Saturday, June 12, 2010

Two Interviews That Are a Study in Contrast: A Perfect Illustration of How NOT to Present Yourself In An Interview

In recent weeks, PBS’s highly regarded Nightly Business Report (NBR) broadcast short interviews with Ford Executive Vice President--and President of the Americas--Mark Fields and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne. In sharp contrast to Fields’s persona which was pleasing, projected gravitas, and inspired viewer confidence in his company’s business outlook, Marchionne looked extremely unenthusiastic and, dare I say, even sleepy. With arms folded--clearly a no-no in such situations--and speaking in a monotone throughout the Q&A, the Chrysler chief appeared variously smug, morose, and bored, and his body language was devoid of conviction.

Here’s the most amazing thing about the Marchionne interview: Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, who sat beside the Chrysler exec, displayed ten times more zeal and passion about the company’s new marketing moves than did Marchionne himself. Unbelievable! By injecting just a handful of appropriate verbal and nonverbal techniques, such as those discussed in my prior posts, Marchionne could have transformed his performance into one that inspired investor confidence in the firm.

I would urge you to access the NBR Web site and watch the two interviews--Marchionne’s was broadcast on May 21, and Fields’s on June 2 (see links below)--because they present a vivid and indelible lesson in how not to be appear or speak during an interview. And that lesson, in one sentence, is the following: If you, the person being interviewed, are exhausted or, for some reason, cannot summon plainly transparent enthusiasm and conviction about your ideas, products, or services, postpone the interview or send a double. Pretend you’ve got diarrhea or something. To do otherwise runs the risk of the audience losing faith in your cause, offering, or whatever. For instance, if a CEO or other top executive looked passionless and displayed no vitality while talking about his or her firm’s new products or strategies, would you feel like buying the company’s stock or one of its products?

For the Fields interview:
For the Marchionne interview:

No comments:

Post a Comment