“Be yourself” is horrible advice for someone going on a job interview.
That’s because you are literally auditioning for a new role. Take the time to craft your “job interview character” by making a list of the qualities a successful candidate should convey. And then rehearse. For example, if you tend to be shy, expand your range of expression (and what you’re comfortable doing) by practicing what might feel like an exaggerated performance, using hand gestures and passion. And try to reframe your perspective. Instead of performing as a person who is trying really hard to get the job, perform as someone who wants to have a great conversation with the interviewer.
Ask open-ended questions and be prepared to tell stories.
Curated by Trevor Lee
Having emotional intelligence, often referred to as EI, is an important part of being a stronger, more effective leader.
But too many people assume that it’s all about being sweet and chipper. Sure, some EI competencies are related to sociability, sensitivity, and likeability, but others are connected to leadership skills like achievement, influence, and conflict management.
The key is to have a balance.
If you’re strong in some of the softer, emotional skills, then focus on honing skills like giving unpleasant feedback. For example, rather than using your EI to smooth over interactions with a co-worker who is overbearing and abrasive, work on bringing up the issue to your colleague directly, drawing on conflict management to give direct feedback and on emotional self-control to keep your reactivity at bay.
Getting an expat assignment can be exciting, but it can also be hard on your family. Before accepting a temporary reassignment to another country, think it through with your partner or family. Be sure to frame the decision as a real choice:
Should we go or stay?
And consider the degree of change: If you live in Amsterdam, relocating to Brussels is very different from moving to Guangzhou, China.
Then go through the pros and cons of each alternative, laying out the full implications for your children or extended family, your career — and your partner’s — and your support networks.
Try to anticipate and discuss how the change would affect family dynamics — e.g., shifting from a dual-career marriage to one where a spouse stays at home, or replacing a grandmother babysitter with a professional nanny.
These discussions will not only shape your decision about the assignment but also help set expectations and prevent resentment later on.
Every company gets rejected by job candidates, and you’re missing a big opportunity if you don’t ask these people why they did it. The next time you get a “No, thank you” call or email, explain that there are no hard feelings and dig deeper for more information. Focus on questions like:
- What did you see as the positive aspects of the role?
- What were your concerns about the role?
- What were the most important factors in the decision you made?
- What feedback or suggestions do you have about your interviews, interviewers, and the interview process itself?
- Can you provide feedback or suggestions for the hiring manager, human resources, or the organization overall?
These conversations might be awkward, but if you don’t solicit feedback from people you’ve interviewed, they may give that feedback publicly via social media. It may not be good!
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Leader or servant? Do the leaders in your organisation have a style tending more toward coercive, persuasive power. Are they larger-than-life figures, or are they more prone to a leadership style based on personal humility and team support?
Larger-than-life leaders have played important roles in the business world, however if you are more comfortable with inclusion rather than coercion, you may be able to evolve a leadership style that is becoming recognized as a requirement for transforming organizations from good to truly great.
Servant leadership, which is based on the premise of service to a purpose larger than self, emphasizes a holistic approach to work; a sense of community, a sharing of power in decision-making and a vision. So how are servant-leaders different?
Servant-leaders possess a mixture of personal humility and professional resolve. They are servants first, and the desire to lead flows from the desire to improve the life and work of those around and under them.
The servant-leader possesses:
High emotional intelligence
Ability to conceptualize beyond day-to-day concerns
Commitment to the growth of others
Regard for community (consciousness)
An ability for healing and restoring others
While the concept of servant-leadership may seem counter-intuitive to our image of leadership, results show its strength. The good news is that the talented leader can, with help and guidance, develop the skills of the servant-leader and create truly great organizations.
In summary is your organisation on a journey from Command and Control to Coordinate and Cultivate ?
To build a team of creative thinkers, you need to hire people who are open to new experiences and have resilience, emotional stability, flexibility, and empathy.
During interviews with potential hires, ask questions that test for these traits. For example, you might ask the candidate to come up with multiple solutions to a problem, and then see if they are able to draw connections between those solutions to find a novel approach.
If you want to test a candidate’s ability for empathy, ask them to create a persona for a new product, or have them tell a story about a day in the life of a potential customer to see whether they can take on someone else’s perspective.
These exercises give you valuable clues as to how well the applicant can connect with others both emotionally and intellectually.
Adapted from “A Data-Driven Approach to Group Creativity,” by Bastian Bergmann and Joe Schaeppi
Most global companies are looking for leaders who can easily move between countries and cultures, take on assignments abroad, understand disparate markets, and manage diverse teams.
But these leaders aren’t always easy to find.
Start by looking at the candidates in your applicant pool who have lived abroad, and ask them about their backgrounds. Prompt them to assess and discuss the knowledge and skills they acquired through their experience. Did they launch a business or turn a struggling initiative around? What was the nature and depth of the contact they had with the culture and the people? Did they travel there, live and work alone, manage a team and family?
Asking these questions will give you a clearer sense of the candidate’s knowledge of different cultural practices and their ability to understand and communicate with people whose backgrounds differ from their own.
Adapted from “What the Best Cross-Cultural Managers Have in Common,” by Linda Brimm
The above is the passion and purpose of CEO Worldwide
Trevor Lee – EP International
We provide C-suite services in the field of talent acquisition, development and retention.