I am addicted to a televised interview called The Apprentice on NBC. Last week, I witnessed how important presentation skills really are. Gene volunteered to be the MC of the Fashion Show as he figured he had the skill set to do so but that was not so much the case. It got him “FIRED.”
An interview is a presentation and if you come off ill prepared, a prospective employer is going to assume one of two things or both…
- You are not taking this interview serious enough to adequately prepare.
- You do not possess presentation skills.
Neither of which will present you in a favorable light.
Even in the industry I recruit for, Corporate Accounting & Finance, presentation skills are in demand. Budgets and new accounting policies need to be presented and explained to all departments and Board Members. You do not need to be a public speaker to be required to do some sort of a group presentation. In other words, whatever job you have or are trying to get, the odds are that job will require public speaking skills are pretty good. Especially when hiring, if there is a choice between a candidate with presentation skills or without presentation skills, “with” will get the offer. The same goes for promotion considerations.
So what do I suggest?
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!
A great place to do so is Toastmasters.
Find a club near you or if you are in the Boston area and interested in checking out a meeting in the Back Bay, just contact Dubin & Lee and inquire about the Boston Toastmasters guest list.
Check out Gene’s attempt at MC-ing the Fashion Show on last week’s episode of The Apprentice.
Dubin & Lee
Last week, I was speaking with a man currently working in a Big 4 accounting firm and was interviewing with our client for a Corporate Accounting role. He was a very confident interviewer because he had done so much research on the company and had the ideal experience for the job but he was unsure about one question....what to say if they asked about money.
There are really two parts to that question.
- What are you making?
- What are you looking to make?
1. "What are you making?" is a very straight forward question and should get a straight forward answer. I understand it is something that you don't tell the person next to you at work or use it as pick-up line but the interviewer does get to know this. Of course, you are not required to divuldge your past salary but keep these two things in mind.
- If they are interested in making you an offer, most of the time they will ask you to sign a release form to do a background check which usually includes education and employment verification as well as W9.
- If you do not give a straight answer and come off secretive or defensive about your last salary this could make you appear less confident that you will be paid what you are worth. It is best not to wave a red flag on this topic.
Think of it like the doctor's office getting to have your social security number.
2. "What are you looking to make?" is what I call a "future" question. Past and present questions need to be answered with actuals or facts as where future questions can be anwered in theory or with intangibles.
See my Vlog on that part of the money question and please comment with your experiences with this interview question.