Effective Job Interviewing Skills: Use Zingers and One Liners

2012-10-24 20:11

The three US Presidential debates have come and gone. The purpose of the debates was to give the American citizens an opportunity to assess the two leading presidential candidates: President Barack Obama and the former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for the most important job in the world, US Presidency.

I would not go to the debates in detail as I just want to highlight some key issues that I learnt from the debates. Key issues that can be applied to every communication setting especially job interviewing sessions.

Here are the lessons:

Before entering the debates the two candidates have to go through a grueling practical exercise of memorizing and cramming facts. Not only that they had to appoint coaches and a variety of specialists consultants; consultants who specialize in body language and use of gestures, those who specialize in voice and tonal quality, neuro linguistic programming consultants and so on.

At the center of their preparations was to literally conduct the debates beforehand have an opponent similar to the other candidate. For example President Barack Obama during the preparations and practice had Senator John Kerry who acted as if is Mitt Romney. On the other hand Mitt Romney had Ohio Senator Rob Portman.

And so I think that is the first thing to learn from these debates that never underestimate the importance of rigorous and thorough preparations and practice. I mean if you understand that these two heavyweight politicians daily have to speak to large crowds in campaign stops you might have thought that preparations was not necessary – but it was necessary – not only necessary but highly critical.

Coming to the actual day, hours before the debate they had to go through the podium and walk around to have a feel of the scene and breathe it in practically to build on their confidence.

Overall the debates brought the whole aspect of communication to a new level. More importantly was the use of what is called zingers and one liners. A zinger is a shock revelation and is based on a research beforehand. Therefore zingers are facts that are a revelation of some things which were once hidden and not known, and these become the central idea that the debater returns to from time to time. A one liner is just standing a sentence without elaborating on it so that it can filter down the mind and heart of the listener.

Mitt Romney's best one liner was sticking to the fact that many Americans are without jobs and he knows how to create jobs because he was a Chief Executive of Bain Capital for years.

The best zingers or better still a shock revelations in all the three debates happened in the final debate. It began when Governor Mitt Romney attacked Barack Obama that as president he is putting America at risk by cutting spending on the military. Romney cited an example that currently the American navy has fewer ships like in 1916.

From this attack Barack Obama took the time to school Romney on the way things work in the military and how to protect the country.

And then he delivered back-to-back zingers:

"Governor, when it comes to your foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s."

"Governor every time you've offered an opinion, you've been wrong."

"You mention the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, we have these things called aircraft carriers and planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. It's not a game of battleship where we're counting ships."

Your zingers at the job interview is to show the panel that you have done a thorough research about their organization to such an extent that you know where they succeeded and where they have failed in their strategies and offer yourself as a person of solutions going forward. Give them a big picture of the organization and its sphere of operations and come out with assessment of its effectiveness or lack thereof, and then have a clear point by point blueprint of practical solutions or of harnessing the success the organization already have.

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