Two Deep

23 Mar
Most of the blog posts I have written lately are roaming around in my head and are not making it here.  This blog thing gets away from you especially when you are trying to find good people, connect them and make sure everyone has a good time at hiring parties across the country.  Hard to find time when you are trying to find good people that are STILL hard to find.  That is my attempt somewhere between a reason and an excuse for not writing more. I feel better now.

Too Deep or Two Deep?

Too Deep is the pile of resumes you are competing with wrought with wannabes – many, unqualified competition who serve as a hiring manager’s desk clutter as YOU hope yours doesn’t succumb to those who fail to lick their fingers when thumbing through the stack.  We aren’t talking about that “too deep” today though – we are talking about a tactic to use when answering questions during the interview process.

I have often shared with candidates that when answering the hiring manager questions you need to be able to go – Two Deep.  Let me explain.  One deep is the bullet point answer.  We all have the bullet points, the talking points – the I need to make sure I make this point points.  Two Deep requires you prepare to address the follow-up questions when they come – because they will.

“Why?” – “What do you mean by that?”- “Tell me more about that experience.”  Two deep gives you the opportunity to set yourself apart.  You can’t hide when the follow-up question is asked – you either uh..uh..uh…flinch or you can show your work, reveal your belief, or disclose your philosophy.

Let me give you some behind the scenes evidence.  Debriefing a client recently, I asked how things went during the interview.  The client says, “You know she was very sharp and I liked her alot.  I especially liked a couple of her answers.”  The client went on with the specific answers that resonated.  The point – original content plays – the substance of these two answers created the defining moment and the decision to hire this candidate was made.  Quality answers, unique answers, real answers – YOUR answers.

Companies have invested millions to develop questions to extract great answers from you. Several of my clients utilize Behavioral Based Interviewing questions (this is a marginal video but you get the point and have something to click on).  Behavior as in – how did you perform, why did you do that, what was the result, tell me, prove it – show me.  They even ask candidates to take a pre-interview assessment that prepares the interview questions for that specific candidate.  Sophisticated and personal, eh?  You might even conclude (AND SHOULD!) they want to know what you think, what you have done and what you accomplished and dare I say, your impact on the organization.

Am I suggesting you go out and attend a webinar on Behavioral Based interviewing?  Not a bad idea.  What I am suggesting is that you have to provide the hiring manager with some value when you talk.  Bullet point based interviewing this is not.  We need substance.  We need great answers.

As an industry trainier, Ryan Estis has shared with the jobseeker marketplace – you need to –  outprepare and outpresent – your competition.  Take the time to THINK and properly prepare so you can present YOUR answers and show YOUR work.  This is telling your story and we all like a real, good story and a good, REAL story for that matter.

Have you noticed the top business book section at your local bookstore lately?  That is the story.  Stories.  The value of storytelling and the outcome of this interview hinges on your ability to tells yours – the story that best articulates your skill set and gives them reasons to hire you.  As the author of your career manifesto, you should be able to effectively prepared to communicate it.

Employers are begging you to set yourself apart and weave your story into theirs.  So, whether they ask you handcrafted, custom made questions or not – Go Two Deep.

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