Episode 43 Transcript

Welcome to Episode 43 of the Business in
Morocco Podcast, today we're going to be
talking about job interview tactics this
is part two in our series and today
we'll be talking about tips for job
seekers but before that right let's get
an update what's going on? hey Ryan good
to see you yeah I finished my my second
power of habits for success workshop at
Commons Zerktouni a couple weeks ago
and it was a great success I had a
really good group
there was eight participants that joined
us and we spent half day talking about
our purpose talking about how we
leverage habits and the way our brain
creates habits and the compound effects
of time how these things combine to help
us reach success so it was a great
experience I love having that small
group environment because it isn't just
me teaching to to a wide audience
tons of interaction and some of the
inspiration and the lessons come from
the camaraderie that's created that
environment that's that mastermind feel
that's that's created so it was really
exciting and I'm looking forward to
building on that success I'm gonna have
another one in early January yeah what
about you what's what's new? Well a lot
has happened in the last couple of weeks
the the office is coming together and
we'll be ready for the first club
meeting tomorrow on Friday December 6th
today we're recording on Thursday and
yeah I'm excited to meet all these
aspiring entrepreneurs current
entrepreneurs and really develop a
network of people who are like-minded
oftentimes as an entrepreneur business
owner it can feel lonely or frustrating
you feel like you aren't able to discuss
topics that you're experiencing
and get insights from people who are
sort of taking the same road that you
are I know that entrepreneurship is
something that's growing here Morocco
the population has it sort of inherently
when you look at the people doing
business on the streets people selling
things in local stores whether it's
legally or in the black market people
have they have aspirations and they have
desires and they have the willingness to
engage in entrepreneurship and so we're
going to try to focus that spirit and
really help people learn and start in
grow businesses so I'm excited to get
that started tomorrow other than that
it's been an interesting couple weeks of
engaging with various vendors
electricians, plumbers, furniture makers,
all different kinds of folks who do
services and sell products and we'll
save some of those experiences for
another another episode I did think of a
good idea for an episode coming up and
that was how to do business with
foreigners or how to do business with
Westerners in terms of cultural
expectations what does it mean to be
professional and give a good impression
since I think that there are some pretty
big differences between the West and the
culture here in Morocco so I'll be
thinking about that maybe you can think
about that too and we'll do an episode
on that in the future I think that would
be valuable for our listeners
I think so too especially as more and
more multinationals come I mean we're
we're a few hundred meters from CFC
which is becoming a real hub of real
headquarters for international companies
that are entering into the West African
market and so more and more our
listeners and young business people are
going to be interacting with people from
around the globe and crossing cultures
is so key and it's so crucial to
understand and we can offer a real
insight into the North American
perspective which has a lot of bridges
to Europe it's different but there's a
lot of overlap I was thinking about this
this week because I was teaching the
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
with employees from the US Embassy
so all 20 of the participants
are Moroccans but they work for an
American organization and all the
leadership is American it's one of the
policies of these missions that the top
positions are all filled by expats that
come in on to three-year contracts so
they really affects the culture and
shape to the organization so within the
embassy in the consulate and Dar America
there's a bit of a mix or like where a
river runs into the ocean and it's it's
not salt water it's not freshwater it's
it's this main launch of the two
cultures so it's really interesting and
I'm sure those Moroccans that have
worked in that American context have a
lot of insights for a topic like that
what it's like to work with Americans
what they've learned how to adapt how to
fit in that culture so yeah that'll be a
good episode there are a lot of
opportunities for Moroccans
internationally Moroccans were skilled
in various things like design
engineering computer programming and
they can offer their services to the
global market a competitive race yeah
however if you're going to build a brand
on some of these websites like Upwork
and Fiverr you need to understand what
the expectations are of the
international clients right here in Morocco
it is not uncommon for a product or a
service to be presented one way in the
beginning but then ultimately to be
delivered in a slightly different way or
with slightly different features and
maybe not according to the timeline that
was originally given when it comes to
doing business in the West that is a
huge problem yeah and so that's just one
of the things that we'll talk about when
we get into that episode but today let's
talk about tips for job seekers what can
we offer in terms of wisdom and guidance
to Moroccans who are seeking to get jobs
here in Morocco the big picture that
helps me understand what's happening is
