Sunday, March 22, 2009

Don't Sell Yourself. Buy Them. Part 3

I have posted extensively on this slogan, the condensed version of my advice for job-hunters. Link to previous posts here.

Of course, the advice does not just apply to job hunters. When you are trying to win over a new client or even a new friend, you should not be selling yourself; you need to be showing how you buy into a company or a person's ethos.

I am revisiting this point because Anne Mulcahy, CEO of Xerox, articulates it so well in an interview in the New York Times this morning. Hat tip to friend Adam. Link here.

So, call it a new way to grasp the essential. It's a way of reminding those who go into an interview or who conducts a relationship under the banner--What about my needs?-- that they are seriously off base.

Adam Bryant asks Mulcahy: "When you're assessing a job candidate, do you have one or two acid-test questions?"

Mulcahy replies: "They have more to do with behavior and culture than they do with competence and expertise. That's how they got to the interview. So then the most important aspect is whether it's a good fit. And so I always ask the question, why are they choosing us, not so much why we should choose them. I really want to hear about what they could do for the company and why they think it would be a place they could be successful.

"It's a little bit of a test. Have they done their homework? Do they understand the place? Do they aspire to the kind of value system and culture we have here? I've learned that it's probably the biggest success or failure indication, as well, about whether people are a good fit with the culture."

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