Interviewer Skills Training: What does great look like : Final 4 ideas

Everyone agrees hiring the right people is so important…

Why then do we find managers happy to “Shoot from the Lip”.
Many rock up and start asking questions. Different questions at random.
Lots have never been trained on how to interview.
(Our Interviewer skills Training workshop might help?)
They relegate themselves to being poor or at best mediocre interviewers.
Perhaps if they were trained they may hire better people
And hey don’t better people build better businesses?

Our view is that if you want to find the best employees you must be the best interviewer you can be.

Here are our final few ideas as to what being the best Interviewer you can be might look like

7. You do not talk too much.

Monologues delivered by the interviewer will not be interrupted.
After all you are in control and you’ve made it easy for the interviewee to stay silent.
Great if all you need is a good listener.
Time yourself next time you interview.
The measures should say You Talk 10% Candidate Talks 90%.
Only you need to know the real answer and act on it. ?

8. You describe the next steps.

Don’t make the candidate ask about the next steps.
Explain the rest of the process.
Explain what you will do, and when you plan to do it.
And then actually do it.

9. You have a checklist and a standard to hit but it’s a guide

Yes you need to have a checklist and an agreed standard for each competency you are looking for …
But don’t be fooled by having everything marked as “good”…
Someone with no negatives is NOT a Great candidate.
You are hiring a candidate who will excel in meeting their real business need.
Demand excellence. Look for superlatives.
Don’t settle for just above average because it won’t be.

10. You  provide closure to each and everycandidate.

If you don’t provide closure, candidates won’t complain to you… but they will complain about you.
Remember the stats about everyone who has a bad experience tells 11 people and a good experience only 5.
You and your process needs to describe next steps, follow through on those steps.
Contact candidates if and when the process gets delayed, and eventually provide closure to each and every candidate.
Not only does that make great business sense, it’s the right thing to do.

I hope you enjoyed this sequence of blogs … Let us know your opinion email info@rainmaker-coaching.co.uk

Interviewer Skills Training: What does great look like as an Interviewer?: 3 more ideas

Everyone agrees hiring the right people is so important…

Why then do we find managers happy to “Shoot from the Lip”.
Many rock up and start asking questions. Different questions at random.
Lots have never been trained on how to interview. Our Interviewer Skills Training Workshopcould help?
They relegate themselves to being poor or at best mediocre interviewers.
Perhaps if they were trained they may hire better people
And hey don’t better people build better businesses?

Our view is that if you want to find the best employees you must be the best interviewer you can be.

Here are some more  of our ideas as to what being the best Interviewer you can be might look like

4. You aim for a conversation, not an examination.

If you have researched and found two areas of possible common ground that’s a great way to start a conversation.
Focus on matching and mirroring their body language and pacing their movements until you get to rapport.
Then have a great conversation between adults

5. You are easy to talk to

Nervous candidates can take a little time to warm up and they may not come over well to begin with.
You can help.
Some roles do require the ability to instantly establish rapport (like sales).
In many others a lack of conversational skills does not necessarily signal a lack of expertise.
Ask a question about a hobby or outside interest.
Ask easy questions to start and put them at ease.
Help them settle in and gain confidence.
Remember it about them not you.

6. You are happy to go for a deep dive on certain questions.

You need an interview plan.
You need to ask specific well thought out and prepared questions.
However that’s not all. Some of the best questions are follow-up questions.
Follow-up questions take you into the details.
“That be where treasure lies” to quote Long John Silver
Ask how, ask why or when. Ask “Tell me more”.
Who did what? What did you learn from failure?
What made a task fun?
Ask what the candidate would do differently with hindsight, and why.

Not only will you get past the canned responses, you’ll also learn details—positive and negative—the candidate never planned or would have thought to share.

Watch out for our final installment in this series

 

Interviewer Skills Training: What does great look like? 3 ideas for you

Everyone agrees hiring the right people is so important…

Why then do we find managers happy to “Shoot from the Lip”.
Many rock up and start asking questions.
Different questions at random.
Lots have never been trained on how to interview.
(Our Interviewer Skills Training Workshop might help here)
They relegate themselves to being poor or at best mediocre interviewers.
Perhaps if they were trained they may hire better people
And hey don’t better people build better businesses?

Our view is that if you want to find the best employees you must be the best interviewer you can be.

Here are some of our ideas as to what being the best you can be might look like

1.  Do your Preparation:

A great employee comes into an organisation with promise.
Yes they can do the job day 30 and yes they’ll fit in a box on the org chart>
However they have lots of other things that you’re going to find a use for.
They’ll have a cultural fit with your company. How are you going to test for that?
You’re going to want results in the job? Have they delivered similar results in similar roles?
How are you going to find that out at the interview?

