Many Management Candidates lose a job not by what they say, but how they present their information. There is more to communication than the words you speak. It is an overall package. Management Candidates should be able to express themselves using their facial expressions, body language, and listening skills, as well as their vernacular and intonation.
‘Say What you Mean – Mean What You Say.’
I’ve sat in too many interviews where the person is saying the right words, but I’m not buying the message. Their body language, posture, and the ‘sound’ of their voice do not match the words they are saying. They are too stiff and formal. They are unsure and hesitant. Honestly, if you cannot rehearse the answers to questions I will ask after reading your resume then you do not see yourself as a ‘marketable commodity’ – and I’m not buying.
Many people do not mean what they say. In fact, many people do not understand what they are saying. You may feel that you have good communication skills, but have you ever tested yourself? Have you proven to yourself that you can communicate at a university level, marketing level, or casual level? Do you even know what I mean by those three levels?
Can you sparse a sentence? Do you typically know synonyms for industry idioms? If not, it is better not to tell me you have good communication skills. You never want a job interviewer to doubt your ability to communicate.
It is better to be honest about your skills and give the interviewer a positive opinion of your ethics and skillset.
How Well Do You Learn? Can You Evaluate?
An interviewer listens to dozens of Candidates talk about their education, courses, or upgrades. If an interviewer asks you about a course they don’t want to hear what you learned. They want to know if you are able to evaluate the course. Can you assess an experience?
Anyone can run through a list of things taught. But a qualified management candidate will be able to evaluate the information taught. I’m especially interested when they assess a program and realize there were gaps in the information so they read a book, took another course, or attended a seminar to fill in the gaps.
A person who doesn’t evaluate reveals that they can’t process information. They can absorb it, but they don’t have the mindset needed to use that information. This can be detrimental when in an upper level manager.
Talk in Complete Sentences
Most people do not talk in complete sentences. When in a job interview they fall apart because they try to ‘sound’ like they know what they are talking about, but they start to stumble over their sentences. Sometimes they just stop talking.
Your communication effects how much authority people give you. If you cannot discuss your skills and education in a manner that convinces me you are ready for an upper level management position then you will not be able to convince your team that you are their leader.
Don’t Assume the Interviewer Understands
Many people fall into the habit of using abbreviations, or assumptions. I may understand industry idioms, but when you use them make sure that you are clear enough that I understand. Don’t just tell me that you have project management experience. Tell me what that means.
Show Don’t Tell
I don’t want to hear how great you believe you are. I want you to use your resume, portfolio, and communication to ‘show’ me what you have done. If I ask whether you have project management experience I don’t want to hear ‘yes.’ I don’t want to hear ‘I have been in charge of several projects’. I don’t want to hear ‘I have lead several teams in 5 projects.’
What I want to hear is ‘I met all my deadlines.’ ‘My team finished the project under budget.’ ‘My advertising projects had a $XXX Return On Investment (ROI).
Don’t tell me you have a great relationship with your team. Show me the employee handbook you wrote. Show me how much employee turnover dropped. How much did you shave off the training time investment or budget?