Why Talking About Yourself Can Torpedo a Job Interview

Many job candidates are given bad advice. They’re told to write out their accomplishments and practice them so they’re ready to respond to the oft-answered question: “Tell me about yourself.” Then they proceed to babble on and on and on.

The Real Question

The subtext behind the question really is: “Tell me about yourself and what you can do for my department and company.” It’s all about the benefits you bring to the table. Think of a job interview as a presentation or sales pitch. You don’t want to simply read the entire menu, but choose those “entrees” that will whet the interviewer’s appetite to hear more.

But how do you know what those are? …Read more…

Do You Think You Have the Executive Presence to Get Ahead? Think Again

Appearance Counts

If you wonder why so few women are running Fortune 500 companies, it’s because they lack “executive presence.” That’s not our opinion, but the results of a revealing study that’s summarized in a special @WORK supplement in Marie Claire magazine.

Looking and Acting the Part

In the view of Sylvia Ann Hewlett, founder of Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) the think tank that conducted the study, these are the traits that will make you a contender for the top spot: …Read more…

How to Maintain Control of the Q&A Following a Presentation

Controlling the Q&A

You’ve just delivered a great presentation. Now it’s time for the Q&A and the first person to raise her hand asks: “Can you give me more details about this new technology?” and you’re left speechless. You don’t have the answer.

Bring a Content Expert

The Q&A following a presentation can be more important than the presentation itself. If you flub the group discussion you’ve lost your audience.

Be prepared for any question, including the ones you can’t answer yourself.

In that case, be sure to have a …Read more…

Even Smart Companies Are Dumb About Crisis Communications

Have you examined your crisis communications plan lately? Is it up to date? Do you even have a crisis plan in place?

Apple, the company that invented the smart phone, was dumb about the way it handled the instant crisis of the awful Maps app on its iPhone 5. You don’t want to find yourself in the in the same predicament if something goes wrong at your company.

Silence at First

Apple fans were worked up into a tizzy in anticipation of the new phone with the usual lines circling Apple stores when the phone went on sale. But much to their dismay, Google Maps was nowhere to be found. Apple had substituted its own Maps app. What a clunker. Whole cities were missing, and you risked being directed to a street that led nowhere. A new pejorative — “Mapplegate” — entered the lexicon. …Read more…