Job Interview Tips With The Frontier Airlines Animals

You’re about to go on a job interview for that perfect position that will really make your career take off. That means you need to prepare. Like most things in life, if you want to be good at something it takes practice. A good way to polish your performance is by role playing with an expert career coach (like me) or learning by example. Take a look at the following Frontier Airlines Animal Auditions, there’s a lot that can be learned from these clever critters including the good, the bad and the ugly.

THE GOOD: Polly the Parrot on why she’s on the market, “My pirate died.” Great answer for needing a new job. The answer shows she’s looking due to circumstances beyond her control and therefore it does not reflect poorly on Polly or her job performance. Since the death of an employer is not usually why professionals are on the market, it’s  a good idea to develop a communication strategy and answer to the question of why you’re looking for a new position before going on the interview.

Polly, an expert at mimicry, also bonds well with her interviewers. She takes the mirroring technique to a whole new level. Now while you may want to subtly mirror your interviewer’s body language, the way they act and the way they sound to create an unconscious bond, the key word is to be subtle and mirror as opposed to mimic. While Griz loved Polly’s antics, she may have overstepped and been a little too flip with Flip.

THE BAD: Fred the Walrus has difficulty communicating and answering basic interview questions. When interviewing you need to be able to articulate the benefits you bring to your future employer. If being a talking animal is one of the skill sets then you’d better be able to communicate and connect with all of the individuals with whom you interview, not just Griz.

Duke the Arctic Dog goes through a litany of things he doesn’t do before he gets to the one skill set that impresses his interviewers. If you don’t have the skills a company needs, go on the offensive and quickly show off what you do bring to the table.

Enrique the Tree Frog starts asking for concessions and accommodations, “Is it possible for me to be on the nose of the plane instead of the tail?” before he even has an offer. You definitely want to wait until you’re at the negotiation phase of the interview process before you start asking for special treatment. Once you have the offer, you know the potential employer likes you and wants to bring you on board, then you have more wiggle room.

THE UGLY: Doug the Dung Beetle. In an interview, if you really want to land the job you have to keep some s@#! to yourself, ‘nuf said.


Acing Your Executive Job Interview

ExecutivesOver the years, countless executives have said to me that all they need to do is get the interview and they’ll land the job. Really? If everyone feels this way, including your competition, how can it be true?

I’ve worked with hundreds of very capable and competent executives over the years who excel at improving profits and stakeholder value, enhancing operating efficiencies, reducing costs, launching successful start-ups, orchestrating turnarounds, and myriad of other complex competencies, but for many, they’re just not that great at communicating that information.

Just because you’ve excelled in your executive role does not necessarily translate into being a stellar communicator. Case in point, who can forget BP CEO, Tony Hayward’s famous words regarding the 2010 Gulf oil spill, “There’s no one who wants this thing over more than I do. You know, I’d like my life back.” A PR nightmare, he took a beating in the media for those words at a critical time for his company.

That’s just one very public example that illustrates even C-suite executives can use some coaching to brush up on their communication skills. interviewing, whether it’s with the media or for a job is a skill in and of itself. When it’s for a job, interviewing involves effectively communicating your strengths while avoiding highlighting any weaknesses and like most skills, it’s something that improves with practice.

I frequently work with clients who epitomize the saying “you don’t know what you don’t know.” What I mean is, frequently clients don’t realize that how they’re answering a question is not furthering their own cause until they’re role playing with me and I point out how their answer plays and a better way to frame it.

The bottom line is if you want to ace that job interview, put some time and effort into your preparation. Do some role playing with a seasoned coach who can help polish the diamond in the rough that may be your rusty interviewing techniques.



Thank You For Interviewing Me

Thank You NoteClients frequently ask me if they should send a follow-up thank you note after an interview and if so, what should be included in it.

Years and years ago (OK, more years than I care to admit), when I first graduated from college, I was told to send thank you notes after interviews. My response, “They should be thanking me for the opportunity to interview me!” For those of you who don’t know me, I’m not really that cocky and arrogant, but I may have been when I first graduated. Isn’t everyone?

Since that time, I’ve changed my tune significantly. A follow-up thank you note is a must.  Whether you aced the interview or felt there was room for improvement, the follow-up letter gives you the opportunity to either re-emphasize your strengths or to address and fix any weaknesses that may have come up during the interview.

While what you include in the letter will largely depend on what was covered in the interview, there are two must haves:

1. Thanking the potential employer for taking the time to meet with you,  and

2. Telling them how excited you are about the opportunity.

The variable part of the letter depends on what came out of the interview. Was there a skill set in which the potential employer seemed particularly interested, an important need or goal they mentioned that you could help them attain. If so, re-emphasizing how you will bring that skill to bear to help them achieve their goal is an excellent addition to the thank you note.

The follow-up note is also an opportunity to set the record straight if you didn’t answer a question as well as you would have liked. Sometimes nerves take their toll and your tongue gets tied or your memory wigs out, the letter is your chance to craft the perfect answer that you meant to give, but didn’t.

Has anyone not gotten the job because they didn’t send a thank you note? Well, I’ve talk to some hiring managers who’ve said that it’s not a deal breaker, however, when there’s been a close decision between two candidates, the one who made the extra effort to send the note got the job.

Just think of it as a marketing opportunity, a final sales pitch about what a perfect match you are for the position and how much you can benefit the company.