Not long ago, former President Bill Clinton told his story to a very starstruck left-wing convention audience and more importantly to the American public. He punched and jabbed at the right-wing while praising some great Republican leaders: Eisenhower and Reagan.
Then, artfully, Clinton would pause and look into the camera: “Now listen, what I’m going to say is important.” and he’d launch into his next story.
Job-seekers need to take notice of these kinds of masterful performances. Don’t talk AT your interviewers with a bland list of your skills and experiences! Tell them a story. Be the “Bill Clinton” of the job-pitch by speaking from your heart, using down-to-earth, “non-corporate-speak” language that immediately connects with anyone who is listening. Be the job candidate that outshines the next one to be interviewed -- Be the one to be remembered!
Then there was President Obama’s first debate performance…Ugh.
Obama’s first debate serves as a great illustration of how not to communicate with your audience. Looking down without even glancing at Mitt Romney gave everyone the impression that he was intimidated or uncomfortable. Strike One. Then Obama didn’t challenge Romney when Romney attacked his policies. Strike Two. Finally, he spoke in too much detail for his audience’s “sound-byte” attention span. Strike Three.
What’s this mean to you, the one who is preparing for your next interview? Don’t strike out!
Make eye contact with your interviewers, look them in the eye and shake their hands with strength and confidence. Don’t overwhelm everyone with too much detail about your skills- be Bill Clinton and tell them a compelling story about how you will make their lives easier.
PS: I hope Obama reads this blog…he had bad night but he needs to stay in the game and communicate his passion.