They will need a set of skills and experience.
Are you going to ask all the candidates the same set of questions?

If you ask them the question “Have you had experience with Oracle 7.2?”
Please expect a Yes, but prepare yourself for a surprise in six months time.
When they say “But not THAT level of experience” and you have to find someone else.

If you’re hiring for sales how about preparing them to demonstrate how they go through a sales process with their current products.
Get them to bring a case study.
What questions did they ask?
What benefits did the solution offer to the customer?
What was the ROI?
And at the interview ask if they’ll give you the case study prospect name as a reference?

2. You ensure candidates are prepared.

Your process should do this each and every time:
Tell them exactly when, exactly where, exactly who will be conducting the interview(s)…
They should know everything. If it’s a group interview tell them exactly that.
Remember this is a two way process.
You are selling the right candidate your company from the moment they first interact with you.
Do not put the best people off.

3. Do your research on the candidate.

The CV is a good starting point: What jobs?
What qualifications? What results? What achievements?
Job hopper? Promoted yes but how frequently?
Same level just moving sideways?
Interests?  What projects?

On to social media.
What interests?
How might that fit in your company’s culture?
What’s their network like?
What does that say about professional interests?

Watch out for more ideas on what great might look like for you as an interviewer

 

Sales Training – Rainmaking: Socially self concious and reluctant to see Senior Execs?

Are you suffering from a reluctance to spend time with senior executives?

Do you find that you are most comfortable with people who you believe are equal to you?
Does that mean that you can’t go in a see a CEO? A VP Manufacturing?
Stuck with the Network manager? Not worthy to see the CIO?

Do you suffer from the “Impostor Syndrome”?

(Feel that people will find out that you are not as bright as them)

Here are a few suggestions that you may like to try to work through this …
We cover some of this type of topic in our Business Development and Sales Training Workshops
By the way unless you went to “Slough Comprehensive” (Eton Public School to the rest of us) we all go through it. ?

1.  Get over your personal social status hang-ups:

If you tell yourself anything like what’s below here, you’re not just in trouble.
You’ve lost the game before getting on the field.

  • I’m not interesting enough
  • I don’t provide enough value to be worthy of senior executive attention
  • I’ll just be too nervous;
  • I’ll mess up
  • Senior executives’ time is more important than mine
  • Senior executives aren’t my peers
  • Senior executives don’t want to be friends with me
  • I don’t want to be friends with senior executives
  • I shouldn’t talk about, or ask about, anything personal
  • I won’t get through so why bother trying

The greatest barriers to establishing ongoing, rich relationships with senior executives are personal hang ups.
If relationships with top people are what you want, don’t psyche yourself out of your chance.

2.  You are an Equal behave like one:

Don’t come across as inferior to a senior executive.
Don’t come over as being superior or arrogant either. Equal is fine

In order to do this you must have confidence in the value you can offer from a business perspective.
You must have confidence in yourself too.

3.  You need to be relevant to the business of the senior exec:

Find out what’s important to your senior executive.

Read up about issues in the business . Get an annual report, read the chairman’s statement if it’s a plc.
Do you homework at the levels below your executive and make some educated guesses at what may be worrying them and for goodness sake ASK.
How about you go to your Senior execs and get them to tell you what keeps them awake at night?
Be curious and interested.

Don’t just focus on problems. You’ll find people who are looking for business growth, innovation, and competitive advantage.
Executives seek ideas that will be “the next big thing” for their business and their agenda.
Bring these ideas to the table and you’ll be on your way.

4.  Remember senior executives are people just like you.

They have emotions and personal interests.
CEOs have kids, like sports, want to be seen as successful, are passionate about politics.
They want to retire, drink pina coladas and walking in the rain and read detective novels on by the pool.
In my experience if you walk into a meeting looking for 2 areas of common ground you’ll find them.
If you don’t you won’t. and when you do the common ground can last a long time.

5.  Have a good conversation:

Don’t ask questions you should know the answer to if you’d bothered with research.
Don’t go on about anything for too long.
Be Interested first, Listen hard and well. Provide ideas. Be prepared. Know your stuff.
Don’t have more than 6 Powerpoint slides to describe anything.

6.  Be determined:

It might take a while, don’t give up grit your teeth.
Sometimes you will only get there through trusted connections.
Work up through lower-level contacts collecting data as you go.
Sometimes reaching out directly works.
Not mailshots think tailored emails or even a letter.
When did you last get a well written letter in business?
Do it enough and you’ll get through to some execs.

