July 31, 2018 at 4:10 pm #2361JeffAltmanCoachKeymaster
I was coaching someone yesterday who is up a position and in the course of the conversation, he reminded me of something in his circumstances that I thought would be helpful to you as well.
What he reminded me of was paying attention to the language that is used in the job description or the questions that are asked by HR that signal certain things that may not be obvious. For example, in his case, he was told by HR that the next interview was with someone who is trying to 4X growth within the particular business unit.
We were working on language to use that illustrated his experience with that. The language that we came up with was his background with “aggressive growth.” Instead of using the usual metrics of percentages, their language was to talk in terms of “times.” He was involved with almost 3X growth in the previous situation.
Recognize that there are signals that are used in job descriptions or in the questions that HR asks that can be a signal to you of how to communicate with them and the kind of information they are looking for.
Another thing that came up in a different conversation was concerned that one firm had about someone where they perceived his background was more internally oriented, rather than externally oriented. He was savvy enough to pick up on that and said, “I just want to be clear about my background. I’ve had 5 years of internal experience and and, of those 5, 3 of them were taking internal programs and bringing them to customers and converting them from internal systems to external systems, thus, of my 20 or 22 years of background, 17 of them really related to external customers.”
Notice one going with us. You always want to be listening for cues that are coming in job descriptions or in interviews that signal the real interest that the firm has because job descriptions are a list of qualifications that they look for. You are looking for what you can do for them. You are looking for ways that you can demonstrate that you as a professional, with your staff level individual or in the C suite, have the capacity to deliver what it is that they want. As you know, sometimes these job descriptions and sometimes their questioning is a little obtuse.
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