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Good Morning, my name is...

Helping one company cut the cords of digital reliance in interviews.

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Catch-22. How do you prepare a team for an interview without the team sounding prepared for an interview?

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Situation

Walk into any room of people and loudly ask, "Who likes public speaking?" You'll usually be met with stony silence. This universal discomfort becomes a significant hurdle when a team of construction professionals faces an interview for a major project after they'd recently lost a similar project in the interview stage.

During the debrief on the previous interview, the company learned they had moved from being the frontrunner in the shortlist to second after the interview. Why?

The team debriefed and heard comments like "team members sounded as they had memorized their lines" and "individual team members relied heavily on the presentation slides" to suggestions like "the team should focus on meaningfully engaging together to answer the questions asked" by the interview panel.

Now, the company was shortlisted for a "must-win" CMGC and was facing its next interview. The team was solid - veterans with years of experience in the exact scope of work. Their process? Not so much. They were used to preparing for interviews by memorizing answers to dozens of questions and relying on the slide deck to ensure they hit every marketing message... just right.

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Solution

After reviewing their previous scoring notes, our team at Mission Critical visited the company's offices three days later to debrief with the project team. Despite their deep understanding of the project and approach, everyone relied on rote answers. The team's responses were aimed more at highlighting "why we are the best team for this project?" instead of addressing "what solutions are we bringing to meet the Agency's goals?"

During the debrief, we requested the team to walk us through their last presentation. The Project Manager confidently stood up, greeted with a "Good Morning, my name is..." and then promptly turned to the project slide for guidance.

We immediately redirected the team's focus from rehearsing a lengthy list of over a hundred questions to concentrating on nine key themes. Our team emphasized the importance of openly discussing challenges, particularly the team's lack of experience in this state. We coached them on leveraging their extensive experience from similar projects as a strong foundation for the job.

Drawing on our experience from similar successful CMGC interviews, we organized a series of in-person and video conference practice sessions. These sessions were designed to help each team member draw upon their real experiences. We tailored our approach to match each individual's learning style, whether they preferred visual, auditory, or kinesthetic methods. This personalized strategy significantly boosted everyone's comfort and confidence levels.

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Impact

On the interview day, the client team was ready to demonstrate their roles as experts, Agency partners, and genuine individuals prepared to tackle this project. As the interview started, everyone - from the Project Manager to Segment Superintendents, was confident and ready to engage with the Agency's panel. Over the next 60 minutes, the team went beyond listing qualifications. They shared real stories showcasing their skills and how they would approach the job. During Q&A, team members used their new skills at cross-discussion and quick analysis of options to demonstrate how they worked in their day-to-day work.

Less than three hours after the last interview the next day, the Agency issued the final ranking and notice that our client's team had won. Only later during the debrief did the client learn that only 28 points separated the 1st and 2nd teams. With an interview worth 300 points overall, the team's strong performance won the project.

This victory was not just a milestone but a catalyst for the company's growth. With this project as a cornerstone, the company expanded its footprint into the state and beyond. The success demonstrated their capability and reliability, paving the way for further opportunities. Within five years, they had established two permanent offices in the state, broadening their reach across a five-state region.

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For the Agency interview panel, your interview is a brief moment in a busy day. Quickly connecting using authenticity is key to success.

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Do these Challenges Sound Familiar? 

Schedule a free, confidential session to discover how Mission Critical is the pivotal force behind winning teams!

 

Matthew Costabile

Owner and Managing Partner

(602) 833-8672

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BUILDING WINNING
STRATEGIES FROM EXPERIENCE

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