Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You Talk Too Much

Ah, gentle readers, your MatchGirl is not known for keeping her tongue.

In fact, some may say she talks too much.

And, it's true.
Guilty as charged.

I talk too much.

On dates.
When I meet new people.
When I am at a party.

It's not that I don't want to listen.  I do.  I want to know what you have to say.  In fact, unless you are a total bore, I really want to know your thoughts on things.  I want to debate.  I want to get to know you better (again, unless you are a total bore).  I might not ask the right questions, but I mean to.

I have a lot to say, too, however, and, spending so much of my day alone on a regular basis ...  I can't seem to help but run at the mouth when I am in an environment with actual people to talk to.

It's something I'm working on.  I promise.
And a skill that will come in handy should I ever get a job interview.

Last week on Brian Lehrer on WNYC, a gentleman named Scott Peek, who volunteers at a Dallas career networking organization about the two minute interview.

This is smart.

Because, if I remember correctly, when you sit down across from the interviewer, they will say "Tell me about yourself" and then ...  nothing.  You need to know ow to answer that question, in a way that will keep their attention, show your interest in the company and how much you'd like to have that job.  and you have to do it in two minutes.

Here are some tips from Scott, as posted on the Brian Lehrer Help Wanted Facebook Page (and, yes, everyone is suddenly getting unemployment Facebook pages, feel free to fan mine):
Remember this is a well prepared response to the first interview question that you will always get that states... "Tell me about yourself..." or "I've haven't read though your resume... can you summarize it for me?"

The future employer is trying to translate the potential value you might bring to their organization, rather than hearing all about your past experience...

Here are the four steps (and it has to be brief - within 2 minutes)
1. (15 sec) Restate your name (if needed), and ensure you describe your role (or desired role) for which you are seeking.
2. (45 sec) Highlight your work experience and be specific about the accomplishments (business results) you have been a part of.
3. (45 sec) "Talking about the future" Project how you'll take your past and translate it into terms of that person's company, the role you'll play at that company and/or the potential results you see yourself creating for that person as you get hired.
4. (15 sec) Ask an opened ended question of the interviewer that relates to their business. This step starts to turn the interview into a conversation.

A few guidelines:
- You have to comfortably be able to describe what your next career will be.
- Spend a lot of time researching the company. You want to learn as much as you can about: Companies Goals, Challenges, mission statement, vision, culture, product portfolio, client base, how the clients might view that company, what their org chart might look like, who are the key players in the company/department, etc.
- Most of your research can be found within their website, on Linkedin pages, talking to others in the industry.
- Bottom line is you have to see yourself in the position talking their language as you enter the interview.
- The worst thing is to not know who you are talking to, what the company does, how long they have been in business, and who some of the main competitors are.

I remember from my days of being the interviewer (as opposed to the interviewed) that it's hard to keep all those resumes straight. Of course the person interviewing you will go over it before you walk in the door, but remember that they have received hundreds of resumes and it's just difficult to engage with the person you're interviewing and look at the paper in front of you. Instead of being perturbed that they don't know who you are, use those first two minutes to shine.

Also, in the comments section on the Brian Lehrer page, someone wrote that they felt that a handwritten "Thank You" note seemed desperate. Pshaw. Gentle readers, your MatchGirl (and Miss Manners) would disagree. A handwritten "Thank You" note is simply good manners.

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