EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

One of the little recognized facts about interviewing is that the most important part of what you are trying to accomplish in an interview is to make a personal connection with the interviewer.

With all of the executive talent floating around these days, starting with the 37,000+ members of The FENG, your ability to distinguish yourself in those precious minutes you have with a decision maker is what is key.

I would suggest to you that we tend to be nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel types of people. When we have work, we work. Sometimes for years. We tend not to network during those times, or even to read a few good books. We are just too busy. And, if we read a book, it is a leisure related book, perhaps a mystery.

When you are looking for a job, the best thing you can do is to check the popular reading list for a business related book that you can consume and enjoy. A simple check of Amazon’s business books section will bring to your attention a variety of titles and subjects.

What you are looking for is something that is widely read but that also will interest you. What you want to pull out of it are phrases and ideas that you can sprinkle into your conversation in an interview so you will sound current.

Most senior managers read management books to keep up to date on the latest ideas and trends. With any luck they will have selected the same book that you have and you can in this way create a bond of sorts that will “seal the deal.” Hey, you have the skills or you wouldn’t be in there interviewing. Now all you need to demonstrate is that you are the kind of person with whom they are prepared to spend endless hours.

At the worst, you will find that reading a popular management book will put many of the things you have been doing the past several years into a framework that you can use to present your credentials in a more understandable form.

“Doing a little reading on your own” is one of the real win-wins in this world. It sharpens your thinking and makes you a more interesting person. For a financial type, that can’t be bad!

Regards, Matt

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