into preparing for an interview, check out our full prep video, here.]]>

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