Leveraging interview roadmap questions allows potential employers to experience you as Brand Ambassador for their company, its values and its culture.
This article is the third in my three-part series on utilizing an Interview Roadmap. Let’s review.
Part 1 addressed how to build an interview roadmap that showcases how you will deliver on that company’s or institution’s professional return-on-investment.
An interview roadmap is a set of at least 10 core questions which you bring into any interview. Your 10 interview roadmap questions are all about that company or academic institution (if you are pursuing an academic career track). You are not pitching them on how great or how smart you are. You are telling them what a tremendous contribution you can make to the story of Who They Are and Where They Are Going.
Part 2 honed in on leveraging interview roadmap questions which communicate what an employer’s / academic institution’s experience of you might look like during your tenure with that organization.
Employers focus on hiring and engaging employee advocates for their brand.
When companies hire you, or academic institutions accept you into their programs, they want you to make them look good, at the very least. They want to hire someone who will speak favorably about their organization or institution (their brand) to other people.
Employers are not hiring potential employees who are going to “fake it.” No lip-service employee advocates, please.
Employee advocates are critical to organizational growth, expansion and sustainability. People believe word-of-mouth brand-endorsement from employees more than they trust messaging from a company’s executives or for-hire brand influencer types.
Employee advocates are key strategic components for driving revenue through that organization, impacting sustainability and longevity in the marketplace.
- Academic institutions and organizations target hiring unique, talented and engaged individuals who will influence peers to apply to their institution or organization and support its products, services and platforms.
- Employers want to hire professionals who will influence people to participate in their strategic growth initiatives, including fundraising, research projects, investment opportunities, outreach programs.
Engaged employees are “Always On” Employee Advocates.
When you are employed by any company, Your Story begins to indelibly weave itself into Their Story. When you are employed by a company with an employee engagement and advocacy program, mutual expectations for delivery on brand advocacy are high.
The Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2016 study reported that today’s employers are creating “always on” engagement and advocacy programs to attract and retain talent. These programs are created in response to “always on” employees who continuously target their next career move. (p 49).
What does an employee engagement program “look” like?
Consider a work ecosystem involving continuous coaching and evaluation, instead of once-a-year traditional performance surveys and reviews. Evaluate your level of engagement within an environment providing tools and continuous opportunities to grow and develop your profession relationships with hands-on managers and peers. How willing are you to provide honest and open feedback to management and leadership that focuses on building your own professional growth and leadership potential? (p50)
In spite of a growing trend towards workforce engagement, the Deloitte study found that 18% of companies surveyed do not formally measure employee engagement at all, 54% are not ready for an always-engaged program and 8% do not measure on a monthly or more frequent basis.
Those statistics are good news or bad news when creating your interview roadmap questions. It takes two to create employee engagement and brand advocacy.
Get Real. What is your level of commitment to employee advocacy?
Workplace dysfunction often is rooted in hiring strategy and processes which are disconnected from or unaligned with business strategy and corporate cultural values. I will be taking a look at that conundrum in future blog posts.
That scenario increases the importance of building and leveraging your interview roadmap questions. Your goal is to identify signs of this dysfunction prior to accepting employment.Be honest with yourself about how your own employment expectations compare with a prospective employer’s ability to deliver on them. Scrutinize how interested you are in engagement and employee advocacy in terms of your career strategy.
Are you – or aren’t you – targeting engagement in meaningful work within a flexible and inclusive environment that is well-managed and provides you with great opportunities for growth, led by solid leadership with a tremendous sense of purpose and vision? Josh Bersin’s excellent Deloitte white paper outlines new models for employee engagement for both employees and employers.
What happens when the employer you are interviewing falls short of meeting your expectations for inclusion and growth opportunities? What if you are only paying lip-service to their employee engagement and advocacy programs: you want to show up for work and basically be left alone to complete it?
The most important questions within your interview roadmap pertain to employee engagement and advocacy.
- Those questions are built into company-specific, in-depth research you conduct prior to walking into your first interview.
- Those questions are leveraged by your Interview Roadmap before you accept employment.
- Those questions are confidently asked when applying for admission to a post-graduate program.
- Those questions are intimidating: the ones many potential employees hesitate to ask, fearing they will derail the interview process.
Your career trajectory is firmly in your hands. Build and leverage interview roadmap questions. Target creating the types of successful workplace experiences that are fulfilling for you, your employer, your colleagues and your customers.
Avoid short-selling yourself or “settling” for another career dead-end. Ask those questions which intimidate you the most: questions about employee advocacy and engagement.
Babette Ten Haken is a management consultant, professional development coach, analyst and content creator. She is the Founder and President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®,LLC. Babette has one of the most distinctive voices in today’s workforce, professional development and customer success communities. She traverses the interface between human capital strategy for hiring and developing technical and non-technical employees focused on customer success. She catalyzes compelling strategies and processes for cross functional communication and collaboration. She is the author of Do YOU Mean Business?, her playbook of collaboration skills to drive revenue through your organization.
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