a puzzle and if you picture a puzzle as
the company they have this picture that
they're trying to put together and they
need lots of different employees to fill
the various roles the employees are
those pieces of the puzzle now the reason why
they're hiring somebody why they're
looking to recruit someone to join them
is because there's a piece missing and
so they put out some sort of
advertisement whether it's digitally or
through their network word-of-mouth and
they describe the shape of this puzzle
hey we need a piece that's flat on one
side it has two sticks coming out and
one gap you know like picture a puzzle
piece in your mind and you have to
describe that hole that exists in your
company so that is a clue for you the
one seeking the job this is what they're
looking for before you even take the
interview you need to ask yourself can I
fit these requirements otherwise you're
wasting your time and obviously the
recruiters time if you're not a good fit
if you don't provide the right shape to
fill that hole then don't even bother
but if you think you are you need to
really highlight the features that you
have that fit the desires of the company
because you might have other things that
you bring to the table but you need to
really highlight in the interview that I
am a good fit you've got a hole you're
doing this because you've got a need and
here's how I can meet that need yeah
that's a that's a good image another
image could be like a machine a business
is a machine and has various functioning
parts and in order for the machine to do
its job and work well all the parts have
to be in harmony and they have to be
specific sizes and shapes and made out
of certain materials and if you're
missing parts then the machine doesn't
work properly and you can't put
different shaped and sized parts in the
machine they need to fit yeah now of
course a business is not exactly like a
machine but it's a good it's a good
image to have there is flexibility in
business I do advise businesses to hire
good people who may not fit exactly the
job description that you need but who
can grow into the role mm-hmm I think
that actually produces better businesses
over time but of course you need some
basic requirements to fill a job if you
need someone to build websites then they
need to know programming language or
software or if you need someone to
design architectural plans they need
that education they need to understand
geometry and physics and mathematics you
can't hire someone off the street who
doesn't have those skills so I
understand there are basic skills that
each job requires but then there are
things that are nice to have and they're
not necessary and that's where you have
flexibility yeah I think the principle
there is you can train skills but you
can't really train character people to
come in with a character and you're
stuck with it you can add to their skill
set but you're stuck with their
character yeah so when it comes to
giving advice to job candidates it's
important in the job interview to convey
your character yeah to make a good
impression the biggest mistake that I
think people make is they try to be the
person they think the company is looking
for in each interview which means that
at every interview they're a different
person because they're trying to be the
person they think that the company wants
and I think a better strategy is to be
who you are to give a good impression
eventually find the company that
appreciates who you are and is going to
hire you and put you in the role it's
not a good strategy to to try to change
yourself and the way you talk the way
you dress your values what you bring to
the table based on each job interview
that's just not sustainable people can
sniff out and they can recognize when
people aren't being candid when they're
not being real and I think that's one of
the the easiest ways to lose a job is to
give the impression that you're being
fake hmm so my advice to people is to be
to be positive to make a good impression
how can you make a good impression
you can dress well for the interview you
can be on time you can show good energy
in the interview you can come prepared
to ask questions do as much research as
you possibly can about the company
before the interview and then ask them
specific questions about their company
to show them that you have an interest
in them and not just an interest in
getting any job do as much as you can to
learn about the business and about the
position so you can ask intelligent
questions yeah you might even be able to
find out who will be conducting the
interview that could be possible
especially if you're working at a small
company and you you recognize hey
there's the head of the HR department or
there's a recruiting manager that works
at the company you can find this out on
LinkedIn that could be insightful
because people often hire people that
they like so they have to meet the
requirements of the you know the
position that they're filling as you've
already outlined but then when it comes
to a pool of qualified candidates there
they're interviewing a room full of
people that meet those requirements and
they're going to choose from among that
pool and it's human beings that are
doing the hiring once you've made it
through that initial filtering process
and you're at the interview it's a
conversation with other humans and we
are drawn to those that we like so you
want to make a good impression you want
to connect with this person you want to
be friendly you want to take an interest
in them and their company and do the
things that you know people liked.
