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The “martini shot” in the world of television production is the last shot of the day.  When they get it right, it is a wrap and people can head to the bar.

I learned this little TV production tidbit from my wife who is reading a book by an author who is also a TV actor.  Just because it is the last shot of the day does not mean it will be the easiest to shoot or some hit or miss throw away scene.  In the high stakes world of TV production, the “martini shot” has to be as good as everything else.  

What a great phrase.  So if you do not drink, call it the “sweet tea shot.” Guess what?  It can apply to other industries besides the television.

As I thought about what must go into the production of that last shot I began to think of my own work and the last interview of the day when I am leading an executive search.  

Distinguish Yourself By Being Prepared to Sell Yourself

So many candidates at the end of the day are like the candidates at the start of the day – not fully prepared.  They think they are but they aren’t.  That is because most people aren’t that good at interviewing. They simply don’t do it enough to be really accomplished.  Most candidates are content to come in, make nice and then answer the questions asked.  There is a lot of “telling” but very little “selling.”

Recruiters do not buy expensive airline tickers, endure the inconveniences of the airport and airline service to interview candidates they are not interested in hiring or recommending to their clients.  This may actually surprise some people in the job market but when we go through all that — perhaps three cities in five days, we are honestly looking for someone we can be excited about.  It is not good for a recruiter’s business to report back that all the people they screened will not do.  

Interviewing Is Exhaustive Work

For those of you who have not endured four, two- or three-hour interviews in a day, let me just say that the work is exhausting.  There is not manual labor involved but it is physically and mentally taxing.  If the first two or three  candidates have been less than inspiring, then the pressure mounts — Please, please let the next person blow my socks off.  Please!

So as a job applicant having the Martini Shot slot is actually a good place to be in an interview.  You can be rested and arrive early to avoid any fuss and muss.  But to take advantage of this you cannot fall victim to the trap that so many of your competitors  slip into:  doing the same thing you have done unsuccessfully in previous interviews and hope for a different outcome.

Be Prepared to Communicate Your Value

Do your homework on the company, but even more important, be prepared to effectively communicate your value in the “tell us about yourself” question and then nail the traditional core questions. Think about all the questions you would want to ask if you were doing the interview and have answers. 

Be prepared to nail the martini short, and if you are not a drinker, hit the home run for the sweet tea version.

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Thank you so much for watching.  See you next Wednesday.