Richard Maun – If You Want A Job…

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If You Want A Job…

22 August 2011

Thoroughly check your briefs... or risk failure!

Thoroughly check your briefs... or risk failure!

…Then answer the brief. Being successful in job hunting (and other sales processes) relies on many things and yet the simplest elements still elude even the brightest candidates.

When you’re invited to pitch yourself and have 10 minutes to deliver a presentation you must answer the brief that’s been set. For example, if you’re asked to tell the panel about:

1) Your key skills?
2) How you fit the job?
3) How you communicate effectively?
4) How you develop yourself?
5) The tangible value you bring to the organisation?

They don’t want you to tell them about:

A) Your time as a Cub Scout…*
B) Your favourite fishing spot…
C) A long list of TLA’s you know…**
D) Your views on how they could manage their business better…
E) A management book you recently browsed a) in the airport or b) on your smart phone whilst waiting to be interviewed…

And yet people persist in making elementary mistakes. They often don’t read the brief twice, or they get carried away with cramming in all 100 ‘key abilities’. Sometimes they decide to stand out by ‘being different’ or by ‘being creative’. And they succeed… they stand out as the candidate who can’t be scored properly because they haven’t answered any of the set questions, which have been asked for specific reasons.

Nul points for you, if you patronise the interview panel by making it clear their pathetic brief can be ignored because you know what they’re really looking for!

So, when you’re answering an advert, preparing a presentation, practising interview skills, or simply selling products and services to people ask yourself:

Have I really answered their questions or am I simply ‘on send’ and just talking at them?

In my experience 80% of people rely on luck and in doing so open their mouth and cram in a large brogue. Then they wonder why they didn’t get the job/promotion/business.

But you’re smart: you’ll make sure you answer the brief… won’t you?


* This has happened, sadly.

**TLA means ‘Three Letter Acronym’, such as JIT, OEE, ATB, NFN:

Just in Time
Operating Equipment Effectiveness
Answer the Brief
Normal for Norfolk



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© Richard Maun 2015 / Click here to contact