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the show people don't remember what you
said they remember how you made them
and especially if you're talking about a
hiring manager who is interviewing
dozens or maybe hundreds of people over
the course of a week or a month they're
not going to remember your specific
answers but they may remember a story
that you told or how you make them feel
so it's important to build rapport with
the person doing the interview try to
turn the interview into a conversation
about life about work and tell stories
about your your work history that convey
your values and your competencies don't
just give them a list of facts don't
just say oh I went to this University
I did this job I work for this company
all those things are going to be
but if you can tell a story that conveys
who you are that's much more likely to
be remembered by the person doing the
interview yeah I want to re-emphasize
what you're saying because I think this
is a huge tip for those seeking to be
interviewed because on your CV you write
words or adjectives that describe you
you're hardworking you're solutions
oriented you're a critical thinker
you're punctual these kinds of things
that characteristic it's far more
interesting to listen to and it's
something people remember so tell a
story where you faced a problem at work
and you came up with a solution or you
were able to overcome an inner conflict
or deal with an angry customer calm them
down help get to the bottom of the issue
and solve their problems so they went
away happy tell a story like that and
it's something that's really gonna
impact those that are listening because
we love stories we love to hear stories
and they drive home the point I also
want to jump on to what you said about
taking an interest in the person who's
interviewing you I basically had a job
interview yesterday so during the middle
of the training I was conducting I met
with one of the high up managers from
the embassy to discuss doing some team
buildings and discuss doing future
training and he came to the hotel to
meet me because he wanted to get to know
me and to find out what kind of services
I can offer through my own company and
through the other company I work with
and during the interview I was thinking
okay this is my chance to share about
all the courses that I teach share about
my expertise give my background but
really I did a lot of listening and I
took an interest in his story his
journey what brought him to Morocco his
background what he wants to see happen
within his company and that was giving
me a ton of information for how which
products are features I should really
feature that I can offer but also it was
building rapport so that he goes away
from the conversation feeling like that
was a good guy
great he's really personable I like him
and it really increases my chances that
when I outlined the facts and figures of
Who I am and what I offer in an email
it's going to be received positively
because it's not just what I said it's
how I made him feel another thing to
remember is every hiring manager has
concerns they're worried about certain
things and the number one thing that
worried about is hiring the wrong person
that eventually will make them look bad
they don't want to hire someone who
turns out to be unreliable not able to
do the job, disrespectful
someone that has to be fired later on
that is what they want to avoid and that
is actually their number one goal is to
avoid their own embarrassment and to
protect their own job security so when
you go into an interview you need to
understand these things what are they
concerned about? well they're concerned
that you're going to come in you're
gonna start working and then you're
gonna leave right away go find some
other job that you you essentially never
stop looking
you accepted their job but you just kept
looking for another job so they're
worried about that so you need to say
things like this is the company I want
to work for this is the job I want to do
and I want to stay here and move up
within the company you need to address
their concerns before they even mention
them another thing they're worried about
is you come into the job you get the job
and then your performance declines over
time you get comfortable you realize
that the company will have a hard time
firing you because of the laws so your
performance just declines over time
which happens a lot especially in
countries that have very strict labor
laws like Morocco so one of the things
they're worried about is are you going
to lose your motivation? what actually
motivates you? if you can show the person
hiring that you're not motivated by the
salary or the position you're motivated
because you inherently want to do good
work it's something that you're
passionate about is something that
to you you love helping people you want
to help your teammates you want to learn
you want to do better that is going to
make an impact in the person hiring
because they're going to think to
themselves, oh even after six months this
person's probably still going to be
motivated to do a good job it's also
important like you said to research the
company you need to prepare in advance
have questions prepared thoughts
prepared you also need to have those
stories we've described prepared in
advance because often it's difficult to
come up with something on the spot and
so if you've thought through you look at
your CV and all the things you've
claimed about yourself and you prepare
these stories now even for our young
listeners that don't have a lot of job
experience yet maybe you're applying for
your first internship or your first job
out of school you can use examples from
your studies or from teams that you've
been on even from within your family you
can still demonstrate hard work or team
work or these other skills that you
offer even apart from the business
environment they're transferable and so
you need to have be armed with those
stories and anticipate what kind of
questions they're gonna ask I remember
when I was doing my interview for
I worked there during university and a
simple question came that I had not even
thought about her was prepared for which
was what do you like about coffee well I
didn't like coffee and I didn't drink
coffee at the time how dare you and so
thankfully it came to my mind that what
I loved about coffee was how it brought
people together and I talked about going
to the cafe but that was a Godsend
because I hadn't even thought in advance
I'm interviewing at a coffee shop I need
to be prepared for explaining that I
don't actually drink coffee now I got
the job without even saying that but I
should have thought of that in advance I
should have been better prepared because
I might have been not so lucky yeah you
do need to prepare for questions you'll
be asked and there's plenty of Internet
resources out there that can help
with that but the other thing you need
to prepare for and this is a very
important aspect of the interview that
most people don't think about is when
they ask you if you have any questions
you need to be prepared to ask them
questions for example what are the
values of your company? what type of
person succeeds in this company moves up?
what kind of behaviors does the company
encourage? what kind of things are
discouraged? what is the company's
definition of customer service? can you
give me an example of what it means to
provide good service in this company?
mm-hmm you need to turn the interview
because usually this comes at
the end when they ask you do you have
any questions and the whole interview
has been about you proving yourself and
this is your opportunity to actually
turn the interview back on the person
doing the interview and make them defend
the company make them sell you on why
the company is a good place to work at
you could ask some questions like what
happened to the person who used to do
this job or of the last ten people that
you hired how many of them are still
with the company did they move up did
they move laterally did they quit how
long does the average employee last here?
