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5 Job Interview Lessons We Can Learn from The Donald

by Gerald George Mannikarote MBBS, MBA

Donald Trump
Learn From The Donald

The US Elections were very interesting this year- no matter which way you cut it.  There was a lot of drama, tension, and excitement.  Once the smoke cleared, we all know the outcome.  Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.

Just like most of us when looking for a job, Donald Trump had to sit through many interviews and answer many questions.  There were many things we could learn from Trump’s style while he engaged those that asked him questions.  These things could be applied by us when we are, like Trump did, answering the interviewer’s questions while looking for a job.  Here are a few lessons we can learn from him.

1. Past experience is important, but what you can deliver gets you the job

Donald Trump is a known business man, an author of a book, and a reality TV star.  He didn’t have any past experience in politics.  So he played up on the fact that his strengths were in business.  But more importantly, he was able to convince people about what he would be able to deliver.

In a job interview, your past experience is important. What’s more important though is what you will be able to bring to the company and deliver to your manager. Learn to relay what you can deliver.

2.  Don’t be afraid to pose questions back to your interviewer

During the race to the election, Donald Trump was posed with many, many questions.  Most people would have thought many of them were very tough questions.  But the Donald was not afraid to ask the interviewer questions of his own.  He was not afraid to challenge the interviewer regarding their facts, or even why they asked the question.

In a job interview, don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer questions.  Don’t be afraid to challenge their questions.  Don’t be afraid to have questions of your own.

3. Your past job history is important, but past salary not so much

The Donald was known for his lavish lifestyle and the fact that he was worth a lot of money.  The question of his earnings and taxes came into question.  Donald Trump effectively shook this question off, letting others know it was not important when it came to the job he was interviewing for.

As many go down the job pipeline, the question of past salary may come up.  This may be a tricky question, but it shouldn’t be important.  Your past salary should have nothing to do with the new job- the job that you are interviewing for.  Learn how to effectively navigate the question of past salary.

4. Sales skills matter

The Donald is a consummate salesman.  He understood people’s needs and spoke to those needs.  And he did so effectively.

In a job interview, sales skills matter. Before answering questions, you must understand the interviewer’s needs.  You must understand what the company needs for the position you are interviewing for.  Speak to those needs.

5. Accept your mistakes, but focus on your strengths

No one can forget some of the mistakes of President-elect Trump, especially the hot mike in the bus.  This was definitely a mistake.  What we can learn from The Donald here is how he accepted the mistake but didn’t dwell on it.  He kept the focus on his strength.

In your job history, you may have some issues that may not be the best- a gap in your job history, job changes, lay- offs, etc.  When asked about these, acknowledge them, but don’t dwell on them.  Focus on what you are good at and what you have learned from these situations.

These are just 5 lessons we can learn from The Donald when answering job interview questions.  What do you do think about them?  Have you learned anything from the US President-Elect? Do you have any job interview tips you can share with others? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.  If you feel that others could benefit from these tips, please share this post.  You can also contact me at jerrydmann@dmanntraining.com

Tune into WIIFM

What’s your audience’s frequency?  What’s the station that your customer is listening to?  What channel should you set your dial to?  I would bet and say it’s WIIFM.

Listening to WIIFM- dMann Training Technologies
Listening to WIIFM

When presenting to an audience you need to understand why they would want to listen to you you.  The question residing at the backs of their minds is “What’s In It for Me?” or “WIIFM”.  If you don’t give your audience a WIIFM, then they will quickly lose interest.  What this means is, you need to tailor your presentation to your audience- whether it’s a sales pitch or if you are presenting a facts or a proposal.

So tune into your audience’s frequency.  Is there a WIIFM?  Understand what your audience really wants before you develop your pitch or presentation.  This will give you a better chance of having your audience listen to you.  Your and audience and you will be on the same wavelength.

Gone are the days when you can simply stand on a soap box and give a presentation and expect a crowd to listen to you.  Gone are the days when you can show up at a customer’s door step with a fabulous new product and expect them to buy it.  If there is no WIIFM, then there is no reason you should have an audience or a customer would buy.

So how do you tune into WIIFM?  You need to know your audience.  You need to understand their needs.  You need to understand what they want to hear.

WIIFM- dMann Training Technologies
Tune into WIIFM

When developing your presentation, understand what your audience needs to hear.  Are they the kind that likes to see graphs? Then add graphs to your presentation.  Are they the type that likes to hear stories about how your product helped others?  Then tell stories.  It is very important that you understand your audience or customer before you give them a pitch or presentation.

But simply graphs or stories to your presentation is not enough.  You have to truly understand your audience.  You must give them a reason to listen to you.  You must help them realize that you kept them in mind when you developed your presentation. You must let them know what’s in it for them.  You’ve got to tune into WIIFM.

Thanks for reading this piece. Have you used WIIFM in your work or presentations?  How have you used it? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.  If you liked what you’ve read, please don’t hesitate to share this with others. You can also contact me at jerrydmann@dmanntraining.com

 

Be A STAR Communicator

Be a STAR Communicator

by Gerald Jerry George, MBBS MBA

Several years ago, I was introduced to something that was intended to help a person with job interviews.  It is called the STAR technique.  I later learned that it can applied as a communication tool in many ways.

In case you aren’t familiar with it, STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. I was told that this is a good way to explain how you approached a project discussion during an interview. But I quickly learned that this same technique is a great way to communicate your ideas to others.

STAR communicator
Be a STAR communicator

Let’s break it down…

Situation

When you have an idea, sale, or a project that you want to relay to another person, it’s not enough to impose your thoughts on them and expect something.  By using the STAR technique, you lay the foundation by explaining the situation at hand.  Whether it’s your idea, a sale’s pitch, or a project you are leading, by explaining the situation that needs to be addressed, you much likelier to be understood.

