Last week The Wall Street Journal published an article titled The Surprising Strategy for Acing a Job Interview. The article is aimed at those candidates whose interview strategy can be summed up as ‘figure out what interviewers want and give it to them'.
This past week I witnessed two, not one but two, occasions where a client commented on a candidate's outstanding interview preparation. In both instances, the candidates prepared PowerPoint presentations which they introduced into the discussion.
We once undertook a search for a company looking to hire a Vice-President of Sales. I vividly remember the CEO expressing dismay at the ‘uselessness' of the previous two sales leaders while grilling us on our ability to distinguish ‘competent professionals' from ‘charlatans'.
Years ago, I read an article on famously ‘frugal' founders/entrepreneurs. We're not talking the garden variety of frugality born of stretching scarce resources to build a business, but rather the over-the-top miserliness of entrepreneurs who now sit atop hugely successful businesses.
Entrepreneurs often reason that they too should recruit managers with these seemingly positive executive attributes. However, while these qualities may be ‘positive' they don't necessarily fit into a firm where the leader's own list of attributes skew towards being controlling, untrusting, directive, and highly attentive to the minutiae of the business.
Unsettling as today's self-isolating realities may be, they can be viewed as a useful forced stop that gifts us time and licence to take stock, reflect, plan and, if necessary, course correct. Far from being dead time, downtime is an opportunity to take control of your career.
We continue to recruit, interview and report regularly on our progress. Not surprisingly, candidates’ appetites for change during this existential nightmare varies widely depending on individual circumstances and the condition/security of their industries, companies and positions.