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Do You Speak to Others Before They Speak to You? | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

EP 744 I discuss answering this question, usually asked of sales pros and people at a manager level and above.  Listen to the beginning of today show in order to receive a special offer for listeners.


I'm going to answer 1 of those tough interview questions and the question is, "So, do you like to talk to people first?" It is designed to see if you speak to others before they speak to you.

If you think of sales situations, in sales, they want to know if you are a "Hunter" or a "farmer." A farmer is someone who is going out and building on existing business; a hunter is someone who is going out and looking for new business.

In effect what they are asking you for is whether you are open to talking 1st or just wait there for someone to talk to you. What the try do is to get a sense of what they can really sell. It is 1 of those gentle questions that reveals a lot.

Now the place where it is particularly tricky is that you never want to come across as an arrogant SOB. Just be careful as you answer the question, and you might simply say, "Yeah, I have no problem talking to others. That's really the way I build my business. It's not like I wait for the phone to ring. I'm making lots of calls. I'm putting myself in the social situations where I'm getting to know people and their getting to know me and trying to build business that way."

It's really an easy and graceful answer to 1 of those questions,. It gets particularly tricky if they're asking you as a manager, a director or above whether this happens because the subtlety here is the try to find whether you wait for trouble to come to you or you are seeking it out.

You might speak about, "I like to manage by walking around and talking to my people. I see how things are going. I want them to know that I'm available for them to confess that they are having problems. If the not having problems, I'm not there to micromanage them. I just want them to know that the if they have a concern or an issue, I am available. So I put myself out there so that, number 1, they know that I care and, number 2, they can feel free enough to drop 1 of those little pearls that suggests that they are having a problem, but they don't say it directly. From there, I can speak with them privately, rather than in 1 of these walking around situations, be proactive and… I guess the answer is yes. I yes I do have no trouble talking to others. 1st, rather than waiting for them to come to me."

That's it in a nutshell; it's a fun little question but you have to understand what is behind it.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.


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