Task

Once you have laid the foundation by communicating the situation, you can now discuss what needs to be done, i.e. the tasks at hand.  This will help communicate what roles and jobs may need to be developed.  By discussing the tasks, it will be easier to communicate what actions and results are expected.  For example, if it is a sale, this helps explain who would benefit from the product or service.  If it is a project you are leading, this will help communicate the various roles that need to be filled.

Action

This communication piece will help you describe the duties needed to be completed in order to be successful.  In a sales situation, this could be the fact that the customer needs to sign on the dotted line.  In a project situation, this would be the actions each member would be taking on in their prescribed roles. If you are pitching an idea to a group, this will tell them what actions need to be completed in respect to the tasks at hand.

Result

This is the bit of communication that people look forward to.  If you are selling something, they want to know what’ in it for them if they made a purchase.  If you are leading a project, then what is the end goal?  If you are pitching an idea, then it simply makes sense to explain the end goal of the project.

I hope you found this twist on STAR intriguing, and even helpful. Have you used the STAR technique before?  What are some ways you have used it?  Please leave your thoughts in the comments.  You can also contact me at jerrydmann@dmanntraining.com . If you’ve liked what you’ve read, please share it with others.  Now go other there and be a STAR!

 

 

Taking the HEAT in Customer Service

Taking the HEAT in Customer Service

Gerald Jerry George, MBBS MBA

HEAT
Taking the HEAT in Customer Service

It’s my personal belief that no matter who you are in any company, you are a representative in that company.  Being a representative also means providing customer service.  That also means handling customer complaints.

Years ago, I used to train customer service representatives in some soft skills.  There I learned of a technique taught by one of the other trainers.  This was the HEAT technique for handling customer complaints.  This technique has remained with me all these years.

HEAT is an acronym that helps us understand the customer’s needs and handle the complaint.  It lists, in order, what to do.  Let’s dive into HEAT.

 

H- Hear Out the Customer

This simply means that you give an ear to the customer’s issue.  Sometimes just doing this will diffuse the situation.  Hearing the customer out, makes a tremendous difference.

E- Empathize

By doing this, you are letting the customer know that you care.  You are trying to make an attempt to understand the situation.  This often goes a long way with customers

A- Accept Responsibility

Accepting responsibility means not passing the buck.  It means not saying that it’s not your job and pushing the complaint aside.  It means you are willing to apologize on behalf of the company you work for and you will do whatever is in your power to improve the situation.

T- Take Action

Take action.  I don’t really have to elaborate on this.  Do something to change the situation within your power.  Connect the customer with the right person.  Send out an email.  Let the customer know that you have done everything you could have done to make the situation better.  I personally think this helps lead to a sense of calm.

Use HEAT to bring a sense of calm in the situation
Use HEAT to bring a sense of calm in the situation

Learning these steps helped me better understand what the customer needed and wanted in many situations.  These steps helped me also realize there are simply the things I would like also as a customer if I had a complaint.  These steps helped me also become a better customer.

 

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to deal with a customer complaint?  What steps did you take to diffuse the situation? Have you ever used the HEAT technique?  Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.  I would love to hear from you.  You can also contact me at jerrydmann@dmanntraining.com

 

 

The Sweetest Sound in Business

The Sweetest Sound in Business

By Gerald Jerry George, MBBS MBA
The Sweetest Sound in Business
The Sweetest Sound in Business

What is the sweetest sound in business?  Many people feel that it is the clink of cold hard cash in a money box.  I would beg to disagree.

When I began my training as a physician, I was taught that the sweetest sound to any human being’s ears is the sound of their name.  I learned the importance of treating a patient as an individual and not as a ‘case’.  I learned to ask for the patient’s name, not just for the sake of identification, but more for the reason of providing a personal touch to someone that is seeking my help.  I sadly did not think of transferring this valuable lesson to other aspects of my life until many years later.

One of my mentors reminded me of this when I did a ride along early on in my sales career.  I remember walking into a hospital with him and going a nurse’s station and approaching the nurse that was there.  My mentor immediately asked the nurse a question.  However, with great finesse, he prefixed the question with the nurse’s name.

The nurse smiled and gave my mentor the answer we needed and we went on our way.  I asked him how he knew the nurse.  He told me he had never met her before.  I then asked him how he knew her name.  His answer made me remember my training as a physician.

He said, “She had a name tag on.”  “Why wouldn’t you use her name if you can see her name tag?”  I immediately remembered ‘The Sweetest Sound’.

The Sweetest Sound
The Sweetest Sound

We often use, Ms, Mr, Sir, Ma’am as signs of respect.  But often, this appears impersonal.  The use of a person’s name brings your conversation to another level.

Another mentor of mine showed me this in action in another scenario.  This time we were the customers.  We sat down for a lunch meeting and he asked the server to repeat his name.  The server looked surprised.  My mentor then explained to him, “I’d rather call you by your name than call you ‘Hey’ or ‘Excuse me’.”  This helped me better understand the impact of ‘The Sweetest Sound’.

Now I make a strong attempt in using people’s names when interacting with them.  I often get told that I am great with names.  But that is truly not the case.  The truth is I make a strong attempt in learning and using a person’s name.  I make a strong attempt at creating ‘The Sweetest Sound’ in business.

What is ‘The Sweetest Sound’ to you?  Have you used ‘The Sweetest Sound’, i.e. a person’s name, in a situation outside your immediate circle to create a more personal situation for your business?  Has it ever backfired on you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.  I would love to hear from you.  You can also contact me at jerrydmann@dmanntraining.com