I am so proud to announce that I ended the fiscal year with 100%+ of my Year Target. It's been only one year since working in data research company and selling the "air"., yet I can already share my main takeouts:
1. Be consultative. Try to initiate the dialogue with a customer and forget about your product. Try to understand why a client wants to change something, what's his priorities and then see if your service can help. When I started digging deeper in clients' needs, the quality of meetings increased and it seemed that clients liked this aproach. Once my wife asked a question, how do I usually start a meeting, so my methodology is simple: first 5 mins are not about the needs, but more about personality. As a result, your client becomes more open.
2. Be persistent. This skill is very useful, because, as you may know, your first e-mail or call can be ignored. Once I was aproaching one big Polish producer, which did not have any business with us before. On the first call, they said that they use an alternative solution, on the second - they will have new projects on another quarter. When I wrote an email the third time, they were very pleasant as they were running a tender on one project. So they invited me to provide an offer. I did not win this tender, however I already know all decision makers, company processes, how they work and what's their priorities. Sure, I will call them after several months. Stay tuned, I will find the right solution for them.
3. Feel the pulse. It is very important to understand next steps if client agrees on working with you. As an example, you have one contract left and you need to sign it before end of month to reach your sales target. At the same time, your client says that they will review the contract and will contact back if questions arise. So, it seems as a good news. However, if your client does not know about your needs, it can be that you will not get signed contract on time, because corporates have legal department, which have their own timelines, etc. At this point, my main suggestion is to inform your client about your needs, aling timeline, and understand fully the process: who should review, who should sign, etc. As a result, you will feel the pulse and you will succeed.
While it's not in any way a novelty, so far video interviewing has not been a mainstream thing, especially when there was an option to have face to face interviews. Now, due to unforeseen circumstances, most of us are moving to video interviewing. Chances are that hiring and even onboarding will happen without ever meeting each other face to face. Articles and shares of best practices for video interviewing are also not an original idea. So naturally one may ask what else is there to be said about this topic? Well, plenty!
So buckle up while I take you through my view on what is working and not working in this OH SO WELL-KNOWN video conversing world.
The Actual Video
Would you say that turning your camera on when on a video call/video interview is a no brainer? Well, you would be wrong!:( In the past, we still had an "excuse" that our camera is not properly working, we are joining from our phones and the app is not supporting video, calling-in instead of using the link and so on. We tolerated this because usually, it was only one part of our hiring steps, so we still had a face to face meeting to look forward to. Now there can't be any excuses, because this is the only face to face you and I/you and your future manager are going to have. This goes for the manager/interviewer as well. If you are in a situation where your interviewer is not turning on their video, there should be a damn good explanation for that. This is no longer a discussion, let's see each other!
Now, when we agreed on clicking one button and turning our cameras ON, let's agree on how we should be seen through that camera ;) By now we all know how to look/present ourselves when going to the office for an interview. Some learned it through trial and error, some read on it, basically, we are fine. But there are multiple viral videos and pictures on what is probably happening in the background of the video interview. The chaos, the mess, the "no pants" thing.... honestly, no one cares what is around you or behind you, as long as you are being cool about it. All that matters is your facial reactions, emotions and upper body language (unless you chose to stand, which is also up to you and probably fine, you might have reasons!). But on a more serious note, the less you have to hide the better, because usually, some tension, uneasiness, distractedness can be seen on your face. Strive for less to hide around you and less to hide in general!!! More honesty will lead to better hiring :) And if not, just use background wallpaper or blur-out effect, most programs now have it.
Also, stop looking at yourself in the corner of your screen! If you feel that urge try looking in the mirror for 15 min before the interview and 15 min after, I don't know, maybe it will help... Eye contact is always very important, just because there is a camera between you and another person that does not give you a free pass. Although it will not be actual eye contact and if you stare into the camera that might be even weirder, so just try looking at the persons face in the screen :)
Know your gadgets
"Can you hear me now?!" Do I need to say more? Just make sure all gadgets are working properly. Your earphones might glitch and you might need to use a speaker and chances are that when you unplug your earphones the sound or the microphone will stop working. I've seen that happen multiple times and I had that happen to me, so just spend some time on setting correct parameters for all possible situations and experiment a bit beforehand. In addition, if your interview will require you to present something, utilize the program beyond simple talking, please make sure that you are not learning to do that on the spot. If you are learning to do that on the spot than be chill about it and do not look like you have no idea what is happening and how to do things.
So I covered almost everything you could prepare for, but there is one thing you can never be prepared for: The randomness of life! You can close any application that is not needed for the interview, or turn sounds off. You can go to a quiet room, close the door and all the windows. You can lock yourself in a Panic Room for all that matters. The chances are something that might still go wrong.
It's simply Murphy's law: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong" and I always found that to be true. And to be honest it's the best thing that could happen to you in an interview. This is the perfect time for you to shine! No manager will pass on a candidate that managed to handle a stressful and unsure situation in a confident manner and showed a strong presence. And if he/she did then let me talk to that person... some bad choice was made.
We do tend to focus a lot on what we should do, how we are expected to behave and how we are perceived. I understand that in interviews this is especially important and actually the main point of it. But don't forget, this is the time for you to be yourself! It's two, three or more people meeting and trying to get to know each other and to see what potential there could be. So if you focus too much on what you should do and how you want to be perceived you might miss out on a position that is tailored for someone just like you. Do yourself a favour and be as truthful to yourself as you possibly can!
So, if we apply some basic common sense (although common sense usually is not that common) we might just get through this and come out on top!
Best of luck to You and let me know how it went!