To Interview is Human in Business and at Work


My good friend and colleague Al was kind enough to invite me to participate in his monthly business book club.  One of several benefits of being a member of the “Read it and Reap” Book Club is that it forces me to make the time to read at least one new book a month (not much of a stretch, as I love to read), despite the demands of my work schedule.

This past month, we not only read Dan Pink’s great book, To Sell is Human, but Al also arranged a conference call for our group with Dan Pink.  Aside from the group’s very relevant question to Pink as to how to implement the book’s principles in a business, I asked Dan how we could use the book’s principles to hire great employees who understand that everyone’s job in a business is to sell.  I was pleased to hear that Dan favors transforming the current hiring paradigm.  “I don’t like it,” he said succinctly.  “I don’t, either,”  I agreed.  “I love work sampling as an interview process.  Hire your best prospects for a per-diem or short-term project, and see how they work, think and play well with your other team members.”  Dan liked the idea.  “With the current job market, that’s an interesting option to consider.”

Inspired by Pink’s book and our brief exchange this week, I’d like to invite you to consider that to interview is human (every pun intended), too – for both the hiring authority and the prospective employee, as selling and interviewing are essentially the same process:

HOW TO BE

Attunement – Bringing oneself into harmony with individuals, groups, and context. Illustrates the three rules of attunement and why extraverts rarely make the best salespeople (or hiring authorities or candidates), as ambiverts best understand how to listen and read the signals to meet the prospect’s needs.

Buoyancy – Learn from life insurance salespeople and the world’s premier social scientists what to do before, during, and after your sales encounters – a mixture of resiliency and eternal optimism.

Clarity – The capacity to make sense of murky situations. One of the most effective ways of moving others is to uncover challenges they may not know they have.

WHAT TO DO

Pitch – The six successors of the elevator pitch (e.g., the email subject line pitch; the one-word pitch) and how and when to deploy them.

Improvise – Understanding the rules of improv theater deepens your persuasive power.

Serve – Essential principles for meaning in sales: Make it personal and purposeful.

This week:  consider these principles to help make your interview process more authentic to best meet your needs, in business and at work.

 

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