hmm when you ask these types of
questions you get the person who's
interviewing you in the mindset of
having to sell you on the company yeah
and these are perfectly reasonable
questions to ask yeah but you want to
make sure in the interview that they're
not just looking for a three-month
intern that they're going to fire at the
end of 90 days you want to make sure
that they're serious about hiring
somebody and that there are
possibilities to be promoted and growing
the company if you do a great job yeah
when you're looking for a job it's it's
easy to fall into the trap of being
desperate and just being hungry to take
whatever job comes along but it can be a
trap there can be golden handcuffs where
are you just because of lack of momentum
you know lack of inertia you just you
take a job that you get
stuck in even though it's a dead-end job
and so there's times where you need to
pay the bills and you're not building a
career but if you're in the position
where you're really looking to launch
and to start something or build on
something and grow in it then you need
to interview the company as well but
there's powerful psychological effects
even if you're convinced say this is the
company I want to work for in putting
them on the spot in putting them in a
position where they're recruiting you, it
affects how they view you, you look like
you're capable of walking away just
think about a negotiation in the souk in
the medina where you're looking and
you're kind of saying I don't know that
price seems high you want to give the
vendor the impression that you have the
power to walk away that they need to
earn your Dirhams, similar in this
environment the HR manager could feel
whoa this person has a lot of value to
offer they're confident and we need we
need them at our company on what's it
going to take to get them here
there's psychological effects that come
when you ask those kinds of questions
you just mentioned confidence incredibly
important to have confidence going into
an interview how do you develop
confidence going into an interview that
you may not know a lot about you may not
know if you're the right person everyone
going into job interviews is nervous so
how can you be confident well one way is
to practice one of the things we're
gonna do in the club and one of the
things that the club members have
expressed is they want to practice their
public speaking they want to practice
things like job interviews, sales pitches
the way that you gain confidence going
into an interview is to practice, it
practice it with a friend or relative
someone who has been in a position of
authority a teacher, a professor the way
you can go into a job interview with
confidence is to practice and I'm not
necessarily recommending that you
memorize your answers because that can
lead to trouble as well, practice your
answers so that in a lot of ways they're
second nature yeah yeah I think of a
grandparent or one of your dad's jokes
you've heard it so many times but it's
he's mastered it because he's practiced
it alright they tell the same story you
know you're a friend's house or a family's place for dinner and
your dad busts out this old story that
you know how it goes because he's
practiced it and it's been refined over
time and so the same principle you can
use you can practice it with your
friends you come up with sort of anchor
phrases that you can come back to key
ideas you've learned how to express
instead of stumbling over your words and
it being completely unfamiliar territory
the first time you've ever told the
story out loud
so practice is very very powerful I
think it's also helpful for our young
listeners that don't have experience to
think through what is the value that
they offer so their CV tells whatever
skills or qualifications but if you
don't have a lot of qualifications or
you're not bringing any experience then
you really need to sell yourself on your
work ethic on the ability to learn
quickly you need to recognize okay these
are gaps that I have I don't bring to
the table but here's my strengths that I
can offer and really emphasize those and
prepare stories that highlight those
characteristics the last thing that I'll
mention is the power of references, we
know that here Morocco personal
recommendations are very important they
are very powerful the person
interviewing you is probably going to
ask for references so you need to
actively develop your network of
references and this is one of the
reasons we've talked about in the past
taking internships and working for free
or engaging a professor at school asking
them how can I help how can I be of
assistance developing a relationship
with them so that if you need a
reference for a job interview
you can ask your professor and they can
say wow you're right you you were a good
class member you turned in your
assignments on time you didn't work I'm
happy to give you a reference for this
job interview but if you go into a job
interview without having anyone out
there that will vouch for your character
vouch for your work ethic you're much
less likely to be able to get that job
yeah that's true yeah maybe one simple
parting thought is the power of a smile
it can help you with your confidence it
can help calm your nerves so you enter
the room
you make eye contact and just smile be
be happy be positive a smile can change
how you feel it can change the whole
tone of the room it can help you rest at
ease and it can help make a really good
first impression people hire those that
they like and we like people that are
positive and a smile conveys that you've
been listening to the Business in
Morocco Podcast my name is Ryan Kirk
here with my co-host Ryan Maimone, if you
enjoyed this episode be sure to
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we hope you'll have a lovely day
doing business in Morocco we'll see you
next time

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