At our firm, we have a real process called “The Talman Way” that’s fairly extensive but nonetheless vital to the ideal fit between candidate and client we’re striving to achieve. When a technical candidate has reached a certain point later in that process, they’ve often taken a series of tests we’ve given them as practice for the real thing they might be asked to take as part of the interview. However, we can’t forget the other aspect of that phase – interviewing.
Think about this – let’s say we’ve given you some of these tests to do on your own time and you’ve performed quite well. Excellent! But now it’s time for you to shine in person in front of your potential employer – and the reality may be that you have some work to do in that area to help you establish a personal connection with the interviewer.
So how do you prepare?
Beyond our tests and appropriately practicing with them, there are two important aspects that are often underrated for the role they might play in your interviewing success:
1. Answers On Video
Some companies have started using video in their interview process – whether asking the candidate to answer questions on video in advance or in real time.
Frankly, this can throw some people for a loop and completely fluster them. Even people who have done plenty of traditional interviews. But if you can master the art of video interviewing, you might put some distance between yourself and the next several candidates in line.
If you’re not used to how you appear on video, the only way to truly practice may be to answer questions looking at yourself in the mirror during a length of time. Are there any moments where you’re not making proper eye contact, using your hands too much, saying “um” too many times, etc.? Now is the time to practice and clean that up to the point of where the answers come off more smoothly and you feel far more comfortable. You won’t know exactly what you’re going to be asked in advance but getting yourself to this level of calm and poise with your answers will prepare you for those moments in the real interview where you may have to think of something quick to say and deliver a solid response.
2. Presentation Skills
In other instances, you may be expected to make a presentation. This could be something you’ve done before, a business plan you’ve put together or something similar.
Here again, regardless of the presentation itself, doing at least a few practice runs –and probably many more – is a tremendous opportunity to display your understanding of the company’s business, the role you’re going for, etc. If you want to be more thorough, film and watch yourself. Then you’ll be in a position to say, “OK. At this particular point I was hesitant and here I could improve this way or that way.”
Talman Advantage #8: True Help To Hit The Ground Running
With an offer coming, do you have a solid understanding of what you’ll be doing in the first 6 months? The first year? Having placed a variety of senior people at each client’s firm, Roy Talman & Associates can help you clarify a whole lot about the environment you’re about to join, your role and the true expectations of your new manager.
A recruiter without the overwhelming credibility that we have may not be able to shed as much light on what’s in store for you on Day 1 and beyond. So get the insight you need and talk to Talman first.
For the presentation itself, take a lesson from Apple and the master of all presentations, Steve Jobs.
Typically, Jobs had a 20/20 rule in which his presentation was 20 minutes long and he would run through 20 rehearsals. Just like Jobs, your first 10 rehearsals are at the point where things are be changed and tinkered with. That’s natural, so recognize that phase for what it is and allow yourself to be less than perfect. That comes in the last 10 rehearsals, where you are making sure the presentation is as smooth, relaxed or as spontaneous an appearance as possible.
Apple still uses this same kind of format today and everybody else is learning from it.
Similarly, check out Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 Rule, which advocates for no more than 10 slides in no more than 20 minutes and using no less than a 30 point font on every slide. Kawasaki worked at Apple for a number of years and was a key voice of influence there.
You may also benefit from viewing Ted Talks, which has a set format of around 18 minutes and features a variety of presenters who have undoubtedly practiced their talk many times, considering that they’re filmed and the video will be shared on YouTube. There’s no way in the world you’d want to “wing it” on a Ted Talk.
The key to interviewing success is leaving no stone unturned. Because there’s no such thing as too much preparation. Roy Talman & Associates can give you the game plan that combines all the essential elements of what you need to know – refining your resume, crafting an effective pitch on your behalf, launching an internal referral campaign, test taking practice and of course, aspects of effective interviewing like the video and presentation pieces above. There’s too much at stake to go it alone. So give yourself the very best opportunity to shine when you Talk To Talman First.