The Communication That Got Paulo 12 Interviews in Switzerland

This blog post is a more detailed insight into step 1 in the entire process of the 10 Steps to Find the Best Career Opportunities in Switzerland’s Hidden Job Market.

In this article I will show you how Paulo got 12 Skype interviews when he contacted the leaders of his target companies.


Everything Starts With WHY

Before you do anything else, it’s important that you start with the most important question and answer. Most people tend to answer WHY questions with WHAT answers and therefore don’t make a connection.

When people are asked in interviews WHY they should be hired, they answer WHAT they have done in the past. It may sound strange when you read it like this but think about your last interview. 

Maybe it went something like this:


Answering a WHY Question With a WHAT Answer

Interviewer: “Why should we hire you?”

You A: “Because I have 25 years experience in business development and increase sales by 117% in my previous company. I also have an Executive MBA and managed projects with budgets up to $75 million.”


Are you still awake? Your interviewer may not be. If you answer such an important question plain wrong (answering a WHY question with a WHAT answer), you will certainly not do very well. 

Let’s look at an alternative:


Answering a WHY Question With a WHY Answer

Interviewer: “Why should we hire you?”

You B: “I believe that every person on earth deserves to live a healthy life, free of diseases and pain. I believe that this company has a huge positive impact in the world by increasing people’s quality of life and this is what fascinates me about this organization.”


How did you feel when you read this? Did it feel different from the first statement? Which version would make a real connection with the interviewer?

You have just answered a WHY question with a WHY answer in the second statement and therefore made a connection with the person you are talking to.

Also, which version do you think communicates with more passion, A or B? I think you know the answer.


Making an Emotional Connection

By clearly articulating your WHY, you make a connection with the person you are talking to. There is no better starting point than that. By starting with WHY, you follow the basic marketing principle called AIDA. You simply catch the person’s attention and wake their interest.

Once you have a person’s interest, you can directly talk to their desire. However, if you start with talking about the desire or even worse, about WHAT you have done in the past, you will not make a great impression.


Solving Issues and Exploring Opportunities – Answering the HOW

After you have established a connection with the person you are talking to, it’s time to talk to their desire.

What are the issues that the organization or the hiring manager are facing? What are their goals? What are they trying to achieve?

If you don’t know that, your goal is to find out first. You find out by asking questions. You find out by talking to people.

Once you know about their challenges and goals, you show them how you can either solve the issues or explore the opportunities. To give some proof that you can do this, you can mention some relevant situations from the past where you had similar experiences.

This part answers the question of “How will you bring value into our organization?”.

Let’s compare two different answers again:


Answering a HOW Question With a WHAT Answer

Interviewer: “How will you bring value into our organization?”

You A: “I bring 25 years of experience in business development and an Executive MBA with me. I have managed large projects with budgets up to $75 million and led teams with up to 50 people.”


Once again, let’s look at the comparison:


Answering a HOW Question With a HOW Answer

Interviewer: “How will you bring value into our organization?”

You B: “By talking to a few friends who work in your organization and by listening carefully in our discussion today, I realized that you are dealing with issue X and Y. I also see massive growth opportunities in emerging markets for your company. I solved issue X and Y in companies I worked at by doing A and B. In order to expand to emerging markets like Brazil, speaking German and English will not be enough. You need somebody who speaks the local language fluently and my mother tongue happens to be Portuguese.”


Situation B is pretty much how Paulo approached the HOW part and he was extremely successful with it. He contacted several heads of international small to medium sized companies in Switzerland and organized 12 Skype interview this way within only a few weeks.


Putting Everything Together

I created a 34-page workbook called the Communication Excellence Workbook for you. This will help you to get everything on paper so you can create your own powerful communication strategy and use it for every email you write, in every interview and basically every time you communicate with somebody.