Thursday, 24 March 2011

Fabulous Las Vegas

I am off to Las Vegas in the morning for three weeks.  I wouldn’t say that it is impossible to be bored in Vegas, but I think it was Sinatra who said that the problem with Vegas is there just isn’t much to do between 8am-9am on a Sunday morning...

I am delighted that we do a lot of work with US West Coast Clients as it gives me the chance to base myself in this great City between meetings.  I can’t deny that live poker games and banter with drunken tourists 24/7 is attractive, but so is the spring climate, huge variety of food, drinks, bars, shows and people – I love the place and spend a lot of time there.  If you tire of the lights and constant activity then a short drive takes you either out into the beautiful mountains where there is fantastic hiking or else to stunning Lake Mead for a spot of sailing or windsurfing.   

I always look forward to spending time with one of my best pals out there, Steve, a US recruiter who specialises in sales recruitment.  Steve is tremendously successful professionally (let’s not go there on his personal life right now, hey Steve) – invoicing over $1.5M in fees last year - and he puts a lot of this down to the coaching he provides for jobseekers, especially around being aggressive at interview.   Don’t worry, he doesn’t condone physical violence – well, except for maybe those really annoying interviewers who were obviously neglected by their parents aged five and delight in catching you out with their superior knowledge.  Gosh, how incredibly clever these people are....zzzzzzzzz.....

However, Steve is convinced that jobseekers must raise their aggression levels to be successful.  For example, if you are being interviewed for a senior sales role then he suggests a good interviewer is likely to expect you to ‘close’ them at the end of the meeting.  Typically, this will involve you as a jobseeker asking a question such as, ‘Now you have met me Mr Client, do you have any concerns about my ability to succeed in this position’.   

Assuming the interviewer is happy to play ball, this strategy provides the jobseeker with the opportunity to answer any concerns and to further reinforce reasons why they should be hired.  This makes perfect sense as when the interviewer asks you for questions at the end of a meeting when you really want the job then that is the question you really want to ask, isn’t it? Especially when you feel you haven’t quite clicked personally with the Hiring Manager or don’t think you have really portrayed yourself in the most positive light.

However, in more conservative disciplines such as eDisclosure and computer forensics should you be using these techniques?  My natural instinct for roles in these areas is not to attempt to close the interviewer as it can be perceived as a little too aggressive.  When I said this to Steve he downed his beer, laughed for a good half a minute and asked me if I still listened to music on cassettes as I am so ‘old skool.'

Hmmm, I fear he may have a point.  What is your view?

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