7. Create a reputation as the “Go To” expert in your area.

Create relationships with other executives and influential people and put them together in your presence or not.
Make sure anything you put forth is of the highest quality. All of these signal you’re in the right league.

Sales Training – Rainmaking: Overcoming Inertia

I’d like to venture that given our experience at Sales Training the biggest competitor that keeps beating your sales team is called Inertia.

That’s the force that makes people sit on their hands and do absolutely nothing.

At forecasting time your sales people will be saying something like
“Well it’s not gone away, However she’s been in meetings and her mobile goes to voicemail.”
After the next couple of times they’ve said that… They’ll quietly forget it and take it off of their forecast..

So what can you do to help them?

At your next Sales Training meeting Coach them to get the prospect to answer the “So What?” Question.

We are going to assume that they have gone through a process of getting the prospect to write down their Pains and Problems.
Your people should also have taken them through the “Present State to Desired state exercise” .
The discussions should have been outcome focused not problem focused thinking.
There should now be a decent case for the business to go ahead with what you are proposing.
Both parties in the discussions should have an idea of what it will cost, how long it will take, what risks and who’s going to be involved.

Now you get them to play devil’s advocate
or perhaps you as their manager can attend a joint appointment with them and you play that role?

The questions the devil’s advocate all follow along the lines of getting the prospect to answer the question ‘So What?’ ?
If your problems don’t get resolved, so what?
If you don’t solve these problems what is it that won’t happen?
Will the problems get worse? How quickly?
How will they affect the bottom line of your company,(Division, Department)?
If your outcomes doesn’t become reality soon, so what?
What if the initiative drops by the wayside never to be mentioned again? Will anyone notice?
If the outcomes do become reality, how much better will your competitive position become?

Please stay alert for a “So What” answer that can be personally motivated
(e.g. the client will get promoted to Director if your service works out well)
However more commonly you’ll get more ammunition for your
compelling ( We need to this  now) business case rather than the bland ( I need to do this sometime) business case

Let us know how you get on

Sales Training – Rainmaking: All the way to the decision then … nothing

What do you do when you’ve got the prospect all the way to the edge and they hover there…
You may be a sales person and you can’t seem to close the order.
You may be a business advisor and you’ve come up with an achingly compelling business case for the client to take action and yet inertia kicks in

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”
The metaphor is obvious, you can’t TELL people to do anything. (Unless you are in an army?)

If you have a teenager to hand… try telling them what to do.
In my experience their critical filter will kick in immediately and tell you how they can’t do it.

Human Nature and the case of the Critical filter

When you try to sell or TELL a client or to “persuade” them or maybe to get them to take your most excellent advice…
Firstly take a look at your own motivation.

If you’re like most honest people you’re trying your best to add value, to listen, to come up with great ideas.
You’re trying to identify pain points and to clarify objectives and outcomes.
All to be highly commended. However your inner voice is screaming:
”Just Do IT! ”. And that may be the problem:

The leading the horse to water part is complete and you may even have followed a great sales process.
The problem comes in making the horse drink. Because people will not do what you want them to do.
They only do what they want to do.

Try this test on yourself.
When someone TELLs you to do something, what’s your unconscious and instant instinct?
If you’re like most people you have a critical filter which kicks in, a nanosecond after they finish telling you.
It works out very quickly how that won’t work here and tells them that.

And what if they pretend they don’t actually care if you do the thing they want you to do – what’s your instinct?
Do you suddenly find you’re very thirsty?

So if you are a pursuader you can do a few things but they all amount to giving control over to the person or the horse.
Make it clear that you are there to help but they need to buy.
The technique is to stop selling and try getting the prospect to buy.

1. Ask a Question: “But sorry I get so wrapped up.
I need to keep reminding myself that this isn’t my business, you’ll get the benefits we talked about not me.
It’s your business… what do you think?”

2. Tell a story: ” I know the OkiKoki company (in a similar line of business) made these changes and it took them a little longer to get the benefits.
But that’s their business and yours is very different.
How quickly do you think you might get there?

3. Make a Suggestion: “I can only suggest these ideas to you.
I realise that it’s up to you to choose your own way to do this.
We’ll be around to support you but I understand this is your decision.
What do you think of the suggestions?

These are our suggestions. Just drop your critical filter for a moment and see if they make sense to you .

Then tell us …. How do you get people hovering on the edge